Orrin Pilkey is James B Duke Professor Emeritus of Geology at Duke University and the author and co-author of numerous books, including The Last Beach, published by Duke University Press.
Orrin is also Founder and Director Emeritus of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines which is currently based at Western Carolina University.
He received his undergraduate degree in geology at Washington State College, his Master’s degree in geology at the University of Montana, and his PhD degree in geology at Florida State University. Between 1962 and 1965, he was a Research Professor at the University of Georgia Marine Institute on Sapelo Island. He has been at Duke University since 1965, with one-year breaks with the Department of Marine Science at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, and with the US Geological Survey in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
Pilkey has received numerous awards, among them the Francis Shepard Medal for excellence in marine geology, a number of public service awards from various organizations, and the Priestly Award. In 2012, Duke University honoured him with the naming of a building at the Duke Marine Lab, the Orrin Pilkey Marine Sciences and Conservation Genetics Center.