David L. Snyder

Principal Engineering Geologist

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  • Graduate Studies, Geology, California State University, Northridge, 1988
  • B.S., Geology, California Lutheran University, 1984
  • California Registered Professional Geologist #5613
  • California Certified Engineering Geologist #1898
  • State of Washington Licensed Geologist #2681
  • State of Washington Licensed Engineering Geologist #2681
  • Registered Environmental Assessor #REA-05926
  • Radon Measurement Specialist – NRSB #9SS0035
  • State of Utah Licensed Professional Geologist #842112250
  • Qualified as a Professional Geologist – Nevada; Colorado
  • Recipient of 4 USGS and NSF Grant Awards to Study Earthquake Hazards
  • Over 30 Years of Professional Experience in Geology and Engineering
  • Performed Over 75 Alquist-Priolo Fault Hazard Investigations
  • Experienced Project Manager and Supervisor
  • Has Published Dozens of Professional Articles on Earthquake Faulting
  • Consultant to CNN Regarding Landslides, El Nino and the Standard-Of-Care
  • Damage Causation Evaluations
  • Expert Witness Testimony
  • Construction Dewatering
  • Public Agency Review
  • Analysis of Vibration Related Damages
  • Expert Witness Testimony
  • Environment Impact Report Preparation
  • Paleoseismology Investigations
  • Construction Monitoring and Observation
  • Expert Witness Testimony
  • Geologic Hazards Studies, Faults, Landslides
  • Expansive Soils & Earth Movement
  • Deep Downhole Logging of Borings
  • Forensic Engineering and Geology
  • Northern California Geological Society Geological Society of America
  • National Radon Safety Board Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
  • Colleges/Universities Research, EQ Engineering American Geophysical Union
  • Association of Engineering Geologists Seismological Society of America
  • National Association of Geoscience Teachers California, Bay Area Alliance
  • Los Angeles Earthquake Alliance Nevada, Utah & California Great Shakeout
  • Selected among the “10 Most Outstanding Government Funded Projects by the National Hazards Center,” for NSF Grant CMS-9415736 studying the Northridge Earthquake, 1995.
  • “2008 Comprehensive Planning Award for a Large Jurisdiction, Marin Countywide Plan, Marin County Community Development Agency,” American Planning Association, California Chapter (team Nichols-Berman/Marin County staff).
  • Selected to U.S. Geological Survey “Concert Group on Active Folding and Thrust Faulting in the San Francisco Bay Area,” 1994/95.
  • “USGS NEHRP Grant Awards, Hayward Fault at Point Pinole,” (Dr. Glenn Borchardt, P.I.), 1993/94.
  • “1994 Distinguished Project Award,” American Public Works Association, Northern California Chapter, for the Repair Design for the Alta Street Rock Fall Project, San Francisco, CA (Rogers/Pacific).
  • Selected “Peer Reviewer for the U.S. Geological Survey, National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program,” 1993-1999.
  • “USGS NEHRP Grant Awards, Slip Rate, Recurrence Interval and Behavior of the Concord Fault at Galindo Creek,” 1994/95/96.
  • “Invited Speaker and Presenter, American Geophysical Union Earthquake Conference, San Francisco, California, December 9, 1994.
  • “Selected to Represent the National Science Foundation at the Seismological Society of America, Northridge Earthquake Conference in El Paso Texas, March 22, 1995.”
  • “National Science Foundation Grant Awards, Directionality of a Near Field Seismic Pulse, in Response to the January 17, 1994 Northridge Earthquake,” 1994/95/96.
  • 2014 to Present: President, Principal Engineering Geologist, Snyder West & Associates, Inc., Las Vegas, Nevada; Van Nuys, California; Oakland, California.
  • 1997 to 2014: President, Principal Engineering Geologist, Snyder West Engineering, Inc. (formally Snyder & Smith Associates; Snyder & Wilson Engineering), Las Vegas, Nevada; Woodland Hills, California; Oakland, California.
  • 1991 to 1997: Director of Operations and Principal Engineering Geologist, Rogers/Pacific, Inc., Van Nuys, California; Pleasant Hill, California.
  • 1988 to 1991: Senior Engineering Geologist, Leighton & Associates, Inc., Valencia, California.
  • 1984 to 1988: Senior Project Geologist, Robert Stone & Associates, Inc. (RSA), Van Nuys, California.
  • Directionality of a Near Field Seismic Pulse in Response to the January 17, 1994 Northridge Earthquake, CA. This project was funded by a Grant Award from the National Science Foundation. It involved determining patterns of damage present within the near field as a result of the Northridge earthquake.
  • La Conchita Landslide, Ventura County, CA. Mr. Snyder wasretained as an in-house expert by Richards, Watson & Gershon, attorneys for Ventura County, regarding this tragic landslide which took nine lives in 2005. Mr. Snyder provided his engineering geologic opinions directly to the County attorneys throughout the lawsuit. The case was over and the judgment went to Ventura County when the plaintiff’s final appeal was denied on December 23, 2009 by the Supreme Court of California.
  • Neutral Particle Beam Ground Testing Facility (Underground) DE-AC03-76-SF00700, Edwards Air Force Base Astronautic Laboratory, California. Mr. Snyder was the project geologist for this top secret, underground testing facility for the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) for the U.S. Government. His duties included geologic mapping, geophysical and geotechnical exploration, design and construction observation.
  • Public Agency Peer Review Services, California. Mr. Snyder has provided geotechnical peer review services for the cities and towns of Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, Concord, Tiburon, Larkspur, Livermore Palo Alto, Rancho Palos Verdes, San Rafael, San Bruno, Pleasanton, Bay Point, San Francisco, Danville, Blackhawk, Antioch, Pittsburg, Pacifica, La Canada-Flintridge, Albany, Mill Valley, Sausalito, San Jose and Martinez; and the counties of Marin, Napa, Ventura, Alameda, Solano and San Francisco.
  • Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, California. Mr. Snyder was retained to evaluate the potential for long-term settlement and damage to this large aquarium structure. Mr. Snyder’s evaluation was initiated because the contractors prematurely removed sheet pile shoring between the aquarium and the adjacent Rainbow Lagoon, creating a landslide.
  • Expert Witness Services, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Arizona. Over the past thirty-one years, Mr. Snyder has investigated hundreds of damaged structures and has provided expert witness services, including preparation, depositions and/or trial testimony, for hundreds of legal cases throughout the western US.
  • Abalone Cove Landslide Dewatering Project, Rancho Palos Verdes, California. Mr. Snyder performed the field investigation and analysis for the City of Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. The repair involved the design of an extensive underground dewatering system to stabilize this large landslide occupied by hundreds of private homes.
  • Rockwell International, Underground Rocket Engine Blast Test Chamber, Canoga Park, California. Mr. Snyder performed the geotechnical investigation, subsurface construction observation, testing and monitoring of adjacent structures for this major top secret underground tunnel network and rocket engine testing facility.
  • Expert Geotechnical Services for Caltrans, California. Mr. Snyder has worked as an expert witness on numerous defense cases for Caltrans, t ypically performing the geotechnical evaluations pertaining to construction induced vibration, soil collapse, utility line breaks, groundwater/drainage issues, rock fall and landslides. The cases were distributed throughout California, including: Petaluma, Paramount, Woodland Hills, Temecula, Riverside, Hemet and Los Angeles.
  • Cliffside Sewer Tunnel Collapse and Sink Hole, San Francisco, California. Mr. Snyder inspected two of the endangered homes (including the famous Ansel Adams House) for the California State Automobile Association. Several homes were damaged by the collapse of the underlying San Francisco sewer tunnel system. The firm Mr. Snyder was working for (Rogers/Pacific) was retained by the City of San Francisco to determine the cause of the tunnel failure.
  • Easton Point Environmental Impact Report, Tiburon, California. Mr. Snyder authored the geology, soils and hydrogeology sections of all three incarnations of this EIR for over 800 acres on the Tiburon Peninsula. Of particular concern was the potential for the large ancient landslides present at the site to be reactivated during the proposed grading or following construction.
  • Santa Fe Development/ Santa Fe Ranch, Santa Clarita, California. Mr. Snyder performed the fault, landslide and environmental impact studies for this 1600-acre residential development project, which involved the analysis and repair of numerous large ancient landslides.
  • Slip Rate, Recurrence Interval, and Behavior of the Concord Fault at Galindo Creek, Concord, California. Mr. Snyder was in charge of the first detailed fault study to date paleo-earthquakes and to determine the risk potential associated with the Concord Fault, which runs through central Concord, CA. His team was successful in determining the slip rate and recurrence interval of the fault. Funding was provided through two Grant Awards from the U.S. Geological Survey as part of the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program.
  • Felton Quarry Rock Mechanics Analysis, Santa Cruz, California. Mr. Snyder performed the geotechnical investigation and rock mechanics analysis for Granite Construction to determine the cause and most appropriate repair of a landslide that involved over 100,000 cubic yards of material. Mr. Snyder designed the twenty year mining and mitigation plan which allowed for a safe landslide repair, while still keeping the quarry economically viable.
  • Alta Street Rock Fall Restoration Project, City of San Francisco, California. Mr. Snyder acted as media liaison and directed and helped perform the geologic field mapping and rock mechanics analysis for this challenging project for the City, located on Telegraph Hill.
  • Mission Viejo Company, Rosamond, California. Mr. Snyder performed t h e preliminary geotechnical evaluation for Sections 5, 7 and the NW Corner of Section 8, Township 9 North, Range 12 West, in Kern County, California. Of particular importance was the closure of numerous abandoned mine shafts.
  • Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Bay Area Utility Corridors, California. Mr. Snyder performed the geotechnical investigation, peer review, construction observation, landslide mapping and geologic hazard evaluation for several PG&E utility corridors in the San Francisco Bay Area including: Napa, Sonoma and Contra Costa Counties and the Cities of Dublin and Livermore.
  • Bowman Wash Bank Collapse, Bureau of Land Management Land, Lake Havasu, Arizona. Mr. Snyder was retained by the U.S. Attorney General’s Office to evaluate the soilstratigraphy of an unimproved flood control bank that tragically took the life of a child who tunneled into the sand, causing the collapse. He documented the soil conditions in detail in order to determine the precise cause of the slope collapse.
  • Vincent Hills Annexation, Palmdale, California. Mr. Snyder managed and prepared the geology, soils, seismicity, hydrogeology, and waste water treatment sections for the Vincent Hills Environmental Impact Report. The Vincent Hills annexation consisted of 1600 acres of geologically challenging terrain that was ultimately added to the City of Palmdale.
  • Woolsey and Dayton Canyon Projects, Chatsworth, California. Mr . Snyder managed and prepared the geology, soils, and seismicity sections for the Environmental Impact Reports for these two properties in Los Angeles County. Totaling over 500 acres, this work was performed for the US Government and for Rockwell International.
  • Mandeville Canyon Landslide, State Conservancy Land, Los Angeles, California. Mr. Snyder was asked by the office of the State Attorney General to review the circumstances and geologic failure mechanism of a large landslide that threatened the State property above. As a result of his work, Mr. Snyder received a letter of appreciation from Mr. Dan Lungren, Esq. (then the State Attorney General) and from Ms. Laura Gold (then the Deputy State Attorney), respectively.
  • Snyder, David L., Rogers, J.D., Crane, K., 1992, “Damage to Foundationsfrom Expansive Soils”, in Claims People Magazine, October 1992.
  • Snyder, David L., Borchardt, G., 1994,” Directionality of a Near Field Seismic Pulse in Response to the January 17, 1994 Northridge Earthquake”, Proceedings of the National Science Foundation Northridge Conference.
  • Snyder, David L., Borchardt, G., Wills, C.J., 1994, “Initial Paleoseismic Study of the Concord Fault, California”, EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, v.75, no.44, p.684.
  • Snyder, David L., Borchardt, G., 1994, “Slip Rate, Recurrence Interval, and Behavior of the Concord Fault at Galindo Creek”, NEHRP Technical Summary for FY94, USGS Open File Report.
  • Snyder, David L., Borchardt, G., 1994, “Slip Rate, Recurrence Interval, and Behavior of the Concord Fault at Galindo Creek”, NEHRP Non-Technical Summary for FY94, USGS Open File Report.
  • Snyder, David L., Wills, C.J., Borchardt, G., 1994, “Preliminary Results of Paleoseismic Studies of the Concord Fault at Galindo Creek, Concord, California [abs.], in Prentice, C.S., Schwartz, D.P., and Yeats, R.S., eds.” Proceedings of the Workshop on Paleoseismology, U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 94-568, p. 200-201.
  • Snyder, David L., Borchardt, G., 1995, “Damage to Unreinforced Masonry Fences as Evidence for the Near-Source Directivity Pulse Produced by the 1994 Northridge Earthquake”, [abs.], Seismological Research Letters, vol. 66, number 2, Seismological Society of America. Rogers,J.D., Snyder, D.L. and Halliday, J.M., 1993, “Orinda Landslide Map, City of Orinda, CA,” Rogers/Pacific, Inc.”
  • David L. Snyder, Borchardt, G., Paret, T., 1996, “Damage to Low and High Rise Structures as Evidence for the Near-Source Directivity Pulse Produced by the 1994 Northridge Earthquake”. Final Report to the National Science Foundation.
  • Snyder, David L., Borchardt, G., 1997, “Damage to Unreinforced Masonry Block Fences as Evidence for a Near-Field Directed Pulse Produced by the January 17, 1994 Northridge Earthquake.” Proceedings of the Northridge Earthquake Conference, CURe, August, 1997.
  • Snyder, David L., Borchardt, G., 2001, “Damage to Unreinforced Masonry Block Fences as Evidence of a Near-Field Directed Pulse Produced by the January 17, 1994 Northridge Earthquake.” EERI, Earthquake Spectra.
  • Snyder, D. L., and Borchardt, Glenn, 1995, Damage to unreinforced masonry fences as evidence for the near-source directivity pulse produced by the 1994 Northridge earthquake [abs.]: Seismological Research Letters, v. 66, no. 2, p. 46.
  • Snyder, D. L., and Borchardt, Glenn, 1995, Slip rate and earthquake recurrence on the Concord Fault at Galindo Creek, California [abs.], in Jacobson, M. L., ed., National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Annual Project Summaries: XXXVI, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 95-210, p. 731-734.
  • Snyder, D. L., and Borchardt, Glenn, 1996, Damage to concrete block fences, in Borchardt, Glenn, Snyder, D. L., Paret, T. F., Attalla, M. R., and Freeman, S. A., eds., Damage to low-rise and high-rise structures as evidence for a directed near-field pulse in the M6.7 Northridge earthquake of January 17 1994, Final technical report for the NSF National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, p. 9-36.
  • Snyder, D. L., and Borchardt, Glenn, 1998, Damage to concrete block fences as evidence for a north-south directed near-field pulse in the M6.7 Northridge earthquake of January 17, 1994, in Mahin, S.A., Reitherman, Robert, Morgan, Troy, Vaziri, Parshaw, Realegeno, Wanda, Dominic, Danielle, and Figuera, David, eds., Proceedings of the NEHRP Conference and Workshop on Research on the Northridge, California Earthquake of January 17, 1994: Richmond, CA, California Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering, p. II-387-II-394.
  • Snyder, D. L., and Borchardt, Glenn, 2002, Preferred direction of damage to concrete block fences in the M6.7 Northridge Earthquake of January 17, 1994: Earthquake Spectra, v. 18, no. 2, p. 369-379.
  • Snyder, D. L., Borchardt, Glenn, and Wills, C. J., 1994, Initial paleoseismic study of the Concord Fault, California [abs.]: EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, v. 75, 684 p.
  • Snyder, D. L., Wills, C. J., and Borchardt, Glenn, 1995, Slip rate and earthquake recurrence on the Concord fault at Galindo Creek, California, Final technical report for the U.S. Geological Survey National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, 37 p. Wills, C. J., Snyder, D. L., and Borchardt, Glenn, 1994, Preliminary results of paleoseismic studies of the Concord fault at Galindo Creek, Concord, California [abs.], in Prentice, C. S., Schwartz, D. P., and Yeats, R. S., eds., Proceedings of the Workshop on Paleoseismology, p. 200-201, 224 04/22/03.