Dr. Peter T. Bobrowsky P.Geo.

Senior Scientist

Research and analysis in engineering geology; natural hazards; Quaternary sciences

Natural Resources Canada

Current research and/or projects

Biography:

I am a research scientist with the Geological Survey of Canada based in Sidney, BC. I completed a PhD on the “Late Cenozoic Geology of Northern BC” at the University of Alberta under the supervision of Dr. N.W. Rutter. This was followed by a Post Doctorate Fellowship at PGC under the guidance of Drs. Garry Rogers and John Clague on the “Neotectonics of SW BC”. As part of the PDF, I was the first to identify and link sediment gravity flow deposits in Saanich Inlet as products of regional Holocene earthquake activity. In 1989, I joined the BC Geological Survey Branch where I worked on till geochemistry, aggregate resources and natural hazards until 2002. In the early 1990s, fellow researcher John Clague and I discovered the first geological evidence for the 1700 AD Cascadia megathrust earthquake in British Columbia. In 2002, I returned to NRCan where I have been working on landslides, paleotsunamis and paleoearthquake studies in Canada and abroad. I also have been an active volunteer to the geoscience community in a variety of positions most notably as former President of CANQUA, former President of the Geological Association of Canada and former Vice President and Secretary General of the International Union of Geological Sciences.

Research and/or project statements

Current Research Projects:

  • Landslide studies focussing on processes and monitoring development technology for railway and pipeline infrastructure related topics - Ripley landslide project near Ashcroft in cooperation with Transport Canada, CN, CP and University of Alberta; North Coast project near Hartley Bay in cooperation with Simon Fraser University.
  • Landslide studies focussing on “best practices guidelines” for the professional geotechnical community.
  • Paleoearthquake and paleotsunami studies focussing on frequency magnitude relationships on the west coast of Canada (Vancouver Island and Kitimat) in cooperation with the Geological Survey of Japan and the University of New South Wales, Australia.
  • Canadian Technical Landslide Guidelines Best Practices research for the Canadian Geotechnical community.
  • Desktop research into Geoethics and Geoheritage. 

Professional activities / interests

Current Editorial Board - Geosciences Online; Petrologia Online; Springer Geoheritage, Geoparks and Geotourism – Conservation and Management Series; Springer GeoGuides (Series Editor); Springer Encyclopedia of Engineering Geology (Editor); Oxford Handbooks Online (Natural Hazard Science); Oxford Research Encyclopedias (Natural Hazard Science); Springer International Journal of Geoheritage; Elsevier Quaternary International); Springer Landslides. 

Current Committees – APEGBC Discipline Committee; GSA Annual Program Committee; Railway Ground Hazard Research Program Technical Committee; INQUA Commission on Terrestrial Processes; IUGS Geoheritage Task Group.

Thesis Committee Member (completed) - 11 M.Sc. and Ph.D. students; Thesis Supervisor/Co-Supervisor - 9 B.Sc. and MSc; External Examiner - 7 students.

GSC Student Mentor (completed) - 31 students.

Education and awards

Degrees:

Ph.D. Geology, University of Alberta, 1989.

M.A. Archeology, Simon Fraser University, 1982.

B.Sc. Geology, University of Alberta, 1979.

B.A. Anthropology, University of Alberta, 1977.

Awards:

Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal, 2012.

IPL World Centre of Excellence on Landslide Disaster Reduction (team recognition 2011).

Edward B. Burwell Jr. Award for Engineering Geology, 2011.

USGS Eugene Shoemaker Communications Award for Best Book, 2009.

Universidad Nacional de San Antonio Abad Gold Medal, 1999.

NSERC PDF, 1988; NSERC (1981-1982).

Alberta Heritage Trust Fund Ralf Steinhauer Award (1982-1983).

SSHRC, 1979.

International experience and/or work

Work and field experience in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, India, China, Middle East.

Key publications

  1. Bobrowsky, P., Cronin, V.S., Di Capua, G., Kieffer, S. and S. Peppoloni (in press) The Emerging Field of Geoethics. In: Science, Integrity and Ethics: With Applications to the Geosciences, edited by Linda C. Gundersen. AGU-Wiley Publication
  2. Bobrowsky, P. and R. Couture (2014) Landslide Terminology. Canadian Technical Guidelines and Best Practices related to Landslides: a national initiative for loss reduction. Geological Survey of Canada, Open File 7623. doi: 10.4095/293940
  3. Bobrowsky, P.T. (2013) (Editor) Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards. Springer, New York, 1141 pages. ISBN 978-90-481-8699-0
  4. Bobrowsky, P.T. and M.J. Dominguez (2012) The Landslide Susceptibility Map of Canada. Geological Survey of Canada Open File 7228. doi: 10.4095/291902
  5. Highland, L. and P. T. Bobrowsky (2008) The Landslide Handbook – A Guide to Understanding Landslides. USGS Circular 1325. 129 pages.

Affiliations

Adjunct Professor at the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Victoria.

Adjunct Full Professor at the Department of Earth Sciences, Simon Fraser University.

Member/Fellow: AGU, ARP, AEG, APEGBC, CGS, AMQUA, CANQUA, GAC, GSA, Explorers Club, IAEG, ICL.