Arthur Sylvester is a native southern Californian, whose eyes were opened to geology by high school biology class trips to the Colorado Plateau. With a focus on earth sciences, he earned a BA at Pomona College and an MA and PhD at UCLA. After graduate school, he joined a team of Shell Development Company research geologists to study the tectonic history of the Pacific margin of the United States. UC Santa Barbara lured him from Shell to teach courses in structural geology, field geology, and petrology. His academic research focused on various structural, seismic, and igneous rock problems in the Colorado and Mojave Deserts, the Transverse Ranges, and the Lake Tahoe region, as well as in Norway and southern Italy. He retired from active teaching in 2003.