A Day in the Life of a Los Angeles Geologist

Wake up. Wash up. Make some coffee, grab a breakfast bar and hit the road before sunrise and rush hour. First stop: methane test in West Hollywood. Afterward head into the hills to perform a “dig alert” to notify utility companies before we perform our field exploration. Next comes a grading Deputy inspection in Mid-City for a new mid-rise building involving three subterranean garage levels. After that, take a water sample and submit to an environmental lab as part of a stormwater pollution prevention plan in Beverly Hills. Stop by the LA city records office to perform site research. A quick lunch-on-the-go followed by a few hours of office time, reports with geologic maps and sections, followed by proposals for new jobs. Finish the day with a prior-to-purchase onsite geologic consultation in Pasadena, all the while responding to dozens of phone calls and inquiries daily. This is a typical day in the life of a consulting geologist in southern California. Geologists perform crucial work in the total life-cycle of a typical development project, particularly in geologically active and environmentally sensitive areas such as southern California. Is your project located in a hillside area, active fault zone, or high groundwater zone? A geologist (and sometimes more than one) will be required before it is all said and done. Furthermore, the findings and recommendations of the geologist can be crucial factors in the viability and feasibility of the project. Los Angeles Earthquake Map Are you concerned about a property’s proximity to a site known to be environmentally compromised? No better person to help you assess that risk than a geologist. Engineers have typically gotten more press and glory for their efforts over the ages, but geologists are equally important in many aspects of building construction and real estate development, and are increasingly asked to take on even more involvement by regulatory agencies. Who is a geologist? To start, geologists take degrees in earth sciences. Geology is a wide and varied field, with several subdisciplines much as in engineering, so the emphasis one takes is important for future career prospects. Engineering geologists work principally in mitigating natural hazards such as landslides, slope failures, liquefaction, earthquake faults, and typically work alongside geotechnical engineers. Hydrogeologists are concerned with the occurrence and movement of groundwater, an increasingly precious and overutilized resource. Environmental geologists assess impacts of industrial and commercial activities on the natural environment and determine proper mitigative courses of action. And finally, geologists are generally, as a rule, outdoors and curious people. We like hiking, exploring, and going off the beaten path. Whatever your geoscience consulting need, a good place to start is a firm like Arroyo Geoscience. Shant Minas, principal geologist at Arroyo, has seven years of experience as a consulting environmental and engineering geologist and project manager, having worked on a wide variety of projects and providing very different yet related services. Our Services page gives an overview of what we can do for you. Please call or email for further information.

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