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Joe W. Johnson, 93; UC Berkeley Expert on Erosion of Beaches

April 20, 2002|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Joe W. Johnson, 93, professor emeritus of civil and environmental engineering at UC Berkeley, died April 11 at his home in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Born in Kansas, Johnson grew up in Winslow, Ariz., and Los Angeles. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in civil engineering at Berkeley. After graduating, he joined the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station in Vicksburg, Miss., and the Soil Conversation Service in Washington.

Johnson joined the Berkeley faculty in 1942. He became an authority on coastal engineering during his 33-year tenure at Berkeley and helped define it as a separate discipline within civil engineering.

"He was one of the first researchers to really study beach erosion, particularly in areas of development," said Robert Wiegel, a longtime colleague at Berkeley.

Throughout his career, Johnson served as a consultant for state, federal and international organizations on shoreline and harbor problems.

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