Serving professionals in engineering, environmental, and groundwater geology
since 1957


Date: Tuesday, April 11th, 2006
Location: Stevenís Steak House, 5332 Stevens Place, Commerce, California

Time: 6:00 p.m.-Social Hour; 7:00 p.m.-Dinner; 7:45 p.m.-Presentation

Cost: $30 per person with reservations, $35 at the door, $15 for students with a valid Student ID

Reservations: Please call (323) 889-5366 or email

SPEAKER: Woodrow Higdon
TOPIC: Bluebird Canyon Landslides: Past, Present, & Future


On October 2, 1978, a large landslide devastated the Bluebird Canyon area of Laguna Beach and initially destroyed 21 homes. This slide became know as the ď15 Million Dollar SlideĒ due to itís high cost of repair by 1978 standards. Woody was one of the project geologists assigned to investigate the re-activated ancient landslide. On June 1,2005, the area to the northeast and adjacent to the 78 Bluebird Canyon surface failure became active, and again brought national media attention to the area as 17 homes were destroyed or damaged, and leaving many others in jeopardy. Like the preceding slide, this slide was a reactivated ancient landslide that was identified along with other ancient landslide in the area during the 1978 investigation. During the period between1978 and 2005 Laguna Beach has had a series of damaging landslides. These slides have commonalities that extend beyond being landslides, and the area of Laugna Beach, that can help geologist detect and delineate future potential landslides through the acquisition and use of appropriate aerial photography.

As a Geotechnical Photographer, Woody started a program of investigation and documentation imagery in the late 1970ís on a variety of areas in Southern California, including the Laguna Beach area that continues to this day.

Mr. Higdonís talk will focus on Bluebird Canyon Landslides 1 and 2, with a pictorial review of Laguna Beachís damaging landslides, from 1978 to the present, with a look toward future landslides.


Woodrow Higdon received his A.S degree in Marine Geology from Cypress College in 1971, his B.S. in Geology from CSU Long Beach in 1975 and did post graduate work in Remote Sensing through Harvard University in 1981. Mr. Higdon is the president and founder of Geo-Tech Imagery International, a geotechnical photography company specializing in land use imagery. Prior to forming Geo-Tech Imagery International in 1979, Woody served in the US Marine Corps, was employed as a police officer in the Southern California area, and was a staff geologist for Leighton and Associates. His technical photographic and video capabilities are supported with his helicopter pilot ratings, Naval Diving School Certifications, GIS consulting, and an air photo library of over 250,000 frames.

You can contact Woodrow at (760) 754-8423 or email him at