Dr. Chester ("Skip") Watts


Dr. Chester ("Skip") Watts
Professor Emeritus
Reed Hall 204
Box 6939
Tel: (540) 831-5637
Fax: (540) 831-5732



B.S. - Virginia Tech
M.S. - Radford University
Ph.D. - Purdue University

Courses Taught

GEOL 100. Earth Resources & Natural Hazards
GEOL 105. Exploring Earth
GEOL 408. Spatial Data Applications in Geology
GEOL 455. Engineering Geology
GEOL 606. Geophysics
GEOL 658. Soil Mechanics in Engineering Geology
GEOL 659. Principles of Rock Mechanics
GEOL 755. Advanced Engineering Geology


Dr. Watts specializes in engineering geology and is a Certified Professional Geologist in the state of Virginia. Dr. Watts is the past Dalton Distinguished Professor of Geology at Radford University, where he has taught since 1984. He is the author of ROCKPACKTM computer software, used internationally for analyzing the safety and stability of mountain slopes, mines, quarries, highways, buildings, and bridge foundations. During the 2001-2002 academic year, Dr. Watts is served as the GSA/USGS Congressional Science Fellow in the office of Senator Joe Lieberman.

In addition to teaching various courses in environmental and engineering geology, he serves as a rock slope stability consultant to numerous highway departments, federal agencies, and engineering firms throughout North America. The Virginia attorney general's office, the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Army Corps of Engineers are among those to have enlisted Watts' assistance. His projects have included FEMA studies in Hot Springs, Arkansas, evaluations of dam spillway stability adjacent to the San Andreas Fault, highway rock fall litigation support, and rock slide studies in Yosemite National Park in California.


Watts is the recipient of several regional and national teaching awards, including the 1998 Virginia Outstanding Professor Award from the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia. He recently appeared in a television documentary called SLIDE! on TLC (The Learning Channel) as well as on NPR (National Public Radio) while rock climbing during a rockslide investigation in Yosemite National Park.