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Dr. George Devries Klein
Dr. George Devries Klein
Geologist & Educator

Books by Dr. George Devries Klein

A Geologist's Memoir

by Dr. George Devries Klein


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Rocknocker: A Geologist's Memoir

Rocknocker: A Geologist’s Memoir reviews the life of George Devries Klein, an immigrant who made it through the American System as a geologist. It chronicles his life from early childhood, graduate school, working as an oil company researcher, university professor, science administrator, and as a geological consultant. The book includes the highs and lows of George’s life. Each chapter also summarizes key lessons learned making the book even more useful to young scientists as a career guide. Isolated incidents relevant to the book, but shortened, are included as postscripts at the end of each chapter. A highly informative read that shows what is needed to develop a productive career in the sciences.

Book Reviews

"George Devries Klein’s book Rocknocker: A Geologist’s Memoir is a review of his life. Numerous geologists have written memoirs or autobiographies, among them F.J. Pettijohn, J. Rodgers, and G.M. Friedman. But the approach George followed in his memoir is different from other memoirs in that each chapter ends with a section entitled Lessons Learned. These Lessons Learned sections are basically very personal critical analyses of specific events or situations. Some of the postscripts are advices, that, I believe, readers will find informative and useful. In addition to the Lessons Learned, George included at the end of some chapters items relevant to the pertinent chapter.

George Devries Klein is a widely respected and appreciated geologist, in both the academic and the industrial environments. His exceptional career rewarded him with a highly interesting life by meeting numerous outstanding people several of which became colleagues, teachers and friends. From his description and interaction with them it is clear that he met a range of people who “were as variable as many rock types he examined.” George encountered highs and lows in his life and his reaction/response is well expressed in these memoirs, in which he presents his experience, philosophy, and advice in an enjoyable mode.

Perhaps the most important of George’s memoirs is, however, the way in which he shows young geologists how to work and how to do so efficiently and effectively. This holds, in my opinion, particularly for working in the petroleum sector. I sincerely hope that George’s memoirs will be equally appreciated by the entire geological community as I do."

- Rajat Mazumder, Geological Studies Unit and Fluvial Mechanics Laboratory, Indian Statistical Institute
Journal of Sedimentary Research

"This is an autobiography that concentrates on Houston Geological Society member George Devries Klein's career in geology. The author utilizes what he calls "Lessons Learned" at the end of each chapter. It basically reviews what he considers the most important portion of each chapter. This makes a good summary that is useful for any later review of the book.

Following the events and politics involved in the author's student days through his different academic endeavors and government work to finally becoming a consulting geologist was interesting reading for me. Present-day students would gain a lot by reading the book. The section on what it takes to become a consulting geologist is very accurate based on my personal experience.

I would recommend reading the book."

- John B. Tubb, Jr., President, Houston Geological Society
Houston Geological Society Bulletin, V. 53, No. 1

About the Author

George Devries Klein is a widely respected geologist, both in academe and the petroleum industry. Born in 1933 in the Netherlands, he immigrated to the USA in 1947. He graduated from Mamaroneck Senior High School and earned his BA, MA, and PhD in geology from Wesleyan University, The University of Kansas, and Yale University, respectively.

His career spanned work as a research geologist at Sinclair Research, Inc., followed by service as a faculty member at the Universities of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Illinois @Urbana-Champaign, where he was a full professor from 1972 to 1993. He served as President of the New Jersey Marine Science Consortium and as New Jersey State Sea Grant Director and then formed his own consulting company, SED-STRAT Geoscience Consultants, Inc., in 1996.

He is best known for his research on tidal sedimentology, proposing the “Tidalite” concept. He authored over 350 refereed papers, abstracts and reports, including 11 reference books, and one novel, Dissensions. His publications include the book Sandstone Depositional Models for Exploration for Fossil Fuels and a widely-used Wall Chart on “Vertical Sequences and Log Shapes of Major Sandstone Reservoir Systems”.

His consulting client work is in the US Gulf of Mexico and Gulf Coast, Illinois basin, Appalachian basin, Angola, Senegal, South Africa, East Africa, Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Mexico, Romania, Russia, and the eastern Mediterranean. He has discovered, either solo or as part of consulting teams, approximately 160 Million Barrels of oil and 3 Trillion Cubic Feet of natural gas.

He currently resides with his wife, Suyon (originally from Seoul, Korea), in Sugar Land, Texas.

Click here to view the Table of Contents

Click here to view a video interview of George Devries Klein on miniGeology

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