Steve Morey 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’s a good description of 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 decisions. In Implicit decision framing as an unrecognized source of confusion in endangered species classification four amazing colleagues (Jonathan Cummings, Sarah Converse, Dave Smith, and Mike Runge) and I argue that when participants in an Endangered Species Act decision adopt privately held implicit framings they create a wellspring of conflict. We think this happens a lot. We discuss the Endangered Species Act decision framings we have observed and urge decision participants to open up conversations that lead to shared framings from the start.
Another big part of great Endangered Species Act decisions involves connecting decision makers with the science that helps them understand 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. 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.
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 algae. I branched out beyond the sandy beaches to the rocky intertidal, where my fascination with intertidal macroalgae just about put an end to my surfperch fishing. My last post specifically featuring surfperch was Count on Chaos at a Surfperch Photo Shoot, way back in November 2016! Now I fish the surf zone only occasionally. I split most my time combing the wrack line 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 they share the beaches with. 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, and other animals, plants, and marine algae too. These are works in progress, and always will be. You can get a tase of those pages and more, by visiting my A Variety of Life page.
If you like what you see, I hope you’ll give the outershores a follow. For slightly 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 December 30, 2019.