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Faculty: Ralph Stearley

Ralph Stearley


  • Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri


  • Completed a BA in anthropology at the University of Missouri, 1975
  • Earned an MS in geology from the University of Utah
  • Received his PhD in geology and paleontology from the University of Michigan, 1990

Professional Experience

  • Was a post-doctoral researcher at the Illinois State Museum in 1991–1992
  • Has taught courses in ichthyology, geology, and land resources for the Au Sable Institute for Environmental studies, 1993-1998; 2008; 2010-2013.
  • Taught for Wheaton College's field station in the Black Hills of South Dakota, 1994–1996
  • Directed the excavation of the Ada Bible Church Mastodon in Cascade, Michigan

Research Interests

  • Paleontology
  • Biogeography
  • History of geology, anthropology, and evolutionary thought
  • Past and present research includes:
    • Studies of rock-boring marine invertebrates in the intertidal zone of the Gulf of Calfornia in Sonora, Mexico;
    • Studies of Neogene fossil fishes from western North America;
    • Anatomy and systematics of salmonid fishes;
    • Analysis of fish remains from archaeological sites in New Mexico and west Michigan;
    • Assisting in developing a computerized database of Pleistocene mammalian fossil sites for North America

Learn more

Current teaching


Big Sky Geology: Montana


Ralph Stearley
North Hall 071