Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance
Turning Disaster into Knowledge

Sponsored by the National Science Foundation
GEER Contact: Anne Lemnitzer, PhD., UC Irvine,
Kevin Franke, PhD., Brigham Young University,

GEER Responds to Yellowstone Floods to Document its Impacts: A team from the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER) Association, supported by the National Science Foundation, was mobilized to investigate the potential impacts of the widespread flooding as a result of the heavy rainfall and snowmelt that occurred in southern Montana and northern Wyoming during June 10-13, 2022. GEER members have been working closely with local engineers and scientists in the area since the onset of the flooding, which include upcoming site visits to the flooded regions June 30-July 4.

GEER members Anne Lemnitzer (UC Irvine) and Kevin Franke (BYU) have led the coordinated response to the flooding event in order to gain a better understanding of the resulting impacts on geo-structures, such as bridges, retaining walls, dykes, and embankments. Advancing performance-based engineering for infrastructure requires that we understand changes that result from the widespread flooding that occurred in Montana and Wyoming and its relationship to future extreme events. Also participating in the investigation are GEER members Dr. Michael Gardner (University of Nevada-Reno), Dr. Nina Stark (Virginia Tech), Dr. Jonathan Hubler (Villanova University), Dr. Bret Lingwall (South Dakota School of Mines and Technology), Brandon Quinn (ECS Mid-Atlantic, LLC) and Elliot Nichols (Georgia Tech). These engineers will work with European experts to compile as much data as possible and document both failures and performance of infrastructure during the flood event.              

Extreme events engineering is an experience-driven field in which perishable data that can be used to advance our understanding should be systematically collected immediately following the event. The team collected data using a variety of tools and will collaborate with local engineering practitioners and scientists. Documenting this extreme event and making the key lessons learned publicly available contribute significantly to advancing research and practice in engineering.

After the field investigation is complete, observations and findings will be posted on the GEER website. Additional information on GEER is available at: