Environmental Studies Faculty

Dr. Derek Lerch, Assistant Professor

(530)283-0202 x321  dlerch@frc.edu


Ph.D. (2007) Stanford University, Geological & Environmental Sciences
                            M.S.   (2006) Stanford University, Geophysics                               B.A. (2000) University of California at Berkeley, Geophysics

Teaching Interests

Geology, Geography, Environmental Science, G.I.S., Watershed Resources

Derek came to FRC in 2006 after finishing his graduate work in the field of regional tectonics.  He lives in Quincy with his wife, Marisa, and son, Luke.  Derek has worked as a research assistant at the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory, as well as a consulting geologist and computer programmer for various mining companies.  Derek enjoys working with the small classes of motivated students that characterize the Environmental Studies program, and looks forward to having you join our team of energetic and interested scientists who want to improve our planet’s environmental well being.




Dr. Darla DeRuiter, Associate Professor, Program Coordinator

(530)283-0202 x262  dderuiter@frc.edu


Ph.D. Colorado State University, Human Dimensions of Wildlife

M.S. Colorado State University, Natural Resource Recreation

B.Env.D.  University of Colorado-Boulder, Environmental Design

Teaching Interests

Natural History, Wildlife, Environmental Policy, Current Environmental Issues, Outdoor Activities Courses, Recreation Program Planning

Darla DeRuiter has a split position at Feather River College, teaching in both the Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Environmental Studies programs.  Darla moved to Quincy during the summer of 2004 with her husband Darrel Jury after living for more than 30 years in Colorado.  She taught for 7 years at Western State College of Colorado in Gunnison, where she spent time as department chair for the Kinesiology & Recreation Department, and was instrumental in initiating the Environmental Studies major.  She has worked for Colorado State Parks, the U.S. Forest Service, and Wilderness Education Association.  Darla and Darrel enjoy hiking, backpacking, sea kayaking, backcountry skiing, rafting, mountain biking, yoga and naturalist studies.


Zach Parks, Instructional Assistant, Hatchery Manager

(530)283-0202 x224  zparks@frc.edu


B.S.  University of Idaho, Fisheries Resources, emphasis in Aquaculture

B.GS. University of Idaho, General Studies

Teaching Interests

Fisheries Culture, Special Topics in Fisheries

Zach Parks was born and raised in Parma, Idaho, and always loved the outdoors—especially fishing!  As a kid, he raised fish in 75 aquariums purchased fro flea markets and yard sales.  As a student at the University of Idaho he worked at the Aquaculture Research Institute on projects ranging from cold-water salmonids to warm-water tropical fish.  He spent 8 summers working for the U.S. Forest Service on the Payette National Forest as a biological science technician and wildlife firefighter.  Zach has also worked for the University of Idaho’s Fish & Wildlife Research Cooperative Unit at Bonneville Dam in Washington / Oregon tagging returning adult salmon and steelhead trout—some 1.3 million fish!  His final semester in college provided an opportunity to work for the Department of Defense Army Corps of Engineers at the Lower Granite Dam on the Snake River as a juvenile fish migration technician for salmon and steelhead.  He has been at Feather River College since the Fall of 2004.



Darrel Boyd Jury, Instructor

(530)283-0202 x262  djury@frc.edu


M.S. Colorado State University, Wildlands Management

B.S.  Cal-Poly San Luis Obispo, Landscape Architecture

Teaching Interests

Wildlife Diversity & Field Techniques, Introduction to Environmental Studies, Field Courses

Darrel believes in the teaching philosophy of "learning by doing."  Whatever class you take with him, expect to spend time outdoors doing what you are learning about.  His students built the interpretive trail on campus.  Darrel has lots of experience working outdoors with federal land management agencies.  He has worked for the National Park Service as a Hydrological Technician, with the Forest Service as a Biological Science Technician and Forestry Technician, and for the Bureau of Land Management as a Recreation Assistant.   Before coming to FRC, Darrel was an Instructor and Director of the Environmental Studies program at Western State College of Colorado.  He has also taught for the American Universities International Program in Belize and for the Wilderness Education Association in Baja California. 


Michelle Fulton, Instructor



M.A. University of California Santa Barbara    Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology B.A.  University of California Santa Barbara    Environmental Biology

Teaching Interests

Forestry, ecology, botany, natural history and biology

Michelle Fulton comes to Feather River College from the central coast of California where she has been teaching for the last 11 years. Prior to teaching Michelle worked for the University of Hawaii in cooperation with the National Park Service mapping rare and endangered plant and bird species. She has had extensive experience in the management of tropical forest ecosystems and brings a unique perspective to issues of forest resources and management. Michelle enjoys an active outdoor lifestyle which includes surfing, kayaking, hiking , mountain biking, cross-country skiing, bird watching and so much more. Michelle has moved to Quincy because of the beauty of the area, the wonderful community of people and the innate desire to live a life that is intimately linked to the land, making as small an ecological footprint as possible.


Ryan Tompkins, Instructor



B.S. Forestry, Univ. Calif. at Berkeley, 1996
Master in Forestry, Univ. Calif at Berkeley, 2001

Teaching Interests

Introduction to Forestry - Forest Ecology & Management

Ryan fell in love with the Feather River Area as a Forestry Camp student at UC Berkeley during his undergraduate studies.  Over the course the past 13 years, he has worked in various aspects of forest and fire research and management for UC Berkeley, the Calif. Dept. of Forestry, the National Park Service, and the USDA Forest Service.  Since 2002, he has worked for the Plumas National Forest  as a Forester and is currently the Mt. Hough Ranger District Silviculturist planning and implementing vegetation management projects including timber harvests, fuels treatments, timber stand improvement, and reforestation.  He enjoys spending his free time with his family gardening, backpacking, swimming, canoeing, backcountry skiing, and cooking.  He is thrilled to have the opportunity to share his passion for the outdoors, forest ecology and management with students interested in natural resources.  


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Feather River College Environmental Studies