The Sierra College Press is one of the very few academic presses operated by a community college in the United States. The Sierra College Press was formed in 2002 to publish Standing Guard: Telling our Stories as part of the Standing Guard Project’s examination of Japanese-American Internment during World War II.
Building upon that foundation, the Sierra College Press expanded its role and function to become a wide-ranging academic press and information outlet. Today, the Sierra College Press publishes books and two eJournals, Snowy Range Reflections and the Journal of the Sierra College Natural History Museum. It also facilitates Sierra College’s student-composed publication, Sierra Journal, and produces the annual Sierra Writers Conference.
The mission of the Sierra College Press is to inform and inspire scholars, students, and general readers by disseminating ideas, knowledge, and academic scholarship of value concerning the Sierra Nevada region. The Sierra College Press endeavors to reach beyond the library, laboratory and classroom to promote and examine this unique geography.
Dr. Terry Beers
- Professor of English at Santa Clara University
- Director of the California Legacy Project
Dr. Patric Ettinger
- Professor of History at CSU, Sacramento
- Co-Director, Capital Campus Oral History Program
- Author of Imaginary Lines: Border Enforcement and the Origins of Undocumented Immigration, 1882-1930 (University of Texas Press, 2009)
- Author of the novel Catching Heaven, a Penguin/Random House Reader’s Circle Selection and a Willa Award Finalist for Best Contemporary Fiction, a book of writing essays and exercises, Tools of the Writer’s Craft, and her memoir, Reclaiming My Decade Lost in Scientology
- Teacher at the Community of Writers and the Iowa Summer Writing Festival
- Singer, songwriter, and theater artist
- Artist and author
- Author and illustrator of The High Sierra of California and Tamalpais Walking: Poetry, Prose and Prints (both in association with Pulitzer Prize recipient Gary Snyder)
- Director of Special Collections, California State Library, Sacramento
- Written extensively on the California Gold Rush and California Culture
- Executive Director of the California State Library Foundation
- Previous positions held:
- Head Librarian, Sutro Library
- Library Director, California Historical Society
- Bibliographer of Western Americana at the Henry E. Huntington Library
- Head of the publication program of the Book Club of California, 1987-2008
- Author of Tahoe Beneath the Surface, co-published by Heyday and Sierra College Press (2010)
- Member of the 1985 American Everest West Ridge Expedition
- Ph.D. in modern thought and literature at Stanford University with a dissertation on John Muir
- Professor of English at Foothill College, he has also served as Foothill’s Dean of Language Arts and Co-director of the Foothill College Cultural Diversity Center
- Currently, he is Co-director of the Foothill College Center for a Sustainable Future
John Muir Laws
- Associate of the California Academy of Sciences
- Author and illustrator of Sierra Birds:
- A Hiker’s Guide
- The Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada
- The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds
- The Laws Sketchbook for Nature Journaling
- The Law Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling
- Director, Placer-Lake Tahoe Film Office
- Worked three years in the Louisiana State Film Office
- MFA from UCLA School of Film and Television
- Documentarian, recipient of awards from National Educational Film and Video Festival, and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (the group that awards the Golden Globes)
- Sierra Nevada weather and cultural historian
- Recipient of the Nevada State Press Association. Awarded on five occasions for his newspaper column
Kim Stanley Robinson
- Science fiction author, winner of 11 major science fiction awards
- Guest author in UC Davis Writing Ambassadors Program
- Recipient of the 2008 Time Hero of the Environment
- Ph.D. in Literature, UC San Diego, 1982
- Humanism, utopia, environmentalism and transcendentalism are major themes in his writings
Jesika Maria Ross
- Co-founder and Director, Art of Regional Change at UC Davis
- Community media developer
- Award-winning documentary film producer
- Co-producer of the award-winning Saving the Sierra: Voices of Conservation in Action public radio and web project
- Actor best known for his re-creation of John Muir
- Author of The Wild Muir
- Original member of the Board of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy
- Mariposa County Supervisor
- Kim Bateman, Executive Dean of the Tahoe-Truckee campus
- Sean Booth, Professor of Geography
- Kerrie Cassidy, Graphics Manager and Designer, Sierra College
- Daniel DeFoe, Professor of History and Communications Studies, Sierra College
- Ralph De Unamuno, Professor of History, Sierra College
- David Dickson, Retired Sierra College Professor of English and German; President of the Sierra College Friends of the Library
- Tom Fillebrown, Chair, Applied Arts and Design Department, Sierra College
- Christine Freeman, Retired online educational specialist
- Rebecca Gregg, Professor Emeritus, Photography
- Brian Haley, Retired Dean of the LRC/Library, Sierra College
- Rick Heide, Community member, award-winning Author, Co-editor of The Illuminated Landscape
- Jay Hester, Professor of History and President of SCFA, Sierra College
- David Kuchera, Professor of History
- Joe Medeiros, Professor of Biological Sciences Emeritus, Sierra College; Illustrator and Contributor to The Illuminated Landscape
- Sue Michaels, Former Manager of Marketing and Public Relations, Sierra College
- Josh Morgan, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, Sierra College
- Gary Noy, retired, former Editor-in-Chief of Sierra College Press; former Director of Sierra College Center for Sierra Nevada Studies; Co-Editor of The Illuminated Landscape
- Bart O’Brien, Retired superintendent of the Placer Union High School District
- Vincent Pacheco, Professor of Applied Art and Design, Sierra College
- Sabrina Pape, Dean of the LRC/Library, Sierra College
- Jennifer Skillen, Professor, Biological Sciences, Sierra College
- Barbara Vineyard, Former President and member, Sierra College Board of Trustees; former Sierra College student
- Lynette Vrooman, Professor of English, Sierra College Nevada County Campus
- Randy White, Retired educator, Publisher Blue Oak Press
Sierra College Press entered into a multi-year, multi-book publishing partnership with Heyday Books in 2012.
The mission of the Heyday-Sierra College Press Publishing Partnership is to produce quality books with unique and thought-provoking perspectives that examine and celebrate Sierra Nevada history, culture, science, and public policy. The works published by this partnership will strive to inspire, entertain, inform and enlighten. Our ultimate goal is to create enduring publications that make a difference.
The Heyday-Sierra College Press Publishing Partnership:
- Works with and strengthens Sierra Nevada scholars, institutions and organizations that are striving to protect, preserve and improve the future well-being and good health of the region
- Develops new artists and authors with a goal of preserving the memories, achievements and traditions of past generations
- Introduces young people, students, visitors and newcomers to the extraordinary Sierra Nevada story
- Builds upon the reputation of Sierra College, the Sierra College Press and Heyday for scholarship and outreach to help nurture a more informed Sierra Nevada community
- Promotes discussion of important issues facing the Sierra Nevada both today and in the future
Under the renewable agreement, Sierra College provides $75,000 to produce at least three books within a five-year period.
The partnership was approved by the Sierra College Board of Trustees in honor of retiring College Trustee Barbara Vineyard, in recognition of her 28 years of extraordinary service to Sierra College.
About Heyday Books
Heyday Books is an independent, nonprofit publisher and unique cultural institution. They promote widespread awareness and celebration of California’s many cultures, landscapes, and boundary-breaking ideas. Through their well-crafted books, public events, and innovative outreach programs they have built a vibrant community of readers, writers, and thinkers.
Heyday was founded by Malcolm Margolin in 1974 when he wrote, typeset, designed, and distributed The East Bay Out, a quirky, personal, affectionate guide to the natural history of the hills and bay shore around Berkeley and Oakland. Out of this modest first effort a major California cultural enterprise has taken shape. Heyday publishes around 25 books a year, founded two successful magazines—News from Native California and Bay Nature—and has taken a lead role in hundreds of prominent public education programs throughout the state.
Publications and Conferences
Provides information about Sierra College’s extraordinary Natural History Museum and the natural history of our region and world.
- v1n1: Wonders of the Natural History Museum.
- v1n2: The Sierra Nevada and the conservation movement it inspired.
- v2n1: Nature and history along the Interstate 80 corridor.
- v2n2: Evolutionary theory on the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth.
- v3n1: Ways in which various organisms fly.
- v3n2: How we use science in our decision making.
- v4n1: The celebration of Sierra College’s 75 years by giving a history of field trips at Sierra College.
- v4n2: Directory of museums of the Sierra Nevada
- v5n1: Natural History Museum lecture series
- v5n2: Six on the Sierra: Rock Stars. Audio lectures relating to the geology of the Sierra Nevada.
- v6n1: Women in Nature: A Gallery of Influential and Pioneering Female Naturalists
- v6n2: State symbols related to the Sierra Nevada
Examines the fascinating history and characters of what John Muir called “The Range of Light.”
- v1n1: The Range of Light itself: earth, fire, water, and wind.
- v1n3: Education and entertainment are entwined in an issue devoted to entertainment, Gold Country style.
- v2n1: Explores the rugged romance and the harsh reality of the California gold fields.
- v2n2: The highways and byways, buildings and bridges that connect all of us who live in the shadow of the “Range of Light.”
- v3n1: Alonzo Delano: nomad denizen of the world
- v3n2: For your reading and listening pleasure a small sampling of the prose and poetry to be found and enjoyed in The Illuminated Landscape.
- v4n1: The celebration of Sierra College’s 75 years by providing a few examples of the inspiring history, and, especially, people who contributed to the history of the Sierra College.
- v4n2: On the Sierra Nevada: Women writers of the 19th Century—presents the writings of fourteen 19th century women writing on their experiences in, and opinions of, the Sierra Nevada region.
- v5n1: Seventeen little-known figures from Sierra Nevada history
- v5n2: Six on the Sierra: Authors. Audio lectures on authors writing about the Sierra Nevada.
- v6n1: Hetch Hetchy Restored?
- v6n2: Mark McLaughlin: Sierra Nevada Weather and Cultural Historian
The following books were published by Sierra College Press or in collaboration with Heyday Books.
Standing Guard: Telling Our Stories (2002)
Project Leaders: Rebecca Gregg, Dr. Debra Sutphen and Lynn Medeiros
Designed by Tom Fillebrown
Published in 2002, Standing Guard: Telling Our Stories is a collection of oral histories from survivors of the internment camps, Japanese American veterans, and Placer County residents, recounting their experiences during the time. The Standing Guard Project received the prestigious Dr. John W. Rice Diversity Award from the California Community College Chancellor and the Foundation for California Community Colleges.
Sierra Foothills Nature Guide: A Guide to Biology and Ecology of the Sierra College Nature Trail (2004)
Edited and updated by Shawna Martinez
Illustrated by Sarah Tomich, Ken Kirkland and Heather Mehl
Published in 2004, the Sierra Foothills Nature Guide: A Guide to Biology and Ecology of the Sierra College Nature Trail features the flora and fauna one can see while exploring Sierra College’s nature trail and much of the Sierra foothills. The book was compiled and written by the outstanding Sierra College Natural History Museum.
The Illuminated Landscape: A Sierra Nevada Anthology (2010)
Edited by Gary Noy and Rick Heide
Illustrated by Joe Medeiros
Foreward by Robert Hanna
This sweeping investigation of the Sierra includes literary descriptions of the range from the earliest native cultures to the present. The selections also include contemporary accounts and descriptions from those who have recently visited and been inspired by the Sierra experience.
Tahoe Beneath the Surface: The Hidden Stories of America’s Largest Mountain Lake (2010)
In 2010, the Sierra College Press published Tahoe Beneath the Surface: The Hidden Stories of America’s Largest Mountain Lake. Written by Foothill College instructor and John Muir scholar Scott Lankford, it examines little-known stories of the magnificent alpine lake. Tahoe Beneath the Surface was the 2010 recipient of the Foreword Reviews Nature Book of the Year Award.
California Glaciers (2012)
Photographs and text by Tim Palmer
California Glaciers was released in September 2012. Award-winning photographer and nature writer Tim Palmer takes us on a trek into the backcountry to experience threatened California glaciers up close, to observe the raw power of these wonders of nature, and to contemplate the impact of climate change on these disappearing marvels.
Sierra Stories: Tales of Dreamers, Schemers, Bigots, and Rogues (2014)
By Gary Noy
Foreward by Malcolm Margolin
Published in 2014, Sierra Stories: Tales of Dreamers, Schemers, Bigots, and Rogues is a collection of 64 unusual or little-known stories of Sierra Nevada history, offering entertaining and informative texture and nuance to Sierra history and culture. In 2016, Sierra Stories was presented the National Gold Medal for Outstanding Regional History by the Next Generation Indie Books Awards.
King Sequoia: The Tree That Inspired a Nation, Created Our National Park System, and Changed the Way We Think About Nature (2016)
By William C. Tweed
Foreward by Joe Medeiros
King Sequoia was published in 2016. Naturalist and former park ranger William C. Tweed takes readers on a tour of the Big Trees in a narrative that travels deep into the Sierra, around the West, and all the way to New Zealand; and in doing so he explores the American public’s evolving relationship with the mighty sequoia.
Gold Rush Stories: 49 Tales of Seekers, Scoundrels, Loss and Luck (2017)
By Gary Noy
Foreward by Gary F. Kurutz
Published in 2017, Gold Rush Stories: 49 Tales of Seekers, Scoundrels, Loss, and Luck explores the deeply human stories of the California Gold Rush generation, drawing out all the brutality, tragedy, humor, and prosperity as lived by those who experienced it.Sierra Stories/Gold Rush Stories/Hellacious California
Written by Gary Noy
Introduction by Gary Kurutz
Lured by boons of gold and other exploitable resources, California’s settler population mushroomed under Mexican and early American control, and this period of rapid transformation gave rise to a freewheeling culture best epitomized by its entertainments. Hellacious California tours the rambunctious and occasionally appalling amusements of the Golden State: gambling, gun duels, knife fights, gracious dining and gluttony, prostitution, fandangos, cigars, con artistry, and the demon drink. Historian Gary Noy unearths myriad primary sources, many of which have never before been published, to spin his true tall tales that are by turns humorous and horrifying.
Sierra Wildflowers: A Hiker’s Guide (2019)
Written and illustrated by John Muir Laws
The Sierra Nevada is one of the premier wildflower destinations in California. Naturalist and best-selling John Muir Laws has adapted his painted-from-life flower illustrations from The Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada into a lightweight yet durable guidebook to the area’s florae. Published in 2019, Sierra Wildflowers includes the most common species that you will encounter with fully updated common and scientific names.
Hellacious California: Tales of Rascality, Revelry, Dissipation, and Depravity, and the Birth of the Golden State (2020)
By Gary Noy
Published in 2020, Hellacious California: Tales of Rascality, Revelry, Dissipation, and Depravity, and the Birth of the Golden State tours the rambunctious and occasionally appalling amusements of the 19th century Golden State: gambling, gun duels, knife fights, gracious dining and gluttony, prostitution, fandangos, cigars, con artistry, and the demon drink.
Hansen’s Field Guide to the Birds of the Sierra Nevada (2021)
Written and illustrated by Keith Hansen, Edward C. Beedy and Adam Donkin
Published in 2021, Hansen’s Field Guide to the Birds of the Sierra Nevada showcases artist-naturalist Keith Hansen’s sixteen-year project to illustrate the birds of the Sierra. Paired with the stunningly detailed portraits is text informed by the three authors’ collective birding experience.
First held in 2016 as a collaboration between Sierra Writers and Sierra College, now supported by Sierra College Press, the Sierra Writers Conference is an annual event that provides inspiration, thought-provoking discussions of timely topics, access to professional writers and publishers, and writing activities for Sierra College students and the greater community through lectures, panels, workshops, and networking opportunities.
The event is typically held in February. Look for it on our Community calendar.
The Sierra Journal is an important touchstone in the history of Sierra’s students and staff. First created in the English Department by faculty and students in 1960, the publication transitioned from View-point (1960–72) to I Am (1973–75) and finally to the Sierra Journal in 1976. The publication continued annually until 2011–12. It was published online in 2012–13. Publication was suspended until it was resumed by the Sierra College Press in 2017–18.
Today, the Sierra Journal continues as an example of the typical spirit that exists at this institution. The Sierra College Press Board of Directors eagerly voted to act as a reliable and sustainable supporter of the Sierra Journal. Sierra College Press hopes to stabilize this student-produced publication, especially to free up the precious faculty time that it takes to be creative, work on submissions, vet, edit, and fine-tune the literature, photographs, and art that grace its pages—as well as design and layout the winning submissions to create a cohesive collection for publication. Copies of the entire run of this literary and arts publication can be found in the Sierra College Archives in Rocklin, CA.