Roger M. McCoy is the author of books on the experiences of early explorers detailing their trials and triumphs. He is professor emeritus at the University of Utah.
As a youth he honed his reading interests on the fantasy adventures of authors like Frank Baum, Jules Verne, and Edgar Rice Burroughs. As an adult he turned to the exploration adventures of real people like Sir Richard Burton, John C. Fremont, John W. Powell, and Lewis and Clark.
He received degrees in geology and geography from the Universities of Oklahoma and Kansas, and had a career as a professor of physical geography and remote sensing at the University of Utah. During that time he wrote numerous research articles, but only after retirement did he begin writing books. His first effort produced a long needed book on field methods for remote sensing projects. Next he began searching for materials on Alfred Wegener, who was mentioned briefly in 1950s geology classes as a crackpot who thought the continents were moving. Surprisingly, Roger found little recent information on Wegener, and decided to develop the available material into a book. Ending in Ice covers both of Wegener’s passions: his continental drift theory and his pioneering climatic studies in Greenland. Wegener captures one's admiration because of his creativity, his dogged persistence, his courage, and his love of adventure. Roger's third book, On The Edge, is a compilation of accounts of those who explored the coasts of North America and ultimately completed a map of the continent. The most recent book is a fictionalized account of Giovanni Verrazzano's voyage in 1524 based on an imagined journal written by his brother Gerolamo.
Roger and wife, Sue, divide their time between the Sonoran desert of Arizona and the redwood coast of northern California. The portability of writing makes such a migratory life possible.
• Ph.D. Kansas U, 1967, Geography
• M.A. Colorado U, 1964, Geography
• B.Sc. Oklahoma U, 1957, Geology