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David T. King, Jr., 2014 Distinguished Service Award

David KingDavid T. King, Jr. holds the rank of Professor of Geology at Auburn University and is an independent consulting geologist who is an LPG (licensed professional geologist) in the states of Alabama and Texas. He holds a gubernatorial appointment to the Alabama state licensure board for professional geologists. Dr. King has 34 years of post-doctoral experience in the fields of sedimentology and stratigraphy. He has worked in the Jurassic hydrocarbon basins of southern Alabama and Mississippi and in Cretaceous basins in the U.S. Gulf Coast and in Belize and adjacent parts of México. From 2009–2012, he was an oil concession geologist in Belize. In addition, he has a wide variety of academic research interests in many aspects of geology and stratigraphy, including planetary and impact geology. Since 1996, his main area of academic research has been cosmic impact in marine waters over geological time. In 2007, he convened an international Field Forum on marine impacts sponsored by the Geological Society of America. Marine impacts studied by him include Wetumpka (Alabama), Chesapeake Bay, Flynn Creek (Tennessee), and Chicxulub (including the KT boundary ejecta in Alabama and Belize.)

In total, Dr. King has published more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers and more than 250 scientific abstracts. In addition, he has worked as a consultant to the publishing industry as an editor and writer. He has written extensively on geology and geological education for general audiences and regularly gives public lectures. He regularly teaches introductory, advanced, and graduate courses in geology and he has supervised 25 Master’s students in geology. He is also Director for the Concepts of Science program on the Auburn main campus and has campus leadership experience as an officer since 2006 in the local AAUP (American Association of University Professors) chapter and as Chair of key campus Senate committees. For more information about his work, please see his web page at


University of Missouri-Columbia, Ph.D. in Geology, 1980.
University of Houston, M.S. in Geology, 1976.
University of Louisiana at Monroe, B.S. in Geology with honors, 1972.


1980–date Faculty Member, Dept. of Geology-Geography, Auburn University.
1980–date Consulting Geologist (PG), Editor, and Writer
1976–1980 Graduate Teaching Assistant, Dept. of Geological Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia.
1975–1976 Laboratory Geologist, Getty Oil Company E&P Laboratory, Houston.

Areas of Expertise

Sedimentology, stratigraphy, and petroleum and impact geology.
Field experience: U.S. Gulf Coast and Texas; Mid-continent U.S.; New England; Belize and adjacent parts of Mexico; southern Africa.

Professional Service

*Geological Society of America–Co-Editor, Session Chair, Field Trip leader.
*Board Member, Alabama Board of Licensure for Professional Geologists (2005–date).
*Member, North American Commission on Stratigraphic Nomenclature (1997–2000).

Grant Sources

National Aeronautics and Space Administration; National Science Foundation; National Geographic; Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies; various petroleum and mining companies

Ten Recent Papers

Wartho, J.-A., M. C. van Soest, D. T. King, Jr., and L. W. Petruny, 2012, An (U-Th)/He age for the shallow-marine Wetumpka impact structure, Alabama, USA: Meteoritics and Planetary Science, v. 47, p. 1243-1255.

King, D. T., Jr. and J. Ormö, 2011, Wetumpka—a marine target impact structure examined in the field and by shallow core drilling, in Garry, W.B., and J.E. Bleacher, eds., Analogues for planetary exploration: Boulder, Colorado, Geological Society of America, Special Paper 483, p. 287-300.

Ferrell, R., D.T. King, Jr., and L.W. Petruny, 2011, Nontronitic clay pseudomorphs of Cretaceous-Paleogene (KT) microtektites, Shell Creek, Alabama, U.S.A.: Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 81, p. 348-354.

de Villiers, G., D.T. King, Jr., and L.J. Marzen, 2010, A study of candidate marine target impact craters in Arabia Terra, Mars: Meteoritics and Planetary Science, v. 45, p. 947-964.

King, D. T., Jr., and L. W. Petruny, 2008, Impact spherule-bearing, Cretaceous-Tertiary sand body, Shell Creek stratigraphic section, Alabama, USA, in Evans, K., et al., eds., The Sedimentary Record of Meteorite Impacts: Geological Society of America, Special Paper 437, p. 179-188.

King, D. T., Jr., L. W. Petruny, and T. L. Neathery, 2007, Ecosystem perturbation caused by a small, Late Cretaceous marine impact, Gulf Coastal Plain, USA: in Monechi, S., R. Coccioni, and M. R. Rampino, eds., Large ecosystem perturbations: causes and consequences: Geological Society of America, Special Paper 424, p. 97-107.

King, D. T., Jr., J. Ormö, L. W. Petruny, and T. L. Neathery, 2006, Role of sea water in the formation of the Late Cretaceous Wetumpka impact structure, inner Gulf Coastal Plain of Alabama, USA: Meteoritics and Planetary Science, v. 41, p. 1625-1631.

Pope, K. O., A. C. Ocampo, A. G. Fischer, F. J. Vega, D. E. Ames, D. T. King, Jr., B. W. Fouke, R. J. Wachtman, and G. Kletetschka, 2005, Chicxulub impact ejecta deposits in southern Quintana Roo, Mexico, and central Belize: in Kenkman, T., F. P. Hörz, and A. Deutsch, eds., Large Meteorite Impacts III: Geological Society of America Special Publication 384, p. 171-190.

King, D. T., Jr., and L. W. Petruny, 2003b, Stratigraphy and sedimentology of Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary breccia deposits at Albion Island, Belize, in Koeberl, C., and F. Martinez-Ruiz, eds., Impact markers in the stratigraphic record (Impact Studies): Berlin, Springer-Verlag, p. 203-228.

King, D. T., Jr., T. L. Neathery, L. W. Petruny, C. Koeberl, and W. E. Hames, 2002, Shallow marine-impact origin for the Wetumpka structure (Alabama, USA): Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 202, p. 541-549.