Jason Garwood (BS Geology, 2003)

Mine Supervisor in Tehachapi, California

It seems like an eternity since being at CWU, because so much of my life has changed since that time. Soon after graduating from Central, I got hired on with the Oregon DOT and lived in Bend, OR, before moving on to Roseburg, OR, working with ODOT. In fact, while returning home to Bend from my job interview in Roseburg, my girlfriend and I got into a really bad car accident which sent us flying into a tree and into the edge of the North Umpqua River. Luckily, we both survived that ordeal with the help of some excellent medical care, rescue workers and a helicopter pilot. A few weeks after my car accident, I was offered the position in Roseburg. So off to Roseburg it was.

Later that same year (2004) I received Jesus Christ as my personal savior - something I believe began while attending CWU through the people I met in the geology department (Anne, Brett and Brooke in particular). Since that decision, I have to say that my life has drastically changed in so many different ways and all for the better! What all those things that I did in school and life in general could not do for me, Christ has done, and I'm very thankful for that. Now, I'm just taking life one day at a time, following Him and just thank God everyday for the life that has been given to me.

On November 6, 2004, I was married to Janell - who was my girlfriend during the car accident. I have to say that she has been a wonderful blessing to me since knowing and marrying her. Then on March 10, 2006, we had our first child (Libby), on May 15, 2007, we had our second child (Charlotte) and then on August 29, 2009, we had our third child (Naomi). So, I'm currently way outnumbered with females in my house but really enjoying the family life! As long as the Lord wants to bless us with more children, the more children we're going to have - it seems that as our family grows larger and larger, the more children Janell and I want. It's amazing just how different each and every daughter of mine is and it's just hard to even think about what life would be like without having those "daddy" hugs that I get when I get home from work.

In terms of my career, I was offered a job down in Southern California to work in the US Borax open pit mine as a geological engineer in the fall of 2006. I accepted that position and have been living in Southern Cal ever since. I never would have guessed that I would end up in southern Cal but you just never know. In fact, I've spent quite a bit of time up in Bishop and the Lone Pine area. I miss the Oregon sunshine sometimes but it's also nice to have dry winters too.

The Garwood clan is currently living in Tehachapi, California which is a good 4,000' above sea level - which I prefer over the Mojave Desert. I really enjoy working in the mining industry for Rio Tinto. As a geological engineer, mining is a very exciting place to work because of all the high-tech automated monitoring systems and software that I use on a daily basis. My main focus is in pit-slope stability, and so I'm in charge of setting up robotic surveying total stations and software for monitoring our pit walls. I also do quite a few slope stability tests which involves cell mapping of rock faces, regular field mapping, using Slope/w software for modeling purposes and just anything else you can think of in regards to geological engineering. The things I enjoy most about my job is working with all the different folks including all the various pit operators and mine engineers. It's exciting working in a dynamic work environment with slope conditions changing by the day. Something I also find very interesting is being heavily involved with our on-site safety program; it's very exciting to be a part of a mining group that consistently operates one of the safest mines in the world. I also enjoy business trips to Montana and Utah (in the winter of course) for having that extra day to ski - I mean work real hard.

All in all my time at Central was very interesting. In thinking I was simply going to learn a lot academically, I found that I learned a lot more about myself. That time in college was a turning point in my life as it would lead to many different changes in my life down the road - in particular following Jesus Christ. Although I had some of my hardest times at Central, I have some really good memories of my time there. I often find myself laughing about times spent in Bishop, Mitchell, Hawaii and Queen Valley. In hindsight I believe that my two undergraduate research projects were critical in my development as a professional of the geological engineering field. Having the opportunity to apply in the field what I was learning in the classroom was very good experience.

I'm very appreciative of the professors that I met and learned under - in particular Steve, Jeff, Charlie, Nick and Lisa. I also met some real friends in the geology department namely Ross, Jeff and ol' Ben. Perhaps, the next time I'm cruising through E-burg, I'll drop in and say hello. By the way Nick, thank you for putting this whole alumni webpage together - it's been a lot of fun reading about what has happened to all my fellow classmates since college - I really appreciate it.


Jason Garwood (aka - crazy chicken/papa johns/whatever eater - my rock lab folks would understand)

Information last updated on Jun 14, 2010