Geologists and Geophysicists study the Earth to help build houses, schools and hospitals in safe locations, find and develop oil and gas fields and industrial mineral/precious metal mines and increase our supplies of fresh groundwater. They complete environmental site assessments and site characterization reports. Their training includes all of the physical-based sciences. Geologists use a variety of techniques to determine the location, composition and orientation of earth materials.


Geologists usually specialize in such fields as engineering geology, environmental geology and hydrogeology, as well as locating and developing oil, gas and mineral deposits. Geologists conduct surface and underground investigations of the earth materials, history and structure of sites and provide interpretations of what they see. Consumers frequently require the services of specialty geologists who are further tested and certified by the State in that specialty. CERTIFIED ENGINEERING GEOLOGISTS and CERTIFIED HYDROGEOLOGISTS are the two current licensed specialties. A description of their services follows.


Certified Engineering Geologists apply geologic principles to the safe development and grading of land, building of structures, search for groundwater resources, cleanup of underground contamination and repairing of geologic hazards. They investigate geologic constraints such as landslides, ground subsidence, earthquake faults and erosion and have special training in geology for working on civil engineering problems. Certified Engineering Geologists evaluate the underground conditions of properties in a variety of ways to aid in finding out the engineering and environmental aspects of a project or site. They make evaluations for insurance companies following earthquakes and floods. They are also familiar with regulations pertaining to land use and repair that require permits from various governmental agencies.


Certified Hydrogeologists apply geologic principles to the search for and cleanup of subsurface contamination and the discovery and development of groundwater resources. They complete Phase I, II and III environmental investigations. Certified Hydrogeologists evaluate the underground conditions at sites in a variety of ways to find out the environmental aspects of a project.

Additionally, for SAGE:

Geologists consult with local, state, and federal government regarding rules for hazards such as naturally occurring asbestos, abandoned mine lands, groundwater resources, hazardous materials, stormwater pollution prevention, landslides, septic system evaluation and design, and more. Geologists with specific areas of expertise provide expert witness consultation to attorneys. Geologists also review the professional practice of other geologists.

Adapted from BORPELSG

We have over 80 members in El Dorado County