By Miriam Raftery
October 8, 2012 (La Mesa)--Russell “Gordon” Gastil, Ph.D. has made his final journey. The San Diego State University professor emeritus known for trekking across and mapping the entire state of Baja, Mexico as well as much of the U.S. southwest died September 29, 2012 at his La Mesa home.
“He was gifted as a geologic visionary,” geologic science professor wrote in a memorial published at the SDSU website. “Gastil was an internationally renowned geologist for regional geologic mapping and work on the tedtonic evolution of convergent margins." He mapped thousands of square kilometers in Arizona, Calfiornia and the entire state of Baja, California in Mexico.
Gastil hired six undergraduate students in 1963 to produce a reconnaissance geologic map of Baja. Remarkably, the feat was accomplished in an era when there were no reliable topographic maps and virtually no paved roads, making access challenging.