Dick Jackson published an opinion piece in GeoStrata, the journal of the Geo-Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers. This journal provides technical discussions and topical issues to the geotechnical and geoenvironmental members of the ASCE.  The article – obtainable from Geofirma –  is entitled “Civil Engineering Educators Must Teach Applied Geology to Their Students”.

It discusses the need to re-think the way that civil engineers are taught the applied earth sciences in university – if indeed they are taught such critical information. As was observed as long ago as 1981 in an ASCE journal a “large proportion of civil engineering graduates have had none, or only minimal, exposure to applied geology in our universities.” This situation is somewhat better in Canada than the USA, but not markedly so. How is this possible when we are building ever-longer tunnels within complex stress regimes in rock masses, deep geological repositories for nuclear waste, pipelines and highways for routes crossing active faults and terrain with evidence of landslides and rockfalls?

The applied earth science behind such engineering practice is discussed in some detail in Dick Jackson’s new textbook published this month by Cambridge University Press and to be released in North America in March. It is titled: Earth Science for Civil and Environmental Engineers.

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