Special May 2024 Virtual Meeting

Monday, May 20, 2024
6:00 - 7:30 pm

Note: ETGS members participating virtually will receive an email with info for attending/logging into the meeting.


Special May 2024 Presentation

How Climate Change Impacts Infrastructure



Cynthia Palomares, PG, PE



The terms global warming and climate change are often used interchangeably, but the two phenomena are different. Global warming is the rise in global mean temperature due to the release of heat trapping gasses like carbon dioxide and methane. Climate change is a more general term that refers to changes in many climatic factors (such as temperature and precipitation) from the global to the local scale. These changes are happening at different rates and in different ways in response to global warming. The timing and amount of rainfall is changing, which is generally resulting in more severe storms. In addition, global warming and associated climate change is shrinking ice caps, melting glaciers, causing water shortages, causing sea level to rise and increasing wildfire risk. The climate is becoming more extreme in response to global warming. As a result, infrastructure (e.g. buildings, roads, power supplies) are being impacted at an alarming rate. A record number of hurricanes, wildfires and floods cost the world $210 billion in damage in 2020. Specific weather related impacts, and potential mitigation to infrastructure will be discussed.



Cynthia Delaney Palomares, P.G.,P.E. has over 30 years of experience as both an Engineering Geologist and Environmental Engineer. Her last position was as an Adjunct Instructor (retired), at Texas A&M University, Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) in College Station, TX, from 2016-2020. As an adjunct instructor, Ms. Palomares conducted training courses for environmental professionals for certification of Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response. Prior to working for TEEX, Ms. Palomares was a Project Manager, at Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Austin, TX, from 1993-2016. As a project manager in the Industrial & Hazardous Waste Permits Section, Ms. Palomares reviewed and evaluated hazardous waste permit applications, compliance reports and notices of waste management activities for both regulatory and technical completeness to ensure compliance with applicable hazardous waste, radioactive waste and Texas Risk Reduction Program rules and regulations. In addition, Ms. Palomares was a member of the Waste Permits Division Disaster Response team and was also a project manager for RCRA Authorization rule projects that adopt EPA hazardous waste amendments into Texas Administrative Code regulations. Prior to her position as a project manager in the I&HW Permits Section, Ms. Palomares conducted technical reviews and processed applications for underground injection control (UIC) and in situ leachate uranium mining facilities in the UIC/Radioactive Waste Section of the TCEQ. In 2016, Ms. Palomares was recognized for 25 years of service with the State of Texas. Prior to employment with the TCEQ, Ms. Palomares was employed as a staff scientist for Westinghouse Hanford Company in Richland, Washington for 3 years. Ms. Palomares earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Geology from Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, and a Master of Science in Engineering Geology from Texas A&M University, College Station, TX in 1990. She is both a licensed Professional Geologist and Licensed Professional Engineer in Texas.

AEG Experience: Ms. Palomares joined AEG in 1986 as a student member of the Lone Star student chapter at Texas A&M University. In 1990, she was awarded the "Best Student Presentation Award" at the Texas Section Spring Meeting. In 2011, she was awarded the "Floyd T. Johnston Outstanding Engineering Geologist Award" at the Texas Section Fall Meeting. In 2022, she was awarded the Association-level "Floyd T. Johnston Outstanding Engineering Geologist Award" at the AEG Annual Awards Banquet in Las Vegas, Nevada. Service to AEG includes the following positions: Lone Star Student Chapter Officer (1986-1990), Washington Section Field Trip Coordinator (1991-1993), Texas Section Board (2001-2012), 2010 Shlemon Specialty Conference Chair on "Gulf Coast Subsidence and Sea-level Rise", Governance Committee member (2010-2012), Section/Chapter Support Committee Chair (2012-2018), AEG Strategic Planning Committee Co-Chair (2014-2016) , DEI Committee Member (2020-present), AEG Executive Council (2016-2021), Floyd T. Johnston Outstanding Engineering Geologist Award (2022), AEG/GSA Dr. Richard H. Jahn's Distinguished Lecturer in Environmental and Engineering Geology (2023-2024).


Greetings, and welcome to the Special May 20, 2024 ETGS virtual meeting.

If you attend via Zoom as a courtesy please mute your cell phone or the microphone in your laptop/tablet to minimize background noise and feedback echos. We will also make an effort to mute all participants - at least until the presentation is finished. Please use the chat feature to type any comments or questions you may have. We recommend that you send questions for the speaker to "everyone" so all participants can see the question. In the interest of time, we may hold the Q&A at the end of the presentation.

We will create an in-person and virtual attendance list. It is not always possible to tell who is participating on-line, especially for those joining by phone, so please email
etgs@live.com to be listed on the attendance sheet. Let us know exactly how your name should appear on the list. We will add a note explaining the lack of signatures due to remote participation and have an ETGS officer sign as usual.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we try this online format. As always, we welcome and appreciate your feedback and suggestions for improvement.


ETGS News:

  • New ETGS mugs are available! If you would like to purchase a mug, email etgs@live.com and include "ETGS Mug" in the subject line.


ETGS Coffee & Beer Mugs...

Sure to be a collector's item!

We look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.

ETGS is a volunteer organization. We need your help to continue serving those interested in the geology of East Tennessee and beyond. Please email us at
etgs@live.com if you would consider assisting in one of the following open positions. It is a great opportunity to expand your personal and professional network


Tony McClain

Vice President
David Carlone

J. Brad Stephenson

Seaira Stephenson

Webmaster/Social Media Coordinator
Bob Gelinas



Page updated April 21, 2024