--> Abstract: A Current Review of Geological and Geophysical Registration in California, by R. C. Lindblom and J. G. Parrish; #90981 (1994).

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Abstract: A Current Review of Geological and Geophysical Registration in California

Robert C. Lindblom, John G. Parrish

California was the first state to required the licensing of professional geologists and geophysicists, and to certify engineering geology as a geological specialty practice. License no. 1 was issued on December 12, 1969, to Wesley G. Bruer. In the ensuing 24 yr, California's State Board of Registration for Geologists and Geophysicists (Board) has licensed about 6000 geologists, 1000 geophysicists, and has certified more than 2000 engineering geologists. Regulation of the practice of geology now occurs in approximately 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 23 semiautonomous boards that function within the framework and jurisdiction of the California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA). 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, (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" (i.e., nongeologists and geophysicists). Appointments to the Board are made by the governor (six members), the Senate Rules Committee (one member), and the assembly speaker (one member).

To assist the Board in its decisions are three standing committees: (1) the Professional Affairs Committee, 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.

Commencing in September 1994, the Board will offer licensing examinations twice yearly on a six month rolling schedule. During 1993, the office of the Board received 1473 new applications for licensure, which is a 360% growth in the past 10 yr. In September 1993, the office of the Board administered 1004 examinations, which is a 1520% growth in the past 10 years. From 1983 through 1992, the average pass rates for Registered Geologist, Registered Geophysicist, and Certified Engineering Geologist have been 37%, 55%, and 90%, respectively. Pending expected approval of a new Certified Hydrogeologist specialty, the Board will be offering licensing examinations in that specialty in the spring of 1995.

The Board has an active Enforcement Unit, which currently has under professional review 33 complaints, four cases being investigated by the DCA's Division of Investigation, and one case at the state's Attorney General's office. The Board 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.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90981©1994 AAPG Pacific Section Meeting, Ventura, California, April 27-29, 1994