A Northwest Classic -- The Northwest Coast: A Natural History

Photo of book cover.

Authored by Stewart T. Schultz
Illustrated by John Megahan, Kathy Kellerman
Corrected and updated June, 2011

Coastal regions offer the observer a unique perspective on the forces of nature in conflict. The geologic forces that created and continue to shape the continent's edge in conjunction with factors of climate and oceanography produce wildlife zones of fascinating complexity. Nowhere is this truer than in the Northwest from Cape Mendocino to Cape Flattery, a young coast which also has the last vestiges of seashore wilderness in the continental USA.

The author’s aim has been not to provide a conventional field guide—there are many such available—but rather to provide insights into the relationships among the sea and the land and the living creatures they support. Starting in the coastal waters with their populations of marine animals and seabirds, the author examines the successive habitats found landward, from seashore, estuaries, dune, and freshwater wetlands to the great temperate conifer forests so characteristic of the region.

The reader will learn how the coastal environment molded the bodies and behavior of its inhabitants over the millennia, and how these creatures, in turn, changed their environments; the forces controlling their abundance, distribution, growth, and reproduction are explained in non-technical language, drawing upon several branches of scientific inquiry. Along with a fuller understanding and appreciation of the structure of the Northwest’s natural world, we hope the reader will gain a sense of its fragility, heeding the author's caution about human impacts on the coast and striving to protect this unique environment.

A portion of the profits from the sale of this book go to support Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition and its efforts to protect our coastal region for future generations. We offer The Northwest Coast as a traditional paperback, 404 pp. with B&W graphics. (If you prefer to receive an electronic PDF ebook, including color plates, let us know by email to [email protected] and we will arrange to send it in that format rather than a physical book.)

About the author: Stewart Schultz was born in Portland, Oregon, and grew up in Portland and on the Oregon coast. He is an ecologist and botanist who has published research on plant evolution, conservation, and ecology of shallow marine ecosystems. He currently divides his time between the Oregon coast and the Adriatic coast of Croatia with his wife Claudia and daughter Annegret.

The Northwest Coast, book by Stewart Schultz