“Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”

 – Theodore Roosevelt

 

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Professor of Geology & Oceanography

Physical Sciences Department

Mira Costa College                                                  

 

 

·               Ph.D. in Geosciences, University of Arizona, 1990

·               M.S. in Geosciences, University of Arizona, 1986

·               B.A. in Geology, University of Chicago,1983

         Email: kmeldahl@miracosta.edu (best way to contact me)      Phone: (760) 757-2121, ext. 6412 (but I prefer email)

 

Consider making Oceanography or Geology part of your educational experience at Mira Costa College.  Here in coastal San Diego County we are surrounded by a fascinating and readily accessible geologic and oceanographic environment.  Studying oceanography and geology here is interesting, fun, and relevant to all of our lives.  Feel free to contact me if you have questions about oceanography or geology classes, including Oceanography online (see the bottom of this page for more information).

 

I have taught college earth science for most of my professional life, first at the University of Arizona in Tucson, then at Oberlin College in Ohio, and now Mira Costa College, where I have been since 1997.

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In addition to teaching, I write books about the geology of California and the western U.S.  This part of my job sends me on extended camping and exploring trips across the American West (my favorite pastime).  It’s been my good fortune to have spent many summer months exploring some of America’s most spectacular and scientifically intriguing landscapes. 

My most recent book (my third) is called Surf, Sand and Stone: How Waves, Earthquakes and Other Forces Shape the Southern California Coast. The book takes the reader along the Southern California coast from San Diego to Santa Barbara, exploring beaches, surfing waves, islands, mountains, the risk of tsunamis and earthquakes, coastal erosion, sea level changes, and the plate tectonic evolution of Southern California.  The publisher is the University of California Press.

My second book Rough-Hewn Land: A Geologic Journey from California to the Rocky Mountains (University of California Press) takes the reader on an armchair “field trip” across the wilds of the American West and explains the science behind the scenery. 

To write my first book Hard Road West: History and Geology along the Gold Rush Trail (University of Chicago Press), I followed the route of the gold rush pioneers—the forty-niners—for 2000 miles along the historic California Trail from the central U.S. to California. 

You can find these all on my Amazon page.