The rugged rocky coastline from Cape Perpetua to Heceta Head provides a place for many marine species to call home and provides abundant exploration for locals and visitors to tidepool. But how did it get there?

David Muerdter will take attendees back into deep time to learn about plate tectonics, Oregon’s long geologic history, and a volcano in Yachats that erupted and deposited hard, resistant basalt rock some 37 million years ago. Yachats is built on the remnants of this volcano. We will learn how the volcano was eroded and reshaped to create the rocky coastline we see today, including the Devil’s Churn, Spouting Horn, and Thor’s Well.

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David Muerdter grew up in San Diego near the beach and has never lived more than 50 miles away from salt water. Curiosity about the ocean and rocks led him to get a BS in Geology from Oregon State University and a PhD in Geological Oceanography from University of Rhode Island. During his studies he sailed on many oceanographic cruises to collect deep sea sediments. He served in the Peace Corps in Malaysia where he was a high school physics teacher and a geologist for the Geological Survey of Malaysia. He finally settled into a career as a geophysicist specializing in how sound moves through rocks, and he taught classes in this specialty around the world. Since retiring, he enjoys volunteering at the Seattle Aquarium and at the Cape Perpetua Visitors Center while visiting the central Oregon Coast in the summer. David always delights in exploring the world with his wife, Nancy, and captures as much of it as he can with his camera.


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