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BGG considers eliminating California specific exam
by SCAL Section, Legislative Committee Chair Joe Cota

BGG is considering elimination of the of the California-specific examination (CSE) at the request of BGG’s Executive Director, Paul Sweeney. The CSE is a one-hour state-specific supplemental examination in addition to the ASBOG exam administered to geologists wishing to become Professional Geologists in California. Sweeney argues that the CSE’s low passing rate (30% last year) is a an unfair and unnecessary barrier to geologists working toward becoming Professional Geologists in the state. Many AEG members believe that California has some geologic conditions and a few unique laws that a geologist needs to know such as being familiar with maps that trigger special investigations (AP Zone Earthquake Fault Zone Maps and Seismic Hazards Zone Maps) and the state’s Probabilistic Seismic hazards Zone map (shaking map for 10% exceedence in 50 years). Sweeney argues that knowing this information is “trivia” that can be learned after the geologist is licensed (and writing proposals for consumers) and those geologists not using these maps or not familiar with other relevant state-specific laws for conducting investigations will eventually be caught through BGG’s enforcement activities or the local agencies reviewing reports. This matter will be discussed at the next BGG meeting in May, 2005 and AEG would like to know your opinion on the CSE.