In Memoriam: Dr. Darrick Danta

February 15, 2013

picture of Darrick Danta


It is with considerable sadness that we report that Dr. Darrick Danta, Associate Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and longtime faculty member of the Department of Geography passed away Friday February 15th, 2013.

A long-time resident of the San Fernando Valley and an inveterate champion of the Geography Department at California State University, Northridge, Dr. Danta had spent a good deal of his life in the classrooms of Sierra Hall. Dr. Danta earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Geography Department at CSUN. He later took a PhD in geography from Ohio State, before returning to CSUN to begin a long career teaching and researching. He served as president of the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers, as well as editor for their journal. He was a fixture at meetings of the California Geographical Society and the Association of American Geographers. An active member of the Sierra Club, Darrick led many outings where he taught outdoor skills and orienteering. Students and peers benefitted from Dr. Danta’s expansive knowledge of Eastern Europe as well as his exceptional breadth of training in all aspects of geographic methods, tools and techniques. Colleagues will remember Darrick as a good friend, a chronic punster, and a veritable encyclopedia of university rules, regulations and loopholes.

Dr. Danta died of natural causes after climbing a mountain peak near Needles, California. He was 58 years old. The CSUN community, and the many geographers that knew Dr. Danta, are finding comfort in the thought that Darrick lived his life quite fully and enjoyed doing what he loved. He is survived by his loving wife Sara and his brother Randall. He will be greatly missed.

Colleagues, friends and family joined together for a reflection, remembrance, and celebration of his life on the CSUN campus on Tuesday, May 14, at 2:00 p.m. in the Grand Salon of the University Student Union.

In lieu of flowers, contributions were made to the Darrick Danta Fund for Field Research in the Department of Geography established in Dr. Danta's honor. For anyone interested in making a contribution, please send a check payable to CSUN Foundation and mail to:

Anne Robison
CSUN/College of Social & Behavioral Sciences
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA  91330-8256

Or contact Anne directly at or (818) 677-7738.