A new book by UC Santa Cruz geologist Gary Griggs offers a fascinating guide to the beaches and coast of California. Published by UC Press as part of its series of California Natural History Guides, Introduction to California's Beaches and Coast explores the state's spectacular coastline from the perspective of a scientist who has spent 45 years studying it.
"My goal was to help readers better understand and appreciate this exceptional shoreline and why it looks and works the way it does," said Griggs, a distinguished professor of Earth and planetary sciences and director of the Institute of Marine Sciences at UC Santa Cruz.
From sunny beaches where thousands escape the summer's heat to wild and isolated rocky cliffs, California boasts one of the most spectacular and diverse shorelines in the world. Griggs explores the dynamic forces that have created beaches and other coastal features. He offers lively discussions of waves, rain and wind, tectonics, changing climates and sea levels, human impacts, and coastal erosion. The book includes many interesting and instructive color photographs, diagrams, and maps.
Griggs joined the UCSC faculty in 1968 and has been director of the Institute of Marine Sciences and Long Marine Laboratory since 1991. He is the coauthor of Living with the Changing California Coast and The Santa Cruz Coast: Then and Now, among other books.