by Nicole Cheslock, NC Communications
(Tahoe Vista, CA)

Earth science professor Frank L. DeCourten will share recent discoveries during “New Dinosaurs from Old Rocks: A Prehistoric Safari to the American Southwest” on Sierra College’s Tahoe-Truckee campus at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 9. The presentation is provided at no cost and is open to all community members.

“The first dinosaur skeletons were unearthed in western North America during the late 1800s. Since then our knowledge of these great prehistoric reptiles has grown dramatically. Nonetheless, persistent gaps in the fossil record and the imperfect preservation of dinosaur remains left considerable gaps in our understanding of the community structure, life habits and patterns of evolution among the dinosaurs that populated western North America during Mesozoic time,” explains DeCourten.

Beginning in the mid-1980s, a series of dramatic new discoveries were made in Utah and adjacent regions that have transformed our understanding of the history of dinosaurs in the American Southwest, and opened new vistas into the vanished world they occupied. The profusely illustrated and non-technical presentation will provide descriptions and renderings of recently identified dinosaurs, some of which are completely new to science. Included will be reconstructions of the ancient terrain and environments that provided habitat for the dinosaurs during the great Age of Reptiles. Expect to explore recent discoveries that are profoundly changing our views of the dinosaurs that populated the southwest for more than 180 million years.

Frank DeCourten has been an earth science professor at Sierra College in Rocklin and Grass Valley since 1993. Prior to Sierra College, DeCourten taught at the University of Utah and served as Assistant Director of the Utah Museum of Natural History. DeCourten has also taught in the geology programs at California State University, Sacramento and Chico and the University of Nevada. He has served as Dean of the Tahoe-Truckee Campus, Interim Vice-President for Educational Programs and Services and coordinated the Sierra College Interdisciplinary Studies Program. 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. The North Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce named him Citizen of the Year in 2005.

“Sierra College’s Experts and Insights program offers scholarly presentations that explore the dynamics of diverse disciplines, broaden our view of the world and awaken our sense of wonder,” explains Dr. Kim Bateman, Dean of Sierra College’s Tahoe-Truckee campus. She invites community members to save the dates for upcoming 2012 lectures including Frank DeCourten on March 9, “Sustainability, Change and the Great Reset” with Michael Kane on April 13 and “Stories of Fallout, not so Friendly” with Ann Ronald on May 11.

Sierra College opens at 7 p.m. for complimentary coffee, tea, cookies and socializing. The presentation will begin promptly at 7:30 p.m. and conclude by 8:50 p.m. Sierra College is located at 11001 College Trail in Truckee. For more information, visit or e-mail with “Experts and Insights” in the subject line. Space is limited. Please RSVP by calling (530) 550-2290.

Learn from passionate professors and accomplished authors at Sierra College’s Dean Lecture Series. Experts and Insights takes place on the Sierra College, Tahoe-Truckee campus and is open to all students, residents and visitors at no cost. An insightful presentation complete with out of the ordinary images and anecdotes provides academic enrichment and intellectual exchange across scholarly subjects each month.


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Feb 27, 2012
by: Leigh - Truckee Travel Guide

Hi! Thanks for sharing this press release info. with the Truckee Travel Guide Website. This info. will be posted on the TTG Facebook Page and Twitter, and has been added to the TTG Event Calendar. Best wishes for a great event!

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