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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

GCAGS Transactions


Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies Transactions
Vol. 44 (1994), Pages 765-765

Abstract: A Current Review of Registration of Geologists and Geophysicists in California

Robert G. Lindblom (1), John G. Parrish (2)


California was the first state to require licensing of professional geologists and geophysicists and to certify engineering geology as a geological specialty practice. License Number 1 was issued on December 12, 1969, and in the ensuing 25 yr, California's State Board of Registration for Geologists and Geophysicists (the Board) has licensed about 6,000 geologists and 1,000 geophysicists and certified more than 2,000 engineering geologists. Regulation of the practice of geology now occurs in more than 20 states, and it is predicted that all of the most populated states will adopt licensure for geologists before the turn of the century.

The Board is one of 35 boards and committees that function within the framework and jurisdiction of the California Department of Consumer Affairs. The Board's primary mission is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the California public by (1) licensing competent professionals, (2) administering the requirements of the enabling Geologist and Geophysicist Act (the Act), (3) establishing relations with other regulating agencies, and (4) investigating complaints against licensed and unlicensed practitioners and disciplining violators of the Act.

The Board consists of eight appointed members, five of whom are "public members" (nongeologists) and three of whom are "professional members" (licensed geologists and geophysicists). The professional and three public appointments to the Board are made by the governor. The Senate Rules Committee and the Assembly Speaker each appoint one public member. To assist the Board in its decisions are three standing committees: (1) the Professional Affairs Comrmittee, which focuses on standards of practice issues; (2) the Examination Committee, which oversees the examination process and recommends licensing reciprocity agreements with other states; and (3) the Legislative Committee, which proposes and reviews legislation that affects professional practice.

Starting in September 1994, the Board will offer licensing examinations twice yearly on a 6-month schedule. During 1993, the Board received 1,473 new applications for licensure, which is a 360-percent growth in the past 10 yr, and in September 1993, the Board administered 1,004 examinations, which represents a 1,520-percent growth in the past 10 yr. The Board has an active Enforcement Unit and is also formulating an administrative Cite and Fine regulation to speed the disciplinary process against unlicensed practitioners and licensed professionals who run seriously afoul of the provisions of the Act.

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(1) Petroleum Consultant, 20 Stowe Lane, Menlo Park, CA 94025

(2) State Mining and Geology Board, 801 K St., Sacramento, CA 95814

Copyright © 1999 by The Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies