Speakers Bureau

Keith Meldahl

Geology and Oceanography Instructor


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


  • Hard Road West: A Historic and Geologic Tour of the California Trail Talk description: In one of the greatest adventures in American history, overland emigrants during the gold rush of 1849-1853 crossed 2,000 miles of arid, rocky wilderness to get to California. The rivers, mountains and deserts that they crossed have a history as well – a geologic history that built the stage upon which the drama of our nation’s westward migration unfolded.  Join MiraCosta College professor Keith Meldahl for a 2,000-mile tour of the historic overland emigrant trail to California, focusing on how geologic processes shaped the dramatic landscapes of the American West.
  • 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