Arthur B. Cleaves completed his thesis Geology of the Wamsutta red beds and their relation to associated sediments and igneous rocks in the Narragansett basin in 1929 at Brown University, Providence, RI. He also studied at Harvard University, completing a thesis entitled The Geology of the New Bloomfield Quadrangle, Pennsylvania [year completed unknown]. In the 1930s he was a professor of geology at Lafayette College in Easton, PA and served as the chief geologist of Pennsylvania Turnpike Authority. Cleaves was a Professor at Washington University in St. Louis from circa 1950 – 1958 and served as chairman of the Engineering Geology Division, (of the Geological Society of America) in 1953. During the 1940s he also worked to compile a listing of over 600 North American engineering geologists for the Society.
"At the 1958 annual meeting in St. Louis, Program Chairman Arthur B. Cleaves of Washington University arranged for a half hour panel appearance on a local television station, along with incoming Chairman Robert F. Legget and Secretary George Kiersch. The public-affairs show covered geological activities of broad interest, with particular focus on the frequent slope failures of the St. Louis region associated with old Mississippi River terraces. The television appearance on geological endeavors was widely received by the Society as a new direction for the recognition of applied geological efforts and concerns for the environment. The technical program at the St. Louis meeting included first-time review on research and related needs in the field engineering geology.”
“History And Heritage Of Engineering Geology Division, Geological Society Of America, 1940s to 1990,” from Chapter 4 The Heritage Of Engineering Geology: The First Hundred Years GSA Centennial Special Volume 3, 1991