Dr. Jerry D. Higgins

Emeritus Professor

Engineering Geology, Geotechnics

Department of Geology and Geological Engineering
Colorado School of Mines
1516 Illinois Street
Golden, CO 80401
USA
 
Email: jhiggins@mines.edu
Phone: (+1) 303-273-3817
Cell: (+1) 303-921-1782
Fax: (+1) 303-273-3859
 

EDUCATION

  • Ph.D., Geological Engineering, 1980, University of Missouri-Rolla
  • M.S., Geology, 1975, University of Missouri-Rolla
  • B.S., Geology, 1969, Southwest Missouri State University

EXPERIENCE

Academic Professional Experience

  • Aug 1986 - Present. Associate Professor, Department of Geology & Geological Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO.
  • Feb 1980 - Aug 1986. Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering and Geological Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, Geological Engineering Section, Washington State University, Pullman, WA.

Other Experience

  • 1969-1980. During this time period Dr. Higgins was employed as an engineering geologist full-time for 6 years with consulting engineering firms and city government, attended graduate school, and consulted on a part-time basis during his Ph.D. studies (1976 – 1980).

MAJOR AREAS OF RESEARCH INTEREST

  • Rock and soil slope stability and hazards analysis
  • Rock-fall hazard analysis and mitigation (coauthor of the widely used Colorado Rockfall Simulation Program (CRSP) and author of the Transportation Research Board/National Research Council suggested testing standards for flexible fence rock-fall barriers)
  • Debris flow mechanics,
  • Characterization of expansive soil and bedrock,
  • Geotechnical properties of loessial soils,
  • Construction materials characterization and testing, and
  • Engineering geologic mapping.

TEACHING

Courses taught on a regular basis at CSM include:

  • GEGN 468 - Engineering Geology & Geotechnics
  • GEGN 469 - Engineering Geology Project Design
  • GEGN 571 - Advanced Engineering Geology
  • GEGN 671 - Landslides: Investgation, Analysis, & Mitigation
  • GEGN 316 - Field Geology

CONSULTING EXPERIENCE

Consulting work has included a wide range of geological engineering topics, such as:

  • Soil and rock slide hazards assessment, analysis and mitigation;
  • Rock fall hazards assessment, analysis and mitigation;
  • Design and installation of instrumentation to monitor ground movement and ground water;
  • Investigations of soil and rock properties and geologic hazards of small dams in limestone karst;
  • Consultant to city governments and power companies on a large landslide investigations
  • Expert testimony on landslide and rock fall cases.

HONORS

  • 2006 Richard H. Jahns Distinguished Lecturer in Engineering Geology, sponsored by Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists and the Geological Society of America.
  • 2006 Ivan B. Rahn Education Award, Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration

PROFESSIONAL SOCIETY MEMBERSHIP

Association of Engineering Geologists (AEG) 

International Association for Engineering Geology (IAEG)
Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME) 
Geological Society of America (GSA)

RECENT FUNDED RESEARCH

Principal Investigator
Title: Evaluation of the DeBeque Canyon Landslide
Funding: Colorado Dept. of Transportation ($64,000)
Duration: 1999-2000
   
Title: Determination of Conditions Necessary for Large Slope Failures in the Puget Sound Region, WA
Funding: U.S. Geological Survey (18 months graduate student support)
Duration: 2000-2001
   
Title: Remote, Real-Time Monitoring of Landslides
Funding: U.S. Geological Survey (15 months graduate student support)
Duration: 2001-2002
   
Principal Investigator
Title: Development of Rock-Fall Barrier Testing Methods
Funding: National Research Council ($50,000)
Duration: July 2002-August 2003
   
Principal Investigator (with Santi)
Title: Evaluation of Post-Wildfire Debris Flow Mitigation Methods and Development of Decision-Support Tools
Funding: Joint Fire Science Program, National Interagency Fire Center ($139,000)
Duration: May 04-May 06
   
Principal Investigator (with Santi, Co-PI)
Title: Rockfall Analysis
Funding: CO Department of Transportation ($151,000)
Duration: 2006-2008
   
Principal Investigator
Title: Aggregate Resource Assessment on Indian Lands
Funding: U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs ($843,000)
Duration: 1997-2008
   
Principal Investigator
Title: Evaluation of Two Landslides on the Oregon Coast
Funding: U.S. Geological Survey (16 months graduate student support)

Duration:

 

2008-2009

 

RECENT PUBLICATIONS (STUDENT NAMES IN ITALICS)

Peer-Reviewed Publications

  • Prochaska, A.B., Santi, P.M., Higgins, J.D., Cannon, S.H., (in press 2008) A study of methods to estimate debris flow velocity. Landslides, Springer-Verlag.
  • Santi, P.M., Russell, C.P.Higgins, J.D., and Spriet, J.I., (in press 2008) Modification and statistical analysis of the Colorado Rockfall Hazard Rating System. Engineering Geology, Elsevier
  • Cook, D.I., Santi, P.M., Higgins, J.D., 2008, Horizontal landslide drain design: state-of-the-art and unanswered questions. Environmental & Engineering Geoscience, Association of Engineering Geologists and Geological Society of America, pp. 241-250.
  • Prochaska, A.B., Santi, P.M., Higgins, J.D., 2008, Debris basin and deflection berm design for fire-related debris flow mitigation. Environmental & Engineering Geoscience, Vol. XIV, No. 4, Association of Engineering Geologists and Geological Society of America, pp. 297-313.
  • Cook, D.I., Santi, P.M., Higgins, J.D., and Short, R.D., 2008, Field-scale measurement of groundwater profiles in a drained slope. Environmental & Engineering Geoscience, Vol XIV, No. 3, pp. 167-182.
  • Prochaska, A.B., Santi, P.M., and Higgins, J.D., 2008, Debris-flow runout predictions based on the average channel slope (ACS). Engineering Geology, Vol 98, Issues 1-2, pp. 29-40.
  • Santi, P.M., de Wolfe, V.G.Higgins, J.D., Cannon, S.H., and Gartner, J.E., 2008, Sources of debris flow material in burned areas. Geomorphology, Vol. 96, Issues 3-4, pp. 310-321.
  • Noe, D., Higgins, J.D., and Olsen, H., 2007, Steeply Dipping Heaving Bedrock, Colorado Part 1 - Heave Features and Physical Geological Framework. Environmental & Engineering Geoscience, Association of Engineering Geologists and Geological Society of America, Vol XIII, No 4, pp.289-308.
  • Noe, D.Higgins, J.D., and Olsen, H., 2007, Steeply Dipping Heaving Bedrock, Colorado Part 2-Mineralogical and Engineering Properties. Environmental & Engineering Geoscience, Association of Engineering Geologists and Geological Society of America, Vol XIII, No 4, pp. 309-324.
  • Noe, D.Higgins, J.D., and Olsen, H., 2007, Steeply Dipping Heaving Bedrock, Colorado Part 3- Environmental Controls of the Heaving Process. Environmental & Engineering Geoscience, Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists and Geological Society of America, Vol XIII, No 4, pp.325-344.
  • Patrick, Pamela K., Olsen, Harold W., Higgins, J.D., 2007, Comparison of chilled-mirror measurements and filter paper estimates of total suction. Geotechnical Testing Journal, ASTM, Vol. 30, No. 5
  • Santi, P.M., deWolf, V.G.Higgins, J.D., Cannon, S.H., and Gartner, J.E., 2007, Effectiveness of debris-flow mitigation methods in burned areas. In Schaefer, V.R., Schuster, R.L., and Turner, A.K., editors, First North American Landslide Conference, Association of Engineering Geologists Special Publication 23, 13pp.
  • Santi, P.M. and Higgins, J.D., (2005) Preparing geologists for careers in engineering geology and hydrogeology. Journal of Geoscience Education, National Assoc. of Geoscience Teachers, Vol 53, Num 5, pp. 513-521.
  • Humble, J.P., Olsen, H.W., Higgins, J.D., and Noe, D.C., 2004, Geotechnical characterization of the steeply dipping Pierre Shale. In Geotechnical Engineering for Transportation Projects, Geotechnical Special Publication No. 126, American Society of Civil Engineers and Geo Institute, pp. 1115-1123.
  • Higgins, J.D., Andrew, R., and Pfeiffer, T., 2003, Computer simulation for mitigation of rock fall in Colorado. In Engineering Geology in Colorado, Special Publication 15, Association of Engineering Geologists, Denver, CO
  • White, J.L., Ellis, W., Higgins, J.D., Gaffney, S., Coe, J.A., and Dessenberger, N.C., 2003, Geology, instrumentation and movement history of the DeBeque Canyon landslide, Mesa County, Colorado. In Engineering Geology in Colorado, Special Publication 15, Association of Engineering Geologists, Denver, CO
  • Higgins, J.D., 2003, Selection and training of program evaluators for ABET accreditation, In Elifrits, C.D., editor, Visioning the Future of Engineering Geology: Degree Program Quality and Accreditation, Association of Engineering Geologists.
  • Lovekin, J.R., and Higgins, J.D., 2003, Major geologic hazards along the Roaring Fork River near Glenwood Springs, Colorado. In Engineering Geology in Colorado, Special Publication 15, Association of Engineering Geologists, Denver, CO
  • Santi, P., and Higgins, J.D., 2003, Engineering geology and hydrogeology education in Colorado. In Engineering Geology in Colorado, Special Publication 15, Association of Engineering Geologists, Denver, CO
  • Jones, C., Higgins, J.D., Andrew, R., 2000, Colorado Rock-Fall Simulation Program, Version 4.0. (manual and software) MI 66, Colorado Geological Survey, Denver, CO, 127p.

Abstracts, Presentations, Workshops

  • Bartingale, R.Higgins, J.D., and Andrew, R.D., 2008, Colorado Rockfall Simulation Program, v5.0. In Program and Abstracts, 51th Annual Meeting Association of Engineering Geologists, New Orleans, LA, p. 59.
  • Cook, D., Santi, P., and Higgins, J., 2008, Field-scale measurement of water-table profiles in a drained slope. In Program and Abstracts, 51th Annual Meeting Association of Engineering Geologists, New Orleans, LA, p. 60.
  • Rickard, S.Higgins, J., and Schultz, W., 2008, Characterization of the Carmel Knoll and Devils Punch Bowl landslides of coastal Oregon. In Program and Abstracts, 51th Annual Meeting Association of Engineering Geologists, New Orleans, LA, p. 81.
  • Higgins, J.D., 2008, Rockfall hazard: Implications, types, and causes. Session on Rockfall Analysis and Mitigation. Annual Meeting Transportation Research Board, National Research Council, Washington D.C.
  • Higgins, J.D. and White, J.D., 2007, The DeBeque Canyon Landslide: A case study in site characterization of complex landslides. In Program and Abstracts, Geological Society of America, Paper 133-2. (Invited paper)
  • Cook, D., Santi, P.M., Short, R.D., and Higgins, J.D., 2007, Field-scale measurement of water table profiles in a drained slope. In Program and Abstracts, Geological Society of America, Paper 133-8.
  • Prochaska, A.B., Santi, P.M., Higgins, J.D., and Cannon, S.H., 2007, The velocities and impact forces of different size particles within debris flows. In Program and Abstracts, Geological Society of America, Paper 162-9.
  • Bernard, D.R., Cannon, S.H.,Higgins, J.D., Santi, P.M., 2007, Estimation of inundation areas of post-wildfire debris flows. In Program and Abstracts, Geological Society of America, Paper 162-5.
  • Brock, R., Cannon, S.H., Gartener, J., Santi, P.M.,Higgins, J.D., and Bernard, D.R., 2007, An ordinary storm with an extraordinary response: mapping debris flow response to the December 25, 2003 storm on the 2003 Old and Grand Prix fire areas in southern California. In Program and Abstracts, Geological Society of America, Paper 64-10.
  • Brock, R.J., Santi, P.M., Cannon, S.H., Higgins, J.D., 2007, Controlling mechanisms for the onset of deposition for wildfire-related debris flows. In Program with Abstracts, 50th Annual Meeting Association of Engineering Geologists, Los Angeles, CA, p. 73.
  • Higgins, J.D., 2007, Rockfall hazard: Implications, types, and causes. Symposium on Rockfall Analysis and Mitigation. In Program with Abstracts, 50th Annual Meeting Association of Engineering Geologists, Los Angeles, CA, p. 54.
  • Prochaska, A.B., Santi, P.M.,Higgins, J.D., Cannon, S.H., 2007, A study of debris-flow velocity estimations. In Program with Abstracts, 50th Annual Meeting Association of Engineering Geologists, Los Angeles, CA, p. 109.
  • Russell, C.P., Santi, P.M., Higgins, J.D., 2007, Modification and statistical analysis of the Colorado Rockfall Hazard Rating System. In Program with Abstracts, 50th Annual Meeting Association of Engineering Geologists, Los Angeles, CA, p.119.
  • Higgins, J.D., 2006, Rockfall Analysis & Mitigation. In Program with Abstracts, 49th Annual Meeting of the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists, Boston, MA, p. 37. (Invited presentation of Jahns Distinguished Lecture)
  • Higgins, J.D., 2006, Rockfall Analysis & Mitigation. Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America, Philadelphia, PA. (Invited presentation of Jahns Distinguished Lecture)
  • Higgins, J.D., 2006, The Steps to Move Forward with AEG as the Lead Society for Accreditation of Geology Programs. Symposium: Geology Degree Program Accreditation: Progress and Next Steps, In Program with Abstracts, 49th Annual Meeting of the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists, Boston, MA. p. 39. (Invited presentation)
  • Santi, P.M., de Wolf, V.G.Higgins, J.D., Cannon, S.H., 2006, Sources of Debris Flow Material in Burned Areas. In Mass Wasting in Disturbed Watersheds, AEG Shlemon Conference, Durango, CO. (Poster)
  • Prochaska, A.B., Santi, P.M., Higgins, J.D., 2006, Debris-Flow Runout Estimations Using Topographic Parameters. In Mass Wasting in Disturbed Watersheds, AEG Shlemon Conference, Durango, CO. (Poster)
  • Jenks, N.K.,Higgins, J.D., Holmes, D., 2005, A method for regional assessment of potential sand and gravel resources on Alaskan Native land allotments, Cook Inlet Region Native Corporation, Alaska. In Program with Abstracts, 48th Annual Meeting of the Association of Engineering Geologists, Las Vegas, NV, p.71.
  • Krautmann, C.S.Higgins, J.D., Holmes, D., 2005, Regional assessment of sand and gravel and crushed rock resources on Indian lands in the Puget Sound and Olympic Peninsula regions, Washington. In Program with Abstracts, 48th Annual Meeting of the Association of Engineering Geologists, Las Vegas, NV, p.73.
  • McAuther, M.Higgins, J.D., Holmes, D., 2005, Aggregate resource assessment of Indian lands in northern Oregon. In Program with Abstracts, 48th Annual Meeting of the Association of Engineering Geologists, Las Vegas, NV, p.76.
  • Bergstrom, E.Higgins, J.D., Ziese, J., 2005, Aggregate resource evaluation of alluvial sands and gravels on desert Indian lands in southern California. In Program with Abstracts, 48th Annual Meeting of the Association of Engineering Geologists, Las Vegas, NV, p.58.
  • Higgins, J.D., 2005, Perspectives on accreditation of applied geology programs. Invited presentation for the Symposium on Geology Degree Program Essentials for Quality, 48th Annual Meeting of the Association of Engineering Geologists, Las Vegas, NV.
  • Santi, P.M., deWolf, V.G., and Higgins, J.D. 2005, Debris Flows-Basic morphologies and processes. Geological Society of America Rocky Mountain Section Meeting, Grand Junction, CO.
  • Schippe, D.A., and Higgins, J.D., 2004, Aggregate resource assessment for the La Posta Band of Mission Indians, San Diego County, California. In Program with Abstracts, 47th Annual Meeting of the Association of Engineering Geologists, Dearborn, MI, p.53.
  • Santi, Paul M. and Higgins, Jerry D., 2004, Preparing classical geologists for careers in engineering geology and hydrogeology. In Program and Abstracts, Geoscience in a Changing World, Annual Meeting & Exposition, Geological Society of America, Denver, CO.
  • Higgins, J.D., 2003, Procedures for the testing of rock-fall barriers. In Program with Abstracts, 2003 Annual Meeting, Association of Engineering Geologists, Vail, CO, p. 60.
  • Higgins, J.D., 2003, Selection and training of program evaluators for ABET accreditation evaluations. In Program with Abstracts, 2003 Annual Meeting, Association of Engineering Geologists, Vail, CO, p. 60.
  • Humble, J.P., Olsen, H.W., Higgins, J.D., Noe, D.C., 2003, Geotechnical characterization of heaving bedrock in the Colorado Front Range urban corridor: Case study of the upper Pierre Shale. In Program with Abstracts, 2003 Annual Meeting, Association of Engineering Geologists, Vail, CO, p. 61.
  • Lovekin, J. R., and Higgins, J.D., 2003, Major geologic hazards along the Roaring Fork River near Glenwood Springs, Colorado. In Program with Abstracts, 2003 Annual Meeting, Association of Engineering Geologists, Vail, CO, p. 64.
  • Higgins, J.D., 2002, The Green Mountain landslide: Who messed up? Invited presentation to the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources, National Research Council, January 2002
  • George, B., and Higgins, J.D., 2002, Evaluation of limestone and basalt quarry for the Nez Perce Tribe, Northern Idaho. Northwest Mining Conference, Spokane, WA, Dec.
  • Higgins, J.D., 2002, The Sixth Avenue Estates landslide: A breakdown in hazards mitigation. In Program with Abstracts, 2002 Annual Meeting, Association of Engineering Geologists, Reno, NV, p. 68.
  • Higgins, J.D., 2002, Geologic input for landslide hazard mitigation. In Abstracts & Programs, Rocky Mountain Section, Geological Society of America, May 2002, Cedar City, UT, p. A-19. (Invited Keynote paper for Symposium on Hillslope and Mountain Slope Hazards in the Rocky Mountains)
  • Higgins, J.D., 2002, Landslide hazards assessment and characterization for transportation routes. In Abstracts and Programs, 2002 Annual Meeting, Geological Society of America, Denver, CO (Invited paper)
  • Braun, C.Higgins, J.D., and Turner, A.K., 2001, Development of a GIS Data Base for Hazards Assessment. In Program with Abstracts, Association of Engineering Geologists, St. Louis, MO.
  • Higgins, J.D., 2001, Geologic Input for Slope Stability Analysis: Workshop on Geologic Hazards in Utah: Practical Information for Geologists and Engineers, Association of Engineering Geologists and American Society of Civil Engineers, April 12-13, Salt Lake City, UT. (Invited speaker)
  • Higgins, J.D., 2001, Use of the Colorado Rock-Fall Simulation Program in Rock-Fall Hazards Assessment: Workshop on Geologic Hazards in Utah: Practical Information for Geologists and Engineers, Association of Engineering Geologists and American Society of Civil Engineers, April 12-13, Salt Lake City, UT. (Invited speaker)
  • Higgins, J.D., 2000, Geological engineering programs as academic training for engineering geologists. In Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 32, No. 7, Geological Society of America.
  • Higgins, J.D. and White, J., 2000, Engineering geology of a large, complex landslide in DeBeque Canyon, CO. In Abstracts and Program, Workshop on Large Landslides, Transportation Research Board, Seattle, WA. (Invited paper)
  • Higgins, J.D. and White, J.L., 2000, Engineering geology of the DeBeque Canyon landslide, CO. In Program with Abstracts, Association of Engineering Geologists, San Jose, CA, p. 89.

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITES & SERVICE

  • Geological Engineering representative to the Engineering Accreditation Commission, ABET Inc., Baltimore, MD. (1997-02)
  • Member of Accreditation & Curricular Issues Committee, SME, (1997-present)
  • Member of ABET Visitor Selection Committee for ME, GE, Geoph E, SME (1997-present)
  • Member, Board of Directors, ABET Inc. (formerly Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Baltimore, MD). (2004-2007)
  • Member, Engineering Geology Committee, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council (2001-present)
  • Member, Rock Fall Subcommittee, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council (2001-present)
  • Member, Rockfall Manual Task Force, Transportation Research Board, National Research Council (2005-present)
  • Chair of Landslide Working Group, AEG (2006-present)

 

DeBeque Canyon Landslide in western Colorado

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