Kristen Sneddon


Picture of Kristen Sneddon


After experiencing the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake in San Francisco, Kristen moved home to Santa Barbara and took her first SBCC Geology Field Studies course, which changed her life and her major. She took every Geology class offered in her time at City College and transferred to UCLA where she majored in Applied Geophysics. In her time at UCLA, she experienced the Northridge Earthquake and got to explore Geophysical Field Studies in Hawai’i, where she first walked on crackling fresh lava and measured speeds of flowing lava tubes. Kristen later studied Geophysics at Colorado School of Mines, with an emphasis on modeling groundwater and soils contamination while conducting research at the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Moving back to Santa Barbara and teaching at SBCC has been one of the greatest joys of her life. Her mom, her husband, and (so far) two of her three kids have all attended SBCC. Kristen loves teaching about the local geology, taking students on 5-day field courses to the Eastern Sierra and Death Valley, and longer trips studying volcanology on the Island of Hawai’i. (You should come!)  Kristen has a particular passion for issues of climate change, water management, alternative energy, and disaster resilience. She serves on our local Water Commission, Creeks Advisory Committee, Sustainability Committee, Community Choice Energy, Sea Level Rise Adaptation Plan, and the Cachuma Operations and Maintenance Board, and brings current understanding of these issues to the classroom. Every drop of water has a story, every rock has a past that affects our future. 

Courses taught: Environmental Geology Lecture and Lab, Dynamic Earth Lecture and Lab, Field Studies of the Eastern Sierra Nevada, Field Studies in Death Valley, Geologic Field Studies - Hawaii Volcanology,