Since Mountain Press started the Roadside Geology series forty years ago, southern Californians have been waiting for an Roadside Geology volume of their own. During those four decades which were punctuated by jarring earthquakes and landslides geologists continued to unravel the complexity of the Golden State, where some of the most dramatic and diverse geology in the world erupts, crashes, and collides. With dazzling color maps, diagrams, and photographs, Roadside Geology of Southern California takes advantage of this newfound knowledge, combining the latest science with accessible stories about the rocks and landscapes visible from winding two-lane byways as well as from the region's vast network of highways.
Join Arthur Sylvester, an award-winning UC Santa Barbara geologist, and Elizabeth O'Black Gans, a geologist–illustrator, as they motor through mountains and deserts to explore the iconic features of the SoCal landscape, from boulder piles in Joshua Tree National Park and brilliant white dunes in the Channel Islands to tar seeps along the rugged coast and youthful cinder cones in the Mojave Desert. Whether you want to find precious gemstones, ponder the mysteries of the Salton Sea, or straddle the boundary between the North American and Pacific Plates, be sure to bring Roadside Geology of Southern California along as your tour guide.
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Arthur Sylvester is a native southern Californian, whose eyes were opened to geology by high school biology class trips to the Colorado Plateau. With a focus on earth sciences, he earned a BA at Pomona College and an MA and PhD at UCLA. After graduate school, he joined a team of Shell Development Company research geologists to study the tectonic history of the Pacific margin of the United States. UC Santa Barbara lured him from Shell to teach courses in structural geology, field geology, and petrology. His academic research focused on various structural, seismic, and igneous rock problems in the Colorado and Mojave Deserts, the Transverse Ranges, and the Lake Tahoe region, as well as in Norway and southern Italy. He retired from active teaching in 2003.
Elizabeth O'Black Gans, Libby to most, holds a BS in geology from UC Santa Barbara, where she was introduced to plenty of great southern California geology, as well as to the art of map making. Shortly after graduation, Libby started Gans Illustrations and began working on maps and scientific illustrations for publication, eventually becoming the first digital artist of the Dibblee Geological Foundation. While Libby's main vocation of the last fifteen years has been raising a family, she continues to work on geologic maps and scientific illustrations. Libby is currently employed at Santa Barbara City College in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.