In Memoriam: Dr. Ed Keller

Dr. Edward Keller, professor of Earth Science and Environmental Sciences, passed on September 10, 2022 after a long illness and will be sorely missed. From his early years as a graduate student, Ed began to make a name for himself in fluvial geomorphology; these studies led him towards tectonic geomorphology and studies of active tectonics in the Transverse Ranges of southern California, of which I was his first graduate student studying active tectonics in Ventura Basin over 40 years ago. During my stay at UCSB, Ed was chair of the Environmental Studies program as well as professor of Geology (now Earth Science). He would head to the Redwoods in NW California nearly every summer to continue his work on river geomorphology (and to fish), while staying engaged in our new tectonic geomorphic work in southern California. In the years since, Ed has mentored a large number of students in fluvial geomorphology, active tectonics, earthquake hazards, and landslide hazards, many who have become quite prominent in their respective fields. He supported most of his students by writing grant proposals, of which I certainly benefited. Needless to say, our dear Professor Keller has left an enduring academic legacy.

Ed was a prolific writer. His book, Environmental Geology, became the industry standard and has been used at numerous universities. Most of his books have gone through multiple editions, demonstrating their popularity. And I have lost count of his numerous professional papers - we published a major paper on tectonic geomorphology of mountain fronts in The Treatise of Geomorphology (Elsevier, Academic Press) earlier this year, and we had started to work on a new book; his loss will be sorely felt.

Professor Keller the consultant: Ed was tapped as an expert witness and consultant in numerous cases that involved landslides, debris flows and other natural hazards and disasters.

Ed Keller is survived by his wife, Valery, and two children, Jamila and Sarah


-by Tom Rockwell, a former student