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Eminent coastal geologist Pilkey to speak at CCU

March 30, 2006

World-renowned conservationist and environmentalist Orrin Pilkey will present a seminar at Coastal Carolina University on Rising Seas and Shifting Sands: Policy, Politics, Science and Management Mixing at the Shore. The lecture is scheduled for Monday, April 17 at 1:30 p.m. in the Burroughs & Chapin Center for Marine and Wetland Studies, room 100, in the Atlantic Center. Although Pilkey will be speaking to CCU marine science students, the event is open to the public.

Pilkey, a prominent and outspoken geologist in the national discussion on coastal erosion science and policy, is a James B. Duke Professor of Geology and director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines (PSDS) within the Division of Earth and Ocean Science at Duke University. PSDS research focuses on beach renourishment and other forms of shoreline stabilization, evaluation of the validity of mathematical models of beach behavior, hazard risk mapping on barrier islands, sedimentary processes on shorefaces, and mitigation of hurricane property damage.

Pilkey earned a bachelors degree in geology at Washington State College, a masters degree in geology at the University of Montana and a Ph.D. In geology at Florida State University. From 1962 to 1965 he was an assistant research professor with the University of Georgia Marine Institute on Sapelo Island in Georgia. Since 1965 he has been at Duke University. His research career started with the study of shoreline/continental shelf sedimentation, progressing to the deep sea with emphasis on abyssal plain sediments and back to nearshore with emphasis on coastal management. He has published more than 150 technical publications.

In 1987 he was awarded the Francis Shepard medal for excellence in marine geology, and in 1991 he was the N.C. Wildlife Federation Conservation educator of the year. In 1992 he became an honorary member of the Society for the Study of Sediments (SEPM) and was awarded the George V. Cohee Public Service Award by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. In 1993 he was awarded (jointly with William Neal) the American Geological Institute award for outstanding public communication.

Pilkey is a past president of the North Carolina Academy of Science. He is co-editor of the ongoing 20-volume Living With the Shore series published by Duke Press. He has also been featured in New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Oceans Magazine, Smithsonian Magazine, the Chronicle of Higher Education and National Geographic Magazine.