California has a new State Geologist

Effective June 1, 2020 California’s State Geologist is Steve Bohlen.

Steve is excited about applying his deep understanding of how the Earth works and his extensive experience in science and government to further the work of CGS and help amplify its role in protecting the public from natural hazards, supporting healthy watershed function, and identify mineral resources opportunities.

He is coming to us from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, where he has been leading the Energy and Homeland Security Program. In that role he has also served as an advisor to the Legislature on ways to achieve California’s carbon neutrality goals through carbon removal and negative emissions strategies.


A graduate of the Dartmouth College, Steve earned a Ph.D. in geochemistry from The University of Michigan in 1979. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA, he became a tenured professor at Stony Brook University. From1995 through 2000, Steve was Associate Chief Geologist for Science at the US Geological Survey. He was responsible for the scientific priorities and funding of the broad portfolio of USGS research, including the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction, Climate Change, Global Energy, and Minerals Resource programs. As President and CEO of Joint Oceanographic Institutions from 2000-2008, Steve led the global effort in scientific ocean drilling and the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program and the systems engineering and deployment of the US National Science Foundation’s Ocean Observatories.

Steve Bohlen replaces the former State Geologist John Parrish, who retired in 2018.