Michael Collier received his BS in geology at Northern Arizona University, MS in structural geology at Stanford, and MD from the University of Arizona. He rowed boats commercially in Grand Canyon and now lives in Flagstaff where he practiced medicine for twenty-five years. He volunteered with the Flying Samaritans, providing medical care to the people of Laguna San Ignacio in Baja California. He is an adjunct professor at the NAU School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability.
Collier has published books about the geology of Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Denali, and Capitol Reef National Parks. He has done books on the Colorado River basin, glaciers of Alaska, climate change in Alaska, and a three-book series on American mountains, rivers, and coastlines. As a special projects writer with the USGS, he wrote and photographed books about the San Andreas Fault, downstream effects of dams, and climate change. Collier has written book forewords, narrated radio geology vignettes, and supplied stock photography for a wide range of textbooks, magazines, and trade publications.
Since 2014, Michael Collier has been assembling audio-visual field trips which are electronically inserted into geology and geography college textbooks published by Pearson Education. He has created websites about unconventional oil in Alberta and Utah, and has produced an iPad app about seeing landscapes from the air. With Rose Houk, he produced the traveling exhibit Dispassionate Landscapes which exposes students to conflicting aspects of industrial development.
Collier received the USGS Shoemaker Communication Award in 1997, the National Park Service Director’s Award in 2000, and the American Geosciences Institute’s Public Contribution to Geosciences Award in 2005. His aerial books on mountains, rivers and coastlines won Outstanding Science Trade Book awards from the National Science Teachers Association in 2007, 2008, and 2009. Collier’s book The Melting Edge won the National Outdoor Book Award (Nature & Environment category) in 2012.Education B.S. Geology, Northern Arizona University, 1976 Outstanding Undergraduate Award, 1976 M.S. Geology, Stanford University, 1978 Emphasis — Structural Geology Thesis — “Anticlinal kink folds along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon” M.D. University of Arizona, 1985 Residency — Family Practice, Grand Junction, Colorado Board Certification, Family Practice, 1988; recertified 1994, 2000, 2006