Starting at age 5 with a small collection of rocks broken away from glacial boulders in northern Queens, an interest in science and in particular geology was quickly spawned. After suffering through grade- and high school and earning degrees from the City College of New York and Columbia University, Dr. Merguerian joined Hofstra's Geology Department in 1981. Today, as Chair and Professor of Geology, he has gathered roughly 30 years of professional experience in geologic mapping and structural analysis of complexly deformed metamorphic terrains, plutonic- and volcanic districts, and areas underlain by sedimentary- and glacial strata throughout the United States. His chief geological expertise encompasses basic geologic mapping, ductile- and brittle-fault analysis, tectonics, and earthquake-hazard assessment of crystalline terrains and his allied interests lie in computer analysis of geologic processes, prediction of ore- and mineral deposits according to plate- tectonic setting, astrogeology, and digital video and -image processing.

He has performed pure- and applied research and published nearly 200 geological maps, papers, technical reports, and abstracts from such widely separated areas as southeastern New York and New York City, New Jersey, western Connecticut and Massachusetts, central and southern California, and Nevada. Based on his field research and publications, Merguerian is recognized as the leading authority on the geologic structure and tectonics of the New York City area.

He has vast experience speaking at local, national, and international professional- and public meetings on various geological topics and has been interviewed in scores of televised news reports, news specials, and documentaries. Merguerian has devoted considerable effort to public education via television-, radio-, and the print media on the potential seismic hazards in the vicinity of New York City. His work documents the existence of numerous ductile- and brittle faults that crosscut Manhattan Island, the East River Channel, and adjacent areas and confirms the seismic potential of New York City, long thought to be invulnerable to potential earthquake hazard. In the past decade his research efforts have focused on field- and tunnel mapping and laboratory research on the subsurface structure of New York City and vicinity.

Merguerian has concentrated on geologic mapping of tunnels bored by tunnel boring machines (TBM) and by traditional drill and blast methods. This work has verified geological relationships established by surface mapping and has provided important new insights into the relationships between TBM penetration rates and geological structure and rock type in the New York City area. This work has paved the way for more efficient tunneling in the New York City area and has opened the field for municipal mega-construction projects including water, utility, and transportation tunnels. He is the President of Duke Geological Laboratory in Westbury, New York and has broad consulting experience with the United States Geological Survey, the California- and Connecticut State Geological Surveys, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, and many geotechnical and engineering firms.


Dr. Charles Merguerian standing next to the disarticulated cutter head of the Queens Tunnel TBM, 1999.