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Beach

Orrin Pilkey ’57
Spring 2012

Orrin Pilkey ’57—A climate change provocateur

In August 1969, Hurricane Camille slammed into Mississippi with winds of nearly 200 miles an hour. The storm blew many things far and wide, including the career track of coastal geologist Orrin Pilkey ’57. Up to that point, Pilkey had worked quietly studying deep-sea sediments, becoming an expert on abyssal plains (the flat underwater surfaces found along the edges of continents). But when he visited his parents on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, Pilkey found he was a lot more interested in what was happening to coastlines than on ocean floors far from shore. Pilkey and his father co-wrote a book, How to Live With an … » More …

Spring 2012

The World’s Beaches: A Global Guide to the Science of the Shoreline

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Orrin Pilkey ’57
University of California Press, 2011

It may appear to be a scholarly approach to beaches, but once you wade in to this book, you will find an entertaining and informative read. With a light touch, Pilkey and his co-authors manage to describe some heavy concepts like erosion, tsunamis, and human impact. Their goal, they say in the introduction, is to provide “a global perspective in regard to beaches, how they form, … » More …