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California State Geologists and State Mineralogists  

 

John Boardman Trask
State Geologist
1850-1856

Born in Roxbury, MA, Dr. Trask was also a physician.  Trask was the president and founder of the California Academy of Sciences and also undertook the first survey of the state under orders from the Senate in 1853.  The mineral Traskite was named in his honor as the first state geologist.
 

 

Josiah Dwight Whitney
State Geologist
1860-1873

Josiah Whitney was born in North Hampton, MA.  He studied at Yale before pursuing graduate work in Europe where he studied geology and chemistry.  Before receiving an honorary master of laws (L.L.D.) degree from Yale in 1870, Whitney was a professor of geology at Harvard University in 1865.  He served as a United States geologist conducting a survey of the Lake Superior copper region from 1847 to 1851.  From 1860 to 1874 he served as the State Geologist of California and director of the first Geological Survey of California.   While at the survey he organized a team of geologists and geographers to survey the entire state of California which included the first scientific survey of the Sierra Nevada.  Whitney lead an expedition in 1864 to discover a peak, Mt. Whitney, later named in his honor.

Read more about Whitney:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josiah_Whitney
 

Henry Garber Hanks
State Mineralogist
1880-1886

On May 15, 1880, the Governor, under the Act of 1880, appointed Henry Hanks the State Mineralogist.  Under this act, Hanks also reports directly to the Governor and as a result two new publications were created under his service, the Annual Report of the State Mineralogist series and Special Publication series.  Prior to his appointment the State Legislature established the State Mining Bureau, which required the Bureau and the mineralogist to be located in San Francisco.  Hanks started his own assaying company, Pacific Chemical Works, while in San Francisco.

William Irelan Jr.
State Mineralogist
1886-1892
William Irelan Jr. was State Mineralogist in 1886 but also carried another title in 1890 when he was made State Engineer.  He worked both positions until 1892. 
In 1891, Irelan Jr. published the first geologic map of the state and although it did not cover the entire state it did show eight stratigraphic units in color.  The scale was approximately 1:760,000 making it the largest geologic scale map at that time.  Preparing geologic maps of the state was not only a popular service but an essential service of the Bureau and still is to date. 
J.J. Crawford
State Mineralogist
1892-1896

Crawford published bulletins on various topics such as, gold mill practices, gas yielding formations and others.  He also published a bibliography of California geology and a catalog of California fossils.

Augustus S. Cooper
State Mineralogist
1896-1901

During Cooper's service with the state, the Bureau moved into the newly built Ferry building at Market Street in San Francisco.  These offices were occupied until August 1984, when the Division moved to Pleasant Hill in Contra Costa County. 

 

Lewis E. Aubury
State Mineralogist
1902-1911
 
William H. Storms
State Mineralogist
1911-1913

William Storms was appointed State Mineralogist by Governor Johnson on November 25, 1911.  Storms worked as a field assistant under William Irelan and J.J. Crawford.  In 1900, Governor Henry Gage appointed Storms to study the mines in the Mother Lode of California.  The outcome of this work was issued by the Bureau as Bulletin Number 18.

Flectcher McNutt Hamilton
State Mineralogist
1913-1923

In 1916, Hamilton published the second geologic map of the state that was complete and displayed 21 stratigraphic units along with an explanatory volume explaining the units. 

Lloyd Root
State Mineralogist
1923-1928
 
Walter W. Bradley
State Mineralogist
1928-1946

Walter Wadsworth Bradley was a native of California and started working for the State Mining Bureau in 1912.  He served the state for over 34 years and his last 18 years were as the State Mineralogist.

W. Burling Tucker
Interim State Mineralogist
1946-1947

W. Tucker served the state for over 30 years and started with the division in 1923.  He was a supervisor of the Los Angeles office since 1923.  Tucker was unable to qualify for the promotional examination to the State Mineralogist position and to honor his service to the state, a temporary appointment was given to him for 5 months.  

Olaf P. Jenkins
State Mineralogist
1947-1958

Olaf Jenkins was the Chief of the Division for 11 years until he voluntarily retired in March 1, 1958 at age 69.  Prior to that Jenkins served for 18 years as Chief Geologist. 

Gordon B. Oakeshott
Interim State Mineralogist
1958-1959

Dr. Gordon B. Oakeshott was serving as Deputy to the State Mineralogist Jenkins when he retired and was temporarily appointed as Chief of the Division of Mines for one year.

Ian Campbell
State Geologist
1959-1969

Besides serving 10 years of state service as the State Geologist, Ian Campbell also served as president for the following four geological organizations; Geological Society of America (GSA), Association of American State Geologists (AASG), Mineralogical Society of America (MSA) and American Geological Institute (AGI).  Mount Ian Campbell in the Sierra Nevada is also a reminder of Ian's service to California. 

Wesley G. Bruer
State Geologist
1969-1973

State Geologist when the 1971 San Fernando earthquake hit, Wes Bruer was influential in expanding the Survey’s role in monitoring earthquake strong motion and mapping earthquake hazards. For more information see: WesleyGBruer.aspx.

James E. Slosson
State Geologist
1973-1975

Prior to serving as the State Geologist, James Slosson started his own company specializing in areas of geoscience.  James also spent over 35 years teaching in various academic institutions.

Thomas E. Gay
Acting State Geologist
1975-1978
 
James F. Davis
State Geologist
1978-2003
 
Michael S. Reichle
Acting State Geologist
2003-2005
 

John G. Parrish
State Geologist
2005-Present