ABOUT BOB

I am a professional geologist with degrees from Beloit College and the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, and additional graduate study at Cornell University. I have more than 35 years of professional experience as a petroleum geologist and environmental geochemist, and have spent most of the past 20 years serving as a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Project Manager, writing Environmental Impact Statements for transportation, solar power, nuclear power, and pipeline projects. Aside from my professional experience, my personal interest in geology is the role of topography, hydrology, and geologic materials in influencing human geography, architecture, and history.

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BOOKS

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Bridgespotting

Dedicated to the Exploration of Bridges on Foot

Based on detailed research, interviews, and hikes across more than 600 walkable bridges, Bridgespotting: A Guide to Bridges that Connect People, Places, and Times tells the stories about the bridges in our communities. The book examines how the roles of bridges have evolved over the centuries, from serving as trade route crossings that formed the seeds for the growth of settlements, to becoming the centers of government and commerce, to the mega-suspension bridges of the mid-twentieth century, and now to the small, pedestrian sculptural bridges in parks and re-developed urban areas. Tourist bridges span the range from small, abandoned structures that have been preserved in a county park to large, world-famous bridges with sidewalks, viewing platforms, visitor centers, decorations, tour guides, and a gift shop to accommodate their enormous numbers of visitors. People visit bridges to pursue an interest in history or architecture, to obtain the best available view of the landscape or riverfront, to use its sidewalk as a hiking and biking trail, or just because the bridge is a famous landmark.

 

The book identifies more than 50 different reasons that people visit bridges as tourists, for recreation, or in the pursuit of a hobby. By providing more than 350 specific examples, including detailed descriptions of more than 70 of the most prominent tourist bridges and multi-bridge tours in the United States, Canada, and Europe, Bridgespotting serves as a travel guide for those interested in exploring the history and cultural development of their next vacation destination, or of the local bridge that they drive over every day. Also, through the identification and cataloguing of the features that make bridges important to the community and attractive to visitors, Bridgespotting provides dozens of ideas to be considered by communities that are planning new bridges, or pondering what to do with their old, obsolete bridges.