E. Duane Lyon, GE (1937-2010) (BSCE ’74 CSPU Pomona) became a partner in the firm and their geotechnical engineer in 1974, shortly after completing his BSCE at Cal Poly Pomona. He had previously worked for Mills as the senior soils tech and inspector, between 1964-74, and prior to that, had worked for the Army Corps of Engineers (1961-67) and Caltrans (1955-61). When Dick Mills passed away in 1985, Duane succeeded him as the sole owner and president of the firm. In 1991 the company changed its name to RMA Group. Today, the company is led by President Edward L.P. Lyon, GE (BSCE 1989 Colorado Mines) and vice presidents Slawek W. Dymerski, GE (BSCE 1999 CSPU Pomona) and Gary W. Wallace, CEG (BS Geol ‘78 CSPU Pomona).
In 1994 they formed a sister company, RMA Geoscience, which is currently led by Mark Swiatek, CEG (BS Geol ’82 Pennsylvania) and based in Sun Valley, CA. Swiatek previously worked for GeoSoils and AGI Geotechnical. The firm’s home office remains in Rancho Cucamonga, and they have established branch offices in Sacramento, Concord, Van Nuys, and San Diego. In 2009 they purchased Terrasearch, Inc of San Jose to expand into the San Francisco Bay Area.
CHJ Consultants (1971 - present)
Geotechnical firm founded by Robert J. Johnson and two others in December 1971 and based in Colton, with branch offices in Victorville and Palm Desert. Current principals include: Robert J. Johnson, GE (BSCE ’68 SDSU), Jay J. Martin, CEG (BS Geol ‘82; MS ’84 UCR), Allan D. Evans, GE (BSCE ’77 Idaho; MS USC), Fred Yi, GE (BSCE, MS, PhD ’85 Univ Tokyo), James F. Cooke, PE (BGS Idaho), Ben Williams, PG (BA Geol ’74 SDSU), Ann Laudermilk, REA (BA Geol ‘94 Pomona), John S. McKeown, CEG (BS Geol ‘90; MS ’92 CSULA), Vincent J. Romano, (BS Geol 2006 Berkeley), and David Mino (BS Geol SJSU).
John R. Byerly, Inc (1977 - present)
The firm was established by John R. Byerly, PE (BSCE ’61; MS ‘63, Berkeley) in 1977 in Bloomington as the successor to Pacific Materials Laboratory, Inc’s Inland Empire office (see firm threadline elsewhere). Since that time the firm has provided geotechnical engineering, construction materials testing, distressed structure, fault studies, and special inspection services. Senior associates have included Roger Shervington, PE in the late 70s-early 80s. The current associates include Glenn Fraser, PE as senior engineer, David Gaddie, CEG is senior engineering geologist, and Jeff Fitzsimmons, PG (BA Geol ’98 CSUSB) serves as project geologist.
Highland Geotechnical Consultants (1979-88)
About a year after Irvine Soils was established in 1978, owner Neil H. Durkee founded Highland Geotechnical Consultants in San Bernardino. Geologist Paul Bogseth, CEG (BS Geol ’76 UCSC; MBA ’85 Pepperdine) supervised the field testing services for Highland between 1979-85. When the break-up of Irvine Soils occurred in 1987, Bogseth joined Mark Hetherington to form Bogseth-Hetherington between 1987-95. Highland continued operating as a separate entity for another year, until 1988.
Gary Rasmussen & Associates (1978 - present)
Founded by Gary Rasmussen, CEG in San Bernardino around 1978, where he had managed the Leighton & Associates office since 1971. Some of his earliest assistants included Gene Blanck, CEG, CHG, RGP (who moved up to San Luis Obispo) and John H. Foster, CEG (BA Geol ’70 SDSU; PhD ’80 UCR) who later joined the faculty at Cal State Northridge.
Geocon Inland Empire (1984-2009); Geocon West (2009-present)
Geocon was originally founded in 1971 by Jim Likins, GE when he purchased controlling interest in the firm (see San Diego firm threadline). Around 1984 they established branch offices serving the Inland Empire of San Bernardion and Riverside Counties, which was named Geocon Inland Empire. In September 2009 their name was changed to Geocon West, which operates offices out of Burbank, Murrieta, and Palm Desert. Neal Berliner, GE (BSCE ’92) serves as President of Geocon West from their home office in Burbank. Other senior staff include: Associate Senior Geologist Gerry Kasman, CEG (BA Geol 1990 CSUN), Environmental Manager Mike Conkle, PG, and Senior Geologist Susan Kirkgard, CEG (BS Geol ’84 CSULA). Senior Geologist Jeff L. Hull, CEG (BS Geol 1988 SDSU), manages a branch office in Orange County.
Cal-West Consultants (1987-present)
In March 1984 Ron Carducci, GE (BSCE ’64 Univ Windsor) left Pioneer Consultants in Redlands to join LA Wainscott and Associates in San Bernardino/Riverside (active 1976-99). His work focused mainly on land disposal of liquid waste, mostly seepage pits in rural Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. In October 1987 Ron founded Cal-West Consultants, based in San Bernardino.
Roger A. Shervington, PE (1990-present)
In 1990 Roger Shervington, PE, TE (BSCE ’71 CSPU Pomona) founded his own consultancy, based in Ontario, after having worked for John R. Byerly, Inc. in Bloomington. He provided geotechnical engineering, pavement design/rehabilitation, and materials testing consultations. He became a Life Member of ASCE in 2013.
Koury Engineering & Testing (1992-present); Koury Geotechnical Services (2009-present)
Geotechnical and materials engineering testing firm founded by Richard Koury in 1992, and based in Chino, with branch offices in Gardena and San Diego. Jacques B. Roy, G.E. (formerly of Klienfelder) manages Koury Geotechnical Services in Gardena, while Armen Gaprelian, GE (BECE ’93; MS ’96 New South Wales) serves as consulting geotechnical engineer.
Earth Systems Southwest (2001-present)
Earth Systems Southwest maintains offices in Perris and Bermuda Dunes, where since 2001, the senior principal has been Lutz “Yogi” Kunze, GE (BSCE ’66 Connecticut; MS ‘73 Arizona State), forrmer Chief Engineer of Smith-Emery Geoservices. He served as President of CalGeo in 1996-97. Mark Spykermann, CEG (BA Geol ’76 CSU Fresno) serves as senior engineering geologist.
California Geotechnical Inspections & Testing, Inc. (CGIT)
CGIT is a geotechnical and materials testing firm originally based in Beaumont, which moved to Temecula in 2013. The owner is listed as Karie M. Mariani.
Firms in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties
Maurseth and Howe (1958-present)
Founded by Ray Maurseth, PE (1907-93) and Charles Howe, PE in 1953 on Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles. Around 1958, Maurseth & Howe established a branch office in Ventura. In 1965 they formed a partnership with R. Bruce Lockwood, CEG as Maurseth-Howe-Lockwood, which lasted until 1972 (described previously). From the mid-1960s to early 1970s their chief soils engineer was Robert D. Cousineau, GE working out of the Ventura office. Around 1974 he departed to start up Soils International. The firm is currently registered to be operating in San Gabriel, next door to Robert D. Cousineau (see below).
Buena Engineers (1959-89)
Founded by Norman G. Hallin, PE (BSCE ’42 USC) in 1959 and headquartered for many years in the Oxnard/Ventura area. Norm grew up in Los Angeles and served as a naval officer during World War II. He became registered civil engineer C-7370 in 1948. He moved to Carpentaria in 1962 and was a member of the Carpentaria Sanitary District Board for many years. He was assisted by Richard C. Mooring in the mid-1960s. Sometime later, Mark Spykerman worked out of their Lancaster office. They did development work in Acton and elsewhere. They were purchased by Earth Systems Consultants in the early to mid-1970s, and Norm retired in 1984. They continued working under the name Buena Engineers in San Luis Obispo until 1989, when the firm was re-organized as Earth Systems Consultants Northern California, which then became Earth Systems Pacific in 1999.
Pacific Materials Laboratory, Inc. (1963-80); Pacific Materials Lab (1980-2011); Pacific Materials Lab of Camarillo (1980-present); and PML of Santa Barbara (2011-present)
Pacific Materials Lab was founded in August 1963 by Doral Neely and Douglas C. Papay, PE. In 1980 they spilt the firm’s operations, with Doral controlling the Santa Barbara/Goleta office and Doug controlling operations in the Camarillo office. The Goleta office was located just north of the Santa Barbara Airport. They provide civil and geotechnical engineering services, compaction & percolation testing, DSA Approved lab offering concrete, masonry, rebar and welding construction inspection and materials testing services. The principal geotechnical engineer and owner is Ronald J. Pike, GE, (BSCE BYU) who previously owned Pike Civil Engineering in Goleta. In the late 1990s-early 2000s the Camarillo operations were managed by Doug Papay, GE along with engineering geologists Barry S. Haskell, CEG and Mason K. Redding, CEG. In 2011 the Goleta firm was reorganized as PML of Santa Barbara.
Gorian & Associates, Inc. (1973-present)
Consulting firm founded in 1973 by Gerald Lee Gorian, PE (1930-78) and Robert G. McCardell (1934-), working out of Gorian's Westlake Village home. Six months later they moved to an office in Westlake Village. Gorian died in October 1978, but the firm continued to grow, reaching 30 employees. In 2002, the company relocated to new building at the west end of the Conejo Valley, in Thousand Oaks. Their first employee was soils tech Lynn P. McKnerney (AA CompSci LA Pierce), who now serves as the GM. The other partners include: Rudy M. Pacal, GE (BSCE ’67; MS ’70 UCLA), who joined the firm in 1978 and serves as Chief Geotechnical Engineer; William F. Cavan, Jr., CEG (BS Geol ‘76 USC) joined the firm in 1976 and serves as their Chief Geologist. Chief Engineering Geologist Scott Simmons, CEG (BA Geol ’76 Cal Lutheran); senior geotechnical engineer Jerome Blunck, GE (BSCE ’77 Nebraska; MBA Cal Lutheran); and Paul Wasserman, Field Operations Manager, who joined the firm in 1980. Sheryl Shatz, GE (BSCE ‘83 Berkeley; MS ’87 Texas-Austin) is a senior geotechnical engineer who joined the firm in 2002.
Soils International (1974-80s); Robert D. Cousineau Consulting Geotechnical Engineer (1980s-present)
Founded around 1974 by geotechnical engineer Robert D. Cousineau GE, after working for Maurseth & Howe. He serviced the Ventura County and Los Angeles County areas. Cousineau lived in the San Gabriel Valley and served as president of SAFEA in 1978-79. He has gone by Robert D. Cousineau Consulting Geotechnical Engineer in Temple City, and later as Robert D. Cousineau Consulting, based out of Altadena and San Gabriel. He lives in San Gabriel.
Fugro-Gulf (1973-86); Fugro-McClelland (West) (1987-97); Fugro-West (1988-2010); Fugro Consultants, Inc (2010-present)
Fugro BV was founded in the Netherlands as a European-based company in May 1962. In January 1973 they established a Houston office as Fugro Gulf, which competed with McClelland Engineers, Inc. of Houston, the American leader in offshore goetchnical engineering. Bramlette McClelland, PE, NAE (1920-2010) was a native of Arkansas. He graduated from the University of Arkansas with a BSCE dgree in 1940 and attended graduate school at Purdue, receiving his MSCE in 1942. He moved to Houston to work on the San Jacinto River flood improvements during the Second World War. In 1946 he formed a partnership named Greer-McClelland Engineering, based in Houston. In 1955 this became McClelland Engineers, Inc. The firm’s focus was in offshore geotechnics for the petroleum industry. By the early 1980s the firm had grown to over 800 employees, spread in nine offices around the world. In 1977 they established a West Coast office in Ventura called McClelland Engineers (West) to service the oil industry in coastal southern California.
Around 1977 Fugro purchased a small geotechnical firm based in Oxnard and placed Kerry J. Campbell, CEG (MS Geol ’75 Massachusetts) in charge of the office. This office then moved to Ventura, where it was managed by Michael R. Ploessel, CEG (BS Geol ’70 USC), who went onto work for Black & Veatch in Irvine.
Fugro Gulf and McClelland Engineers were both hit hard by the recession of the oil industry in the mid-1980s, which necessitated layoffs and re-structuring. In 1986 the two firms began discussing a merger, which was consummated on October 5, 1987. Fugro contributed 550 employees and McClelland 450. The American firm name became Fugro-McClelland, in Houston, and Fugro-McClelland (West) in California. The combined group provides the unique experience and technology needed to successfully provide geotechnical, hydrogeologic, environmental, and marine survey services.
In 1991 Fugro-McClelland West purchased and K-C Geotechnical Engineers (Ken Clements) of Santa Barbara (profiled below) and in November 1992 acquired Staal, Gardner, & Dunne of Ventura (profiled below). Thomas F. ‘Tom’ Blake, PE, CEG, (BS Geol ’74; MS ’81 CSU Northridge) served as Chief Geologist of Fugro-McClellan in Ventura, with John R. Powell, CEG as a senior geologist. In 1991 Fugro also acquired John E. Chance & Associates of Lafayette, LA, who had a branch office in Ventura (formerly Land and Sea Surveys, established in 1950). The firm name then became Fugro-McClelland West, headquartered in Ventura.
During the 1990s, Fugro added offices in San Luis Obispo and Oakland to service those regions. In November 1997 the name changed to Fugro West., which included all offices in CA and NV. Fugro’s California operations were expanded in the San Francisco Bay and California Delta with the acquisition of Subsurface Consultants (SCI) in 2001, the infrastructure operations of MWH Energy & Infrastructure, Inc. (MWH E&I) in 2002, and Espana Geotechnical in 2005. By 2006 Fugro West had 150 employees spread across 10 offices. They provided geotechnical consultations for a wide array of projects, including the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge East Span, BART projects, Ports of Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, and San Francisco, as well as the Folsom South Canal Connector, and the dozens of Caltrans projects. Other projects include the 20-mile long Lower Northwest Interceptor Sewer, Freeport Water Authority pipeline, 500-megawatt Consumes Power Plant, Franklin-Thornton Bridge, and the Pleasant Grove Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Fugro West maintained west coast offices in Ventura, Oakland, and Roseville (and in Nevada). By 2009 the senior leadership for Fugro Consultants, Inc. was provided by Joseph M. Cibor, President; Timothy N. Dunne (who served as president until 2006); William R. Lettis (departed in 2011); and John A. Wooley. Between 2004-12 Lauren Jelks Doyel, GE (BS Geol ’84 Stanford; MSCE ’98 SJDU) managed Fugro’s downtown Los Angeles office. In 2010 the corporate structure was reorganized as Fugro Consultants, Inc. (FCL), with their headquarters in Houston, overseeing all operations in the USA.
Staal, Gardner & Dunne (1985-92); absorbed by Fugro-McClelland (West) in 1992
Geotechnical consulting firm founded by Norwegian emigree Ivar Staal, GE (1939-1991), David A. Gardner, CEG, CHG (BS Geol ’71; MS ’74 UCLA), and Timothy N. Dunne, GE (BSCE ’79; MS ’80 Stanford; MBA ’99 Harvard) in March 1985 and based in Ventura, where they billed themselves as Consulting Engineers & Geologists. All three partners had previously worked for Geotechnical Consultants. The firm provided a wide of array of services, from land surveying and foundation design to geoenvironmental work. They also performed numerous groundwater studies of coastal aquifers in the central California. Their senior hydrogeologists were Gardner and Martin B. Feeney, CEG, CHG (BS Geol ’77; MS ’80 UCSC). In 1989 Gardner and Professor Shlomo P. Neuman at the University of Arizona co-authored an oft-cited article titled “Determination of Aquitard/Aquiclude Hydraulic Properties from Arbitrary Water-Level Fluctuations by Deconvolution” in the journal Groundwater.
The firm’s senior partner Ivar Staal died in February 1991. In November 1992 Gardner and Dunne sold their interests to Fugro-McClelland (West), which became Fugro West (profiled above) in Nov 1997, and Dunne served as president of Fugro West until 2006, with responsibility for the firm’s activities in the western USA (see description above). He then became Director of Strategic Expansion for Fugro’s onshore geotechnical business line for the USA. In January 2013 Dunne moved to the UK to become Business Delivery Team Director; Europe, Africa, and the Middle East for Fugro N.V.’s Geotechnical Division.
K-C Geotechnical Engineers (1986-91); absorbed by Fugro-McClelland (West) (1991)
Founded by Kenneth M. Clements, GE in Santa Barbara in 1986. Also formed a separate partnership, HC Geotechnical, with Mike Hoover in 1990-92 (profiled above). He sold KCGE to Fugro-McClelland in March 1994 and has managed a branch office for them in Santa Barbara, assisted by Greg Denlinger. This is now the Fugro Consultants office in Santa Barbara.
O’Tousa & Associates (1991-93)
Founded in 1991 by engineering geologist was James O’Tousa, CEG (BS ’83 CSUN; MS ’90 CSULA; MBA), after working for Liston & Associates in Westlake Village, Grover-Hollingsworth, and the LA County Department of Public Works (1983-88). The firm was originally based in Chatsworth, before moving to Ventura. O’Tousa’s first staff engineer was Robert W. Anderson (1991-93), and the two founded RJR Engineering Group in 1993 (profiled below).
RJR Engineering Group (1993-present)
Founded in March 1993 by Ventura native Robert W. Anderson, PE (geology and CE training at UC Davis 1980-86), and Jim O’Tousa, CEG (profiled above), who assumed the role of senior partner and president until July 2005. The firm was based in Ventura. Anderson had previous worked for Jim O’Tousa, Liston & Associates, Terratech (San Jose), Seidelman Associates (Pleasant Hill), and the Army Corps of Engineers (Davis). During the 1990s O’Tousa served as part-time Ventura County Geologist. He gained national exposure for his handling of the La Conchita Landslide in May 1995, and again, when it reactivated in January 2005. In July 2005 O’Tousa departed to become the full-time Ventura County Geologist. Al Echarren, PE joined the firm as a partner in 2002, after working for Ventura County as Manager of their Development & Inspection Services (1989-2002).
For many years RJR provided contract building and inspection services for Cities of Calabasas, Santa Paula, and Moorpark for plan check, capital improvements and public works projects. They also provide services for general civil, hydrology, and EIR projects in Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo Counties, from offices in Oxnard and Santa Barbara.
GeoDynamics, Inc. (2005-present)
Founded by Ali Abdel-Haq, GE (BSCE ’83 Nottingham; MS ’87 Ohio Univ) in 2005, and based in Thousand Oaks. In 2008 he was joined by partner Christopher J. Sexton, CEG (BS Geol ‘83 CSUN; MS ’90 CSULA). The firm supplies engineering geologic and geotechnical engineering peer review services for public agencies and sub consultant services for larger engineering firms. Chris Sexton had previously operated Southwestern Engineering Geology, Inc out of Fillmore for ~15 years, while Abdel–Haq previously worked for Gorian, Leighton, and Bing Yen & Associates.
U.C. Santa Barbara threadline
U.C. Santa Barbara was established in 1944, where Professor C.D. Woodhouse taught all of the geology courses and served as the school’s veteran’s coordinator. In the fall of 1948 he was joined by Professor Robert. W. Webb (1909-84) (BA Geol ’31 UCLA; MS ‘32; PhD ’37 Caltech), who had been on the geology faculty at UCLA from 1932-48, and began directing the UC System’s Veterans Affairs office in1 1947. Through his efforts a Department of Physical Science was established at UCSB in 1956, which included degree programs in chemistry, geology, and physics. The geology program grew rapidly during the next dozen years, through astute selection of high quality faculty, in teaching, research, and publishing. They appear to have turned out their first two engineering geology graduates in 1963 (see below), and have produced a significant number of engineering geologists over the past 50 years.
Professor John C. Crowell, CEG (at UCLA 1947-67; at UCSB 1967-87)
John C. Crowell, CEG, NAS (1917-2015) was born in State College, PA and received his BS in geology from the University of Texas in 1939, and moved to UCLA to undertake graduate work in geology. His studies were interrupted by the Second World War. During the war he joined the Army Air Corps and found himself forecasting wave heights for the D-Day invasion of Normandy in 1944 and served as an Army Air Corps weather recon officer in the China-Burma-India Theater. When the war ended he resumed his graduate studies, enrolling in oceanographic meteorology at Scripps. His 1946 master’s thesis was titled Sea, Swell, and Surf Forecasting Methods Employed for the Allied Invasion of Normandy, June 1944. He then completed his PhD in geology at UCLA under Prof. James Gilluly in 1947, and was invited to join the UCLA geology faculty. During his years at UCLA Crowell was active in the Association of Engineering Geologists, leading field trips at their national meetings in southern California. He transferred to U.C. Santa Barbara in 1967 and became registered as a geologist and engineering geologist in 1969.
During his 20 year tenure at UCLA (1947-67) and 21 years (1967-87) at UC Santa Barbara, Crowell achieved international prominence for his work on the origin of submarine canyons and turbidity currents, explaining how conglomerates could be deposited in deep water, mixed with mud (this had puzzled many workers for decades). During the 50s and 60s Crowell also worked out the displacement history of some of the major strike-slip faults in California, and was the first geologist to convincingly document 300 km of right-lateral offset along the southern San Andreas fault. He also formulated the Ridge Basin model (The Origin of Late Cenozoic Basins in California) that showed how most of the late Quaternary depositional basins in southern California were pull-apart basins, and that tectonics was driving the sedimentation. He was was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1981, and retired from UCSB in 1987. His faculty colleague Robert Norris refered to him as “the consummate university faculty member.”
Thomas W. Dibblee, Jr., RG (1911-2004)
Thomas Wilson Dibblee, Jr., RG was the most prolific geologic mapper of the 20th Century, having mapped roughly 40,000 square miles of California, better than one-quarter of the state. Although he never practiced engineering geology per se, his maps had a profound influence on engineering geologic practice in California, and his opinion was actively sought on a wide range of consultations, usually involving the locations of late Quaternary and Holocene faulting. Dibblee grew up on Rancho San Julian, in the western Santa Ynez Mountains, along the Cabrillo Highway [Route 1], between Gaviota and Lompoc (about 45 miles WNW of Santa Barbara), managed by his father T. Wilson Dibblee Sr. Influenced by Harry Johnson (described previously) Dibblee studied geology at Stanford between 1932-36, then worked for the California Division of Mines in San Francisco. In 1950 he published CDMG Bulletin 150, "Geology of Southwestern Santa Barbara County," the first of several released between 1952-68, which Dibblee mapped on his own time. In the 1940s he worked for a number of oil companies in the Coast Ranges, and this work was summarized in the 1953 paper, "San Andreas, Garlock and Big Pine Faults, California: A Study of the Character, History and Tectonic Significance of Their Displacement." The paper was a pioneering effort in that it proposed a displacement along the San Andreas fault of more than 350 miles.
By 1952 Tom Dibblee had pretty much mapped all the sedimentary basins in California with potential oil-bearing sands. That year Dibblee joined the USGS to map the geology of the California’s Mojave Desert to examine the borate potential in the area (boron was a major ingredient in solid rocket fuel). His work concentrated on the western and south-central Mojave. Dibblee's subsequent USGS career included a stint for the Survey’s Earthquake Research Branch, where he mapped the geology of the Transverse and Coast Ranges in a swath 25 miles on each side of the San Andreas fault "from near the Mexican border to the San Francisco Bay." The result was nearly 100 open-file geologic quadrangles. Dibblee retired from the USGS in 1978, but he continued mapping projects, working as a research associate with the U. C. Santa Barbara, and as a volunteer for various government and civic agencies. At the request of the U.S. Forest Service in 1978 he began mapping the geology of the 1.2 million acre Los Padres National Forest on a voluntary basis to determine oil and gas potential, mineral resources, ground-water potential, potential fault hazards, landslides, unstable rock formations, and other geologic features. His efforts resulted in more than 100 geologic quadrangles. Between 1978 and 2001, Dibblee tried to spend at least one day per week in the field mapping, usually searching out details that allowed him to complete the geologic mapping of various quadrangles he had begun working on decades previous.
In 1983 The Dibblee Geological Foundation was established in Santa Barbara to preserve his unpublished mapping and actually publish color maps of the dozens of quadrangles that had never been funded for publication by the USGS. This resulted in the publication of 56 new quadrangles between 1986-91. By 2010 six field trip guidebooks and 419 maps depicting about 550 quadrangles of California geology had been produced, all of which are now out-of-print. In June of 2002 the mission of the Dibblee Geological Foundation was adopted by the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum and in response created the Dibblee Geology Center. Some of the maps are still available through the museum.
Donald W. Weaver, CEG (at UCSB 1960-2003)
Don Weaver (1927- ) grew up along the Oregon coast and served in the Marine Corps in the late 1940s. He enrolled at UC Berkeley in 1950 and took a diverse program, which included courses in civil engineering and geology. He worked in heavy construction projects during the summers, and eventually completed his BS (1954), MS (1956), and PhD (1960), his graduate work being in paleontology under Robert Kleinpell. His PhD dissertation was on the geology of the Santa Ynez Mountains (funded by Mobil). He became the 4th member of the geology faculty at UCSB in January 1959, and eventually taught courses in physical and historical geology, field geology, stratigraphic paleontology, groundwater geology/well design, and engineering geology. Don spent many summers on Santa Cruz Island as the leader of the UCSB summer field class. He published the geologic map of Santa Cruz Island along with Dave Doerner. Among his more important contributions was a manuscript that was never published, titled: “Groundwater in California – Geology and the Law” (although never published, many pirated copies have been circulated across the state).
During the three decades of the 60s, 70s and 80s, Don did a lot of consulting work for the petroleum industry (Mobil, Exxon), agricultural interests along the central coast, and was instrumental in helping found the Santa Barbara satellite office of Dames & Moore, under Vernon “Al” Smoots’ (BSCE 1944 Kansas) direction, around 1972. Prior to this Don had been a consultant to the Los Angeles office of D&M on projects in the region. One of Don’s more interesting consultations was securing water resources at Ronald Reagan’s Rancho del Cielo in the western Santa Ynez Mountains, which became known as the “western White House” in the 1980s. He mentored a number of students who went on to notable careers in engineering geology (listed below) before retiring from UCSB in 1990. He then did some consulting in the area before moving to Oregon in 2003.
Engineering Geologists educated at U.C. Santa Barbara