Speakers Bureau

Keith Meldahl

Geology and Oceanography Instructor


  • B.A., University of Chicago
  • M.S., Ph.D., University of Arizona


  • Most Southern Californians feel deep ties to our local coast and ocean. In his book, Surf, Sand, and Stone: How Waves, Earthquakes, and Other Forces Shape the Southern California Coast, geologist Keith Meldahl tells the scientific story of our coastline: its beaches, coastal bluffs, surfing waves, islands, earthquakes, tsunamis and related phenomena. Undergirding his story is Southern California’s unique geologic setting, where two tectonic plates grind relentlessly past one another to create rugged landscapes and seascapes riven with active faults. In his presentation based on the book, Dr. Meldahl shows how our coast came to be, how it will change in the future, and how we might prepare for those changes.
  • Rough Hewn Land: A Geologic Journey from California to the Rocky Mountains, book by Keith Meldahl. The book takes readers on a 1000-mile-long field trip back through more than 100 million years of deep time to explore America’s most spectacular and scientifically intriguing landscapes.


  • Taught in Geology Department at Oberlin College in Ohio
  • Professional training primarily in paleontology and historical geology
  • Conducts research on geologic history of the Gulf of California; has published research results in professional art science journals