Geologic Hazards Program

Respond to geologic hazard emergencies and provide unbiased, scientific advice to local governments and incident commanders.

Investigate and map geologic hazards in urban and other areas (to publish and distribute maps and GIS spatial data).

Provide geologic hazard-related technical and educational outreach and information to inform Utahns about hazards.

Focused on reducing Utah’s life-safety, property, and economic risk from geologic hazards.



  • Governor’s Geologic Hazards Working Group 2006-2007
  • Comprehensive Urban Area Geologic Hazard Mapping
  • Urban Area Geologic Mapping
  • Detailed Quaternary (Hazardous) Fault Mapping
  • Paleoseismic Investigations of Quaternary (Hazardous) Faults
  • Geologic Data (data preservation, etc.)

Geologic Hazards Staff

Program Manager | Senior Scientist

Steve Bowman

Phone: (801) 537-3304
Email: stevebowman@utah.gov

Steve Bowman is the Geologic Hazards Program Manager with the Utah Geological Survey (UGS). He joined the UGS in 2008 and has 23 years of experience as a geological engineer/engineering geologist, nine of those years were on projects throughout the western United States for geotechnical consulting firms.  He has a Ph.D. in geoengineering from the Mackay School of Mines, University of Nevada, Reno; a M.S. in geological engineering; and a B.S. in geology.  Steve is a Licensed Professional Geologist and Engineer in Utah, a Professional Geological Engineer in Nevada, certified as a LEED Accredited Professional, and serves on the Utah Seismic Safety Commission and the Utah Professional Geologists Licensing Board.  He was co-editor of the 2016 UGS Circular 122 on geologic hazard investigation and report guidelines and the current efforts for the second edition, co-led the acquisition of over 20,000 square miles of lidar elevation data in Utah, and leads the geologic data preservation activities at the UGS.  He is currently organizing the Basin and Range Province Seismic Hazards Summit IV which will take place in early 2020 and developing web-enabled geologic hazard information databases.

Senior Geologist (Hazards Mapping)

Jessica Castleton

Phone: (385) 266-2992
Email: jessicacastleton@utah.gov

Jessica Castleton is a Senior Geologist with the Geologic Hazards Program. She earned a B.S. degree in applied environmental geoscience from Weber State University in 2005 and a M.S. degree in engineering geology from the University of Utah in 2015. In addition to mapping hazards, Jessica responds to debris flows, floods, and other geologic hazard events, and provides outreach for communities to inform about local geologic hazards.

Geological Technician (Data Preservation)

Justin Dunfield

Email: jdunfield@utah.gov

Geological Technician

Stormie Elmer

Phone: (801) 537-3304

Stormie joined the Utah Geological Survey in 2022 first as an intern and then as a full-time employee after receiving a B.S. in geology from Weber State University. As a geological technician in the Geologic Hazards Program her work primarily focuses on data preservation. She has also assisted the hazards project geologists with landslide and groundwater monitoring along the Wasatch Front and ground deformation monitoring at the Utah Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy (FORGE) near Milford, Utah.

Project Geologist (Hazards Mapping)

Ben Erickson

Phone: (801) 537-3379
Email: benerickson@utah.gov

Ben Erickson is a Project Geologist in the Geologic Hazards Program at the Utah Geological Survey. He has a M.S. degree in geological engineering from the University of Utah and a B.S. degree in Earth science from Utah Valley University. Ben joined the UGS in 2011. He maps geologic hazards and responds to emergency events such as landslides, rockfalls, earthquakes, and other impactful geologic hazards within the state of Utah. He also works with municipalities and local governments by raising geologic hazard awareness. Ben is available to respond to public questions or concerns about geologic hazards.

Senior Geologist (Debris Flows, Landslides)

Richard Giraud

Phone: (801) 537-3351
Email: richardgiraud@utah.gov

Rich Giraud has been a geologist with the UGS since 1997 and has worked on a variety of landslide projects with the Geologic Hazards Program. He specializes in debris flows and has a specific interest in fire-related debris flows. Current work involves landslide inventory mapping on the Wasatch Plateau.

Project Geologist (Faulting, Hazards)

Adam Hiscock

Phone: (801) 537-3388
Email: adamhiscock@utah.gov

Adam Hiscock is a Project Geologist in the Geologic Hazards Program at the Utah Geological Survey. He earned a B.S. degree in geology from the University of Utah. He joined the UGS in May 2011 and received a Professional Geologist license in 2016. Adam specializes in paleoseismology and active fault mapping, has co-led multiple UGS paleoseismic research projects on the Wasatch fault zone, and re-mapped many active faults in Utah. He serves as staff to the Utah Seismic Safety Commission, providing outreach and education on Utah’s earthquake hazards. A southern Utah native, he enjoys biking, whitewater rafting, and spending time outdoors as much as possible!

Project Geologist (Earthquakes)

Emily Kleber

Phone: (801) 537-3380
Email: ekleber@utah.gov

Emily Kleber is a Project Geologist with the Geologic Hazards Program at the Utah Geological Survey. She has a B.S. in geology with a minor in geographic information systems (GIS) from University of California, Davis, and a M.S. in geology from Arizona State University. Prior to working with the UGS, Emily worked as a geologist and soil scientist with the Bureau of Land Management, and as a lidar data manager for OpenTopography. She joined the Geologic Hazards Program in 2016 and works primarily on earthquake-related research, lidar fault mapping, and paleoseismology. Emily is actively engaged in outreach related to earthquakes in Utah and is passionate about helping Utahns understand earthquake and geologic hazards in their communities.

Senior Geologist (Hazards Mapping)

Tyler Knudsen

Phone: (435) 865-9036
Email: tylerknudsen@utah.gov

Tyler Knudsen is a Senior Geologist with the Utah Geological Survey’s Geologic Hazards Program in Cedar City. He holds a B.S. degree in geology from the University of Utah, a M.S. degree in geology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and joined the UGS in 2006. Tyler has authored or co-authored several studies and maps on the geologic hazards of the St. George basin, Zion National Park, and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. Other contributions include: paleoseismic investigations on the active Sevier and Washington faults, ground subsidence and earth fissure mapping in southwestern Utah, and emergency response to damaging rockfalls in Rockville and Zion National Park. Recent projects include Quaternary geologic mapping of the Mineral Mountains West and Opal Mound fault zones at the Utah FORGE site near Milford and comprehensive geologic-hazard mapping of the Cedar City-Enoch area.

Senior Geologist (Hazards Mapping)

Greg McDonald

Phone: (801) 537-3383
Email: gregmcdonald@utah.gov

Greg McDonald has been a geologist with the Hazards Program since joining the Utah Geological Survey in 1998, and has worked on a variety of projects including several paleoseismic studies, surficial-geologic and geologic-hazard mapping including a multi-year landslide mapping project in the Manti-La Sal Forest on the Wasatch Plateau, many debris-flow, landslide, and rock-fall investigations, and earthquake ground-shaking-related studies.

Senior Geologist (Hazards Mapping)

Adam McKean

Phone: (801) 537-3386
Email: adammckean@utah.gov

Adam joined the Utah Geological Survey in 2010, and since 2011 he has been a geologic mapper for the Geologic Hazards Program. His work focuses on mapping the geology of the greater Wasatch Front urban area. In addition to geologic mapping, Adam is also involved in Lake Bonneville and Great Salt Lake research, lidar mapping of the Wasatch fault zone, geologic hazard emergency response and monitoring, paleoseismic trenching, and geologic map and geologic data archiving. Adam has a B.S. and M.S. degree in geology from Brigham Young University.

Geological Technician (Data Preservation)

Kristi Rasmussen

Phone: (801) 538-4770

Kristi joined the Utah Geological Survey in 2022 as a Geological Technician with the Geologic Hazards Program. She earned a B.S. in geology from Weber State University. Kristi works in data preservation for the hazards program and assists senior geologists with landslide monitoring.