Memorial Fund Set Up in Honor of Late CSUN Associate Dean

Darrick Danta sitting atop Kristinartindar Peak in Iceland in June 2012.

Darrick Danta sitting atop Kristinartindar Peak in Iceland in June 2012. Danta, associate dean of California State University, Northridge’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, passed away on Feb. 15. Photo by Matt Ebiner.

A memorial fund has been established at California State University, Northridge in honor of Darrick Danta, associate dean of CSUN’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, who died of natural causes earlier this month after climbing a mountain peak near Needles, Calif. He was 58 years old.

The Darrick Danta Fund for Field Research is being established in CSUN’s Department of Geography to support students doing fieldwork for course projects and graduate theses. The funds may also be used to assist students in attending regional geography conferences.

Those interested in contributing to the fund may send a check, payable to CSUN Foundation, to Anne Robison, CSUN/College of Social and Behavior Sciences, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge, CA 91330-8256.

Danta was a longtime resident of the San Fernando Valley and an inveterate champion of CSUN’s Department of Geography. Danta’s ties with the department, and the university, began when he was a student and continued when he joined the faculty in 1985. He earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in geography from CSUN and earned his doctorate in geography at Ohio State University.

Danta served as president of the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers, as well as editor for its journal. He was a fixture at meetings of the California Geographical Society and the Association of American Geographers. He was an active member of the Sierra Club and led many outings as an instructor in outdoor skills.

Colleagues said that students and peers benefitted from Danta’s expansive knowledge of Eastern Europe, as well as his exceptional breadth of training in all aspects of geographic methods, tools and techniques.

“The loss to our department is beyond comprehension,” said Shawna Dark, chair of CSUN’s Department of Geography. “Darrick was a wonderful mentor, teacher, colleague and friend. It was a true honor to work with him.”

Danta is survived by his wife, Sara, and his brother, Randall.

A memorial service at the university is pending.

For more information about the Darrick Danta Fund for Field Research, contact Anne Robison at or call (818) 677-7738.