Princeton, New Jersey

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There were few hints of all that when I was seventeen, and now, a shake later, middle-aged and fading, I wanted to learn some geology again, to feel the difference between the Old and the New, to sense if possible how the science had settled down a decade after its great upheaval, but less in megapictures than in day-to-day contact with country rock, seeing what had not changed as well as what had changed. The thought occurred to me that if you were to walk a series of zakelijke energie vergelijken roadcuts with a geologist something illuminating would in all likelihood occur. This was long before I met Karen Kleinspehn, or, for that matter, David Love, of the United States Geological Survey, or Anita Harris, also of the Survey, or Eldridge Moores, of the University of California at Davis, all of whom would eventually take me with them through various stretches of the continent. What I did first off was what anyone would do. I called my local geologist. I live in Princeton, New Jersey, and the man I got in touch with was Kenneth Deffeyes, a senior professor who teaches introducto1y geology at Princeton University. It is an assignment that is angled wide. Students who have little aptitude for the sciences are required to take a course or two in the sciences en route to some cerebral Valhalla dangled high by the designers of curriculum. Deffeyes’ course is one that such students are drawn to select. He calls it Earth and Its Resources. They call it Rocks for Jocks. Deffeyes is a big man with a tenured waistline. His hair flies behind him like Ludwig van Beethoven’s. He lectures in sneakers. His voice is syllabic, elocutionary, operatic. He has been described by a colleague as “an intellectual roving shortstop, with zakelijke energie more ideas per square metre than anyone else in the department-they just tumble out.” His surname rhymes with “the maze.” He has been a geological engineer, a chemical oceanographer, a sedimentary petrologist. As he lectures, his eyes search the hall. He is careful to be clear but also to bring forth the full promise of his topic, for he knows that while the odd jock and the pale poet are the white of his target the bull’s-eye is the future geologist. Undergraduates do not come to Princeton intending to study geology. When freshmen fill out cards stating their three principal interests, no one includes rocks.

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