Dr. Shawn Biehler was a beloved educator and researcher at UC Riverside. Shawn was born in New Jersey in 1937. He earned his B.S. in Geological Engineering at Princeton University in 1958, following up at the California Institute of Technology with an M.S. in 1961 and a Ph.D. in 1964. After ten years as a researcher at Princeton and Caltech, Shawn took a faculty position at MIT in 1966, and moved to a tenured faculty position in UCR’s Department of Earth Sciences in 1970.
At UCR, Shawn pursued a research program studying crustal structure with seismological, electromagnetic, and gravitational methods, with implications for tectonics and economic concerns, particularly for geothermal and hydrological applications.
He also gained respect and renown as a mentor to a tremendous number of students who became professional geologists, engineering geologists, and geophysicists in Southern California and beyond. He was greatly loved by his students. In the words of one, “I learned considerably from Shawn Biehler; I remember I took his applied geophysics course, and it was amazing to me to use gravity, magnetics, and seismic refraction to literally make the basin and range Mojave geology come into full resolution before your eyes.”
Shawn also was a founding member of the Summer of Applied Geophysics Experience (SAGE) with the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Over three decades, hundreds of aspiring geophysics students passed through SAGE and took their skills with them to their later careers. In honor of Shawn and his legacy, colleagues and UCR alumni set up the Shawn Biehler Endowed Fund at UCR to help fund SAGE scholarships and geophysical field work. Please click here to make a donation to the Shawn Biehler Endowed Fund.
After retiring from UCR in 2000, Shawn remained in Riverside close to campus. Shawn is survived by his wife Andrea and his two children.