In June 1974 I enrolled in
the first summer field geology course offered at California State
Polytechnic University, Pomona, taught by Professor Larry Herber (back
row, extreme left). I relished the challenge, and it turned out to be the best course I took in 10 years of college. I
am in the first row, second from right, wearing a green Cal Poly ball
of Mt. Whitney (14,505 ft) with my brother Brian (at left) on Labor
Day weekend 1974. We traversed the summit, going up the Mountaineer’s
Route on the East Face and returning to Whitney Portal via the 96
switchbacks of the Mt. Whitney Trail.
Christmas Vacation 1974 fellow geology students Steve Carpenter and
Bob Archer accompanied me on a geology excursion through Baja California
in my ’65 Jeep. We took two spare rims and tires, as well as four Jerry
cans for extra gas. This was one of our beachfront campsites, about
three miles south of San Felipe on the Sea of Cortez. Steve is on
the left and that's me on the right, in the cowboy hat. I loved exploring
the Baja wilderness.
This is a photo of myself and a Cal Poly classmate field mapping
an old quarry
in the eastern San Gabriel Mountains near Deer Creek
for our Igneous and Metamorphic
Petrology course in March 1975.
Note the pocket protector
and the array of colored pencils.
This is how the Cal Poly campus appeared at the time I was
enrolled, between 1974-76. I was fortunate
to be named the Outstanding Graduate
for 1976, which helped me gain entry to grad
In June 1975 the Cal Poly Geology Club took an extended tour on the
Colorado Plateau to take in the inspiring geology of that expanse.
Here I am standing on the Canyon’s North Rim. I vowed to come back
and study the Grand Canyon in more detail someday, and I've been at it ever since.
While I was matriculating through Cal Poly I made four trips to Baja
to do some serious exploring and study the geology.
This picture shows the US Gypsum anhydrite mine near Split Mountain
in the Anza Borrego Desert, which we stopped to see in Dec ’75, on
our way to Baja.
It may look like snow, but it’s actually
Here’s a picture of my Jeep with the new aluminum hard top crafted
for me by
my friend Lee Nelson. We’re looking at Dos Cabezas
on our way through northern Baja in December 1975.
In October 2000 I spoke at the dedication of the new Biotechnology
Building on the Cal Poly campus. The fellows on my left are Dean of
Science Simon Berneau and Cal Poly President Bob Suzuki (also a Berkeley
2001 I was invited to be the commencement speaker at Cal Poly.
I am shown here (at right) along side my long-time mentor, Professor Larry
Herber. He retired that same year after 28 years of service.
It was Dr. Herber who introduced me to engineering geology
and the study of landslides back in 1974 (see first photo at top of
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