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There are three points which we believe are worthy of consideration by those involved with engineering geology. The first point pertains to the basic education of the geologist and the civil engineer. It is rare to find a recent graduate in either of these fields of specialization who has more than a cursory knowledge of soils and soil deposits. Seldom can these new graduates identify soils and apply the correct geologic name, describe soils, determine the origin of a soil deposit, apply the basic geologic principles of structure and stratigraphy to determine the distribution of soil deposits, or appreciate the type of variations which may occur in different soil deposits.

This is rather an anomalous situation in eduction, because both the geologist and the engineer, in their first course in geology, are taught all of these items as they pertain to rocks, although throughout much of the United States, soil deposits are more easily observed than rock deposits. When the basic geologic principles are not applied to soil deposits, both the geologist and the soils engineer are greatly handicapped in their ability to predict horizontal and vertical changes in characteristics or in anticipating potential problems which are commonly associated with soils of similar origin. Perhaps this lack of ability to describe adequately soil deposits and to recognize the types of variations which may be expected is in part responsible for the numerous claims by contractors of changed conditions. We encourage educators to re-evaluate their course content and expand their emphasis.

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