Portrait of Darrel Cowan

Earth and Space Sciences

Darrel Cowan

Professor Emeritus

Working on:

Darrel Cowan is a geologist who studies the evidence of plate tectonics in rocks. He has worked at field sites throughout North America, as well as in Japan, Croatia, and Italy. For years, though, his focus has been in Death Valley National Park, in California. There, he is studying a particular type of fault called a detachment fault, and investigating whether it is able to generate microearthquakes. Before returning to academia, Cowan was a geologist with the Shell Oil Company. He has been elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, and received the 2014 Geological Society of America Structural Geology and Tectonics Division Career Contribution Award for his work towards advancing the understanding of structural geology and tectonics.