Michael Collier has written and photographed seventeen books on geology within the United States. His subjects include the Grand Canyon, Denali, Death Valley, Capitol Reef National Parks, the Colorado River basin, the mountains of Arizona, and glaciers of Alaska. As a special projects writer with the USGS, he produced books on the San Andreas Fault, downstream effects of dams, and climate change. His series with Mikaya Press interprets American mountains, rivers, and coastlines. Each book in the series has been cited by the National Science Teachers Association as an Outstanding Science Book of the Year.
His photographs have hung at museums from Connecticut to California. Collier received the USGS Shoemaker Communication Award in 1997 and the National Park Service Director's Award in 2000. In 2005 he received the American Geological Institute's Outstanding Contribution to Public Understanding of Geosciences Award for his decades of work.
Michael Collier has a BS in geology from Northern Arizona University and an MS in structural geology from Stanford, as well as an MD from the University of Arizona. He lives in Flagstaff, Arizona with this wife, Rose Houk, who is also a writer. He still flies the same Cessna 180. His wife is convinced its tail wags when it sees him coming.