Steve Morey (he/him) here. I started theoutershores because my thoughts about nature on the exposed beaches of central and northern Oregon needed curating. I call it theoutershores because that describes the surf-swept shores of my home beaches and it describes exposed shores anywhere. I hope my words and photos have meaning to people who love beaches and the exposed intertidal anywhere in the world.
theoutershores is my hobby. In real life, I dabble in decision analysis for USFWS. One of the things I think about there is how to help people make great natural resource conservation decisions. In Implicit decision framing as an unrecognized source of confusion in endangered species classification, among with four friends and colleagues (Jonathan Cummings, Sarah Converse, Dave Smith, and Mike Runge), we argue that when participants in an Endangered Species Act decision (or any decision) adopt privately held framings they create conflict and confusion about the decision. We think this happens a lot. We illustrate a few of the Endangered Species Act decision framings we have observed, and urge decision participants to open up conversations that lead to a shared understanding about framing from the start.
Another big part of good Endangered Species Act decisions involves connecting decision makers with the science that helps them understand risk, especially extinction risk. Making that connection is a complicated two-way street. Improving conservation policy with genomics: a guide to integrating adaptive potential into U.S. Endangered Species Act decisions for conservations practitioners is a primer for decision makers seeking to understand how adaptive potential influences risk, and for geneticists seeking to understand the twists and turns of decision making under the Endangered Species Act, and their role. I’m grateful to Chris Funk, Brenna Forester, Sarah Converse, and Cat Darst for inviting me to participate. I learned a lot from each of them.
I’ve also had a chance to think a little bit about reserve design for endangered species conservation. Reserve Network Design for Prarie-Dependent Species in South Puget Sound just came out; that’s another project I did with Sarah Converse, and it’s where I met Beth Gardner.
Back on the beach, my twitter profile, @theoutershores, says surfperch were my gateway. That’s true. Years of surfperch fishing taught me a lot. I even teamed up with Mike Westphal, Josef Uyeda, and Ted Morgan to write Molecular phylogeny of the subfamily Amphistichinae (Teleostei: Embiotocidae) reveals parallel divergent evolution of red pigmentation in two rapidly evolving lineages of sand-dwelling surfperch. Fishing the intertidal also helped me learn about tides, surf, and currents. Along the way I started to learn some of the intertidal plants, animals, and seaweeds. I branched out beyond the sandy beaches to the rocky intertidal, where my fascination with intertidal seaweeds just about put an end to my surfperch fishing. Now I fish the surf zone only occasionally. I split my time between combing the wrackline on sandy shores and exploring the rocky headlands and outcrops that separate Oregon’s sandy beaches.
Countless naturalists have helped me discover the intertidal via their books (you’ll see my favorites cited frequently in my posts and pages), websites (I’ve got a few favorites there too), and in person. I wish I could thank them all. My main collaborator and friend on theoutershores is Mike Westphal. He’s one of the best naturalists I know, and the intellectual co-founder of theoutershores. My posts are full of things that Mike and I have learned and are learning about the surf zone and about the natural history of surfperch and their prey, and other creatures with which they share the beaches, outcrops and tidepools. Mike helped teach me respect for the sandy beaches’ sister ecosystems, the rocky intertidal, estuaries, the subtidal, and coastal forests.
If you have an interest in things that wash up on the beach throughout the seasons- things like marine debris, floats, carcasses, driftwood, and shells, my Wrack Line pages will be right up your alley. If you like photos of intertidal organisms, I have pages on surfperches, other fishes, lots of other animals, plants, and seaweeds too. These are all works in progress, and they always will be. You can get a taste of those pages by visiting my A Variety of Intertidal Life page.
I’ve tried to make theoutershores a welcoming place where everybody who visits can connect with nature in their own way and participate if they feel like it. My wish for theoutershores is that it is a place where all people feel invited and safe. I’m going practice aligning my actions on the beaches and in the tide pools with these values and I will strive through my words and photos to be inviting, welcoming, and provide a safe space for anyone who visits. If I can do this, theoutershores can be what it needs to be- a place where everyone can be their best authentic self.
If you like what you see and read, I hope you’ll give the outershores a follow. For different takes on the intertidal (but with some overlap) follow me on twitter @theoutershores. I show off my favorite intertidal photos on Instagram. Another good way to keep up with what’s going on at theoutershores is to like TheOuterShores on facebook. All of these options are available on the sidebar of this page and theoutershores‘ home page.
This page was revised and updated on August 15, 2020.