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Book Kenneth Deffeyes for a Speaking Engagement
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Ken Deffeyes is a geologist who worked with M. King Hubbert, the creator of the Hubbert peak theory, at the Shell Oil Company research laboratory in Houston, Texas. Deffeyes holds a B.S. in petroleum geology from the Colorado School of Mines and a Ph.D. in geology from Princeton University, studying under F.B. van Houten. In 1967 he began teaching at Princeton, where he is now professor emeritus.
In John McPhee's 1981 book Basin and Range, about the origin of Basin and Range topography, Deffeyes teaches geology to McPhee and his readers by analyzing road cuts and the exposed geologic strata that resulted from the construction of Interstate highway 80. On one trip, Deffeyes picked up a piece of Triassic shale near Paterson, New Jersey to demonstrate a common geologic field-test: he put the shale in his mouth and chewed it. "If it's gritty, it's a silt bed, and if it's creamy it's a shale," Deffeyes said. McPhee tried it and said he wouldn't "have thought to put it in coffee."
Deffeyes Ph. D. dissertation research concerned volcanic ashfalls in Nevada that had been altered to zeolites. Not much was known about the potential uses of zeolites, so Deffeyes wrote a review paper on zeolites in sedimentary rocks. This resulted (according to both Deffeyes and John McPhee) in the founding of the natural zeolite industry. Zeolites have important uses in water purification, as catalysts in the petrochemical industry, and as molecular sieves.
He is the author of Hubbert's Peak, published in 2001. In 2005 he published the book Beyond Oil: The View from Hubbert's Peak. On February 11, 2006 Deffeyes claimed that world oil production had peaked on December 16, 2005.
Professor Kenneth Deffeyes predicts that world oil production will peak on Thanksgiving Day 2005. Present high prices reflect an oil supply that is not growing, as well as rapidly increasing demand in China and India. The supply chain is also highly vulnerable to disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. Instead of a simple rise to a new "equilibrium" price, enormous price volatility is to be expected. Join Professor Deffeyes at NJIT on September 19 as he discussed these critial issues and suggests possible remedies.
Kenneth Deffeyes (pronounced d-phase) was born in the middle of the Oklahoma City oilfields. His father was a pioneering petroleum engineer and Ken has summer jobs in the oil industry. He took his undergraduate training in geological engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. Ken then served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineering and subsequently earned a master's in engineering and a PhD in geology at Princeton University. After working at the Shell Research Laboratory in Houston and teaching briefly at the University of Minnesota and Oregon State University, he joined the Princeton faculty in 1967. During that time, Professor Deffeyes had a supporting role in the development of plate tectonics. Many readers have learned about him through John McPhee's accounts in The New Yorker and the best-selling books Basin and Range, Assembling California, and Annals of the Former World.
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