BIOGRAPHY OF MICHAEL F. HOOVER
Michael Hoover was born in Pasadena, California in 1949. He attended primary and secondary school in then-rural eastern Los Angeles County. Mike's interest in geology began at an early age during day hikes to the chalk mine on the Covina Ranch where fossils could be found in the Pliocene and Miocene-age shales.
Mike was the captain of the football and wrestling teams while attending high school in Covina and voted the most valuable wrestler in his sophomore, junior, and senior years. He played on the Los Angeles Times All San Gabriel Valley Football Team and was the League Champion wrestler as a senior. Mike received a congressional appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD in 1967 where he played Division I-A football until an injury ended his collegiate athletic and military career.
Mike transferred to UCSB in 1968, where he took the first of many geology classes. Mike received Bachelor's degrees in Geology and Geography from UCSB in the Fall of 1971, and received a Master of Arts degree in 1974. Mike's area of interest while enrolled in the Master's Program was Engineering Geology. His research involved expansive clay soils. During the academic year 1972-73, Mike took time off from his studies to design and construct a geodesic dome house in Isla Vista. "The Dome" as it was called, became a social focal point for students during the 1970s, and is featured in the book "Santa Barbara Architecture". The dome home began a life-long love of architecture for Mike; he has designed and constructed six homes including a recently renovated, 1910-era craftsman-style home located near the Santa Barbara Mission. The 1910 home, his current residence, was honored by the Pearl Chase Society in 2001 as an example of Santa Barbara's historic architecture.
From 1974-78 Mike worked for the firm of Dames & Moore, then the world's largest earth science consulting firm. Mike was based in Santa Barbara, but spent over a year in Valdez, Alaska working on slope stability and hydrologic problems related to the construction of the Alaska Pipeline Project. At the age of 28 Mike became a Registered Geologist and Certified Engineering Geologist. He started his own geologic consulting firm in Santa Barbara shortly thereafter, eventually building up a company that employed 15 people and offered a full range of hydrological, geological ,and soil engineering services. Mike closed down his firm in 1999, and now spends most of his time working on small consulting projects, and operating solid waste disposal and recycling facilities in San Luis Obispo County. Mike is the sole shareholder, President, General Manager, and Chief Onsite Geologist of Chicago Grade Landfill & Recycling and its subsidiary, Santa Maria Transfer & Recycling. Mike's landfill operation has received commendations from the California Integrated Waste Management Board and San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors. Mike's consulting and solid waste businesses continue to be a source of employment of UCSB geology graduates who exhibit the highest levels of professionalism and skill required by the current regulatory environment.
Mike's small consulting firm focuses on geologic hazards related to development projects, groundwater supply development for agricultural clients, and pollution issues. Mike also acts as an expert witness, having been so certified by the Superior Court of Santa Barbara County on several occasions.
Over the past 25 years Mike has completed over 1,000 projects for 600 different clients. He has co-authored several geologic publications and written several hundred technical reports, including safe yield evaluation of coastal watersheds in Santa Barbara County and the Goleta West Basin. Much of Mike's field work and his greatest passion in the field of geology involves the development of water resources for industrial, municipal and agricultural clients. utilizing skills learned as a UCSB undergraduate, including petrology, structural geology, hydrogeology, and field mapping, Mike has located over 300 water well sites and has an unparalleled 96% success rate.