2004 Santa Barbara

The 2004 Pacific Cell Friends of the Pleistocene guidebook has been missing for a while. There was a wayback machine for the website, but it was incomplete. Even David Valentine no longer had the digital version.

Larry Gurrola got a hold of me in August 2022 and provided a pdf of the guidebook, sans the cover. Thanks to Robert West for making this connection!

I just scanned my hard copy cover and inserted this into the guidebook pdf. So, now we have a complete version online. Yay!

Thanks Larry, Rob, and Dave for making this happen. We are all better off because of this!

Here is a crude pano of a lovely exposure (early digital camera, low resolution, etc.). The famous Tom Sawyer is in the foreground on the left and John Caskey (also a Humboldter) in the center. Methinks I can even see Roger Smith to the left of Caskey.

Directions and Itinerary

Thursday (Tax Day), April 15, from about 12:00-5:00pm. This fieldtrip segment will focus on the emergent coastline between the mouths of the Devereaux and Goleta sloughs. Topics covered include: coastal erosion processes, rates and styles of sea-cliff retreat, long-term fluctuations in beach storage, politics of shoreline stabilization strategies, and evolution of an emerging marine terrace. An important aspect of this “Beach Walk” will be the generation of discussion about the implications of historically documented change on: 1) long-term evolution of the UCSB marine terrace and sea-cliff configuration; and 2) future shoreline stabilization strategies.

DIRECTIONS: Meet at 12:00pm at the west end of Goleta Beach County Park. Parking is free.

FROM THE NORTH: Exit Southbound CA Hwy 101 at Fairview Road in Goleta. Turn Right and head south toward the sea. After about one mile the road will make a jog to the west near the Santa Barbara Airport before continuing south. After passing the Airport the road will curve left under an overpass. Turn Right into the entrance to Goleta Beach County Park immediately past the overpass. Turn Right at the Stop Sign at the end of the entrance way. Proceed west as far as possible and park. Continue walking to the west end of the lot, nearest to the UCSB campus.

FROM THE SOUTH: Several miles beyond Santa Barbara Exit Northbound CA Hwy 101 onto CA Hwy 217 / Ward Memorial Blvd. toward UCSB/Santa Barbara Airport. Keep to the right and exit at Sandspit Road (toward Santa Barbara Airport). Turn Left at the Stop Sign. Proceed under Hwy 217 and Turn Right into the Goleta Beach County Park entrance. Turn Right at Stop Sign at the end of the entrance. Proceed west as far as possible and park. Continue walking to the west end of the lot, nearest to the UCSB campus.

ITINERARY: The Beach Walk will begin at Goleta Beach and end in Isla Vista at Camino Pescadero, a one-way distance of approximately two miles.

12:00PM: Assemble at the west end of the Goleta Beach County Park parking lot. Ed Keller (UCSB) will discuss policy and practice in regards to efforts to maintain Goleta Beach in the face of long term shortages in the local beach budget and short term response to catastrophic erosion events. Rob West (ELAC) will identify the elements of a wave excavation bench at Fish Rock.

1:00PM: Reassemble at the top of the UCSB Campus Beach Stairs. With a series of historical photographs taken from this vantage Art Sylvester (UCSB) will illustrate dramatic changes in sediment storage at the Campus Beach. Dave Revell (UCSC) will introduce work characterizing the Santa Barbara littoral cell with emphasis on the coast between Devereaux Slough and Goleta Beach.

2:00PM: Reassemble at Goleta Point. Ed Keller will present an argument for tectonic origin of the Goleta Point rocks. Rob West will argue for an origin of these same rocks by differential erosion. Dave Valentine (UCSB) will share photos of the point from the Map and Imagery Library.

3:15 PM: Reassemble at the Camino Pescadero beach access stairs. Bob Norris (UCSB emeritus) will share his collection of photographs documenting sea cliff retreat in Isla Vista. At the bottom of the stairs Pete Adams (UCSC) will discuss findings from seismic monitoring of wave impact energy on rocky coasts. Christina Berlanger (UCSB) will discuss the nature of the Isla Vista terrace sediments. Carrie Glavich (UCSB) will share her identifications of terrace fauna.

4:30-5:00PM: Return to Goleta Beach.
For Further Information Contact: Rob West (westrb@elac.edu), (323) 260-8115

Here is a pdf of the driving instructions to Lake Cachuma from the north. This is where we camped. Ah, the camping at Lake Cachuma. Where the park rangers hid in the bushes to catch Foppers peeing. Also, we actually requested to have the group campsite so that we could avoid bothering the rest of the campground with our noise. However, a friend of the people that ran the campground superseded our reservation. So, we were in the main part of the campground where we got in trouble for making too much noise. I will never forget the camping at Lake Cachuma (where I sailed when I was a teen).


    To download, click on the cover below, or click here.

    In addition to the guidebook, based on the wayback machine version of the field trip webpage, we have a few resources from the trip.

  • Belanger 2004. Paleoenvironmental Analysis of Pleistocene Sediments at Isla Vista
  • Gabet and Dunne, 2002. Landslides on coastal sage-scrub and grassland hillslopes in a severe El Nino winter: The effects of vegetation conversion on sediment delivery
  • Gabet and Dunne, 2003. A stochastic sediment delivery model for a steep Mediterranean landscape
  • Glavich 2004. Shells
  • Gurrola et al., 1996. Dating of Emergent Marine Terraces and Rate Of Uplift for the Western Santa Barbara Fold Belt, California


  • Here is Ed Keller holding the poster for Thomas Dibblee, on the right.

  • Here is Doug Burbank

  • Here is a good one of Bud Burke

  • Here is a good one of Bud Burke talking to someone and Bob trying to kiss Susan.

Ed Keller

In 2022 Dr. ed Keller passed away. Below is something that Thom Rockwell wrote, posted to the UCSB website.

In Memoriam: Dr. Ed Keller
Dr. Edward Keller, professor of Earth Science and Environmental Sciences, passed on September 10, 2022 after a long illness and will be sorely missed. From his early years as a graduate student, Ed began to make a name for himself in fluvial geomorphology; these studies led him towards tectonic geomorphology and studies of active tectonics in the Transverse Ranges of southern California, of which I was his first graduate student studying active tectonics in Ventura Basin over 40 years ago. During my stay at UCSB, Ed was chair of the Environmental Studies program as well as professor of Geology (now Earth Science). He would head to the Redwoods in NW California nearly every summer to continue his work on river geomorphology (and to fish), while staying engaged in our new tectonic geomorphic work in southern California. In the years since, Ed has mentored a large number of students in fluvial geomorphology, active tectonics, earthquake hazards, and landslide hazards, many who have become quite prominent in their respective fields. He supported most of his students by writing grant proposals, of which I certainly benefited. Needless to say, our dear Professor Keller has left an enduring academic legacy.

Ed was a prolific writer. His book, Environmental Geology, became the industry standard and has been used at numerous universities. Most of his books have gone through multiple editions, demonstrating their popularity. And I have lost count of his numerous professional papers – we published a major paper on tectonic geomorphology of mountain fronts in The Treatise of Geomorphology (Elsevier, Academic Press) earlier this year, and we had started to work on a new book; his loss will be sorely felt.

Professor Keller the consultant: Ed was tapped as an expert witness and consultant in numerous cases that involved landslides, debris flows and other natural hazards and disasters.

Ed Keller is survived by his wife, Valery, and two children, Jamila and Sarah

-by Tom Rockwell, a former student

Main Pages