Frank L. DeCourten has been Professor of Earth Science at Sierra College in Rocklin, California since 1993. Prior to arriving at Sierra College, DeCourten taught at the University of Utah and served as Assistant Director of the Utah Museum of Natural History. Frank has also taught in the geology programs at California State University, Sacramento and Chico and the University of Nevada. During his time at Sierra College, DeCourten has also served as Dean of the Truckee Center (2002-2004) and Interim Vice-President for Educational Programs and Services (2005-2006). He coordinated the Sierra College Interdisciplinary Studies Program from 2000 to 2002 and was named Citizen of the Year in 2005 by the North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce.
Frank earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degrees from University of California, Riverside, and has done additional graduate study at the University of Utah and the University of Colorado. His geological research has focused on the paleontology and regional geology of the western United States including the Pacific Coast, the Sierra Nevada, the Great Basin, and the Colorado Plateau.
DeCourten has received an impressive number of awards for teaching, research, and citizenship. His research has resulted in 19 technical publications in geology and paleontology, four books (Earth Essays, Shadows of Time, Dinosaurs of Utah 2nd edition, and The Broken Land) and he has produced 3 educational videos. In addition, Frank wrote Terra Sierra, a quarterly natural history column that appeared in the Sierra Sun newspaper in the Tahoe-Truckee region and is currently being compiled into book form. His latest writing project is Geology of Northern California, a textbook supplement that has been utilized in more than a dozen colleges and universities across northern California. An addition module is currently being produced for southern California.
An experienced field geologist and researcher, Frank has designed and led geological excursions and symposia for numerous scientific and natural history organizations including the National Park Service, the Geological Society of America, the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, the Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Federation, the National Geographic Society, and the Squaw Valley Institute.