Derek R. Whaley is a historian and research librarian, who was born and raised in Felton, California. He earned a doctorate in history from the University of Canterbury in 2018. He began researching Santa Cruz County history in 2011 and continues to do so from overseas. He has worked at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk as resident historian and The Tech Museum of Innovation, and volunteered at the San Lorenzo Valley Museum and Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History. He is editor-in-chief for Zayante Publishing, and is well-known for his Santa Cruz Trains book series, and also for his website, santacruztrains.com. He currently lives in Aotearoa New Zealand.