Kenneth S. Deffeyes

Geologist, Author

1931 –


Who is Kenneth S. Deffeyes?

Kenneth S. 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. He claims Chickasaw ancestry.

"Deffeyes is a big man with a tenured waistline. His hair flies behind him like Ludwig van Beethoven. He lecture in sneakers. His voice is syllabic, elocutionary, operatic. ... His surname rhymes with 'the maze.' "—John Mcphee, Basin and Range

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.

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Also known as
  • Kenneth Deffeyes
  • Kenneth S Deffeyes
  • United States of America
  • Princeton University
  • Colorado School of Mines

on July 23, 2013


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