Kennedy completed his PhD in Planetary Science with a focus on early solar system isotopic structures and chronology from Washington University, St. Louis in 1981. Subsequently, he was awarded a post doctoral research position in the UC Berkeley Department of Physics. During his tenure in the Physics Department, he established a noble gas isotope geochemistry lab designed specifically to develop and use noble gases and their isotopes as natural tracers for fluid processes in the Earth’s crust. In 1991, Kennedy joined the Earth Sciences Division at Berkeley Lab, as a staff scientist, incorporating the noble gas laboratory into the newly founded Center for Isotope Geochemistry, Directed by Prof. Don DePaolo. While a member of ESD Kennedy has served as the Group Leader for the Environmental Measurement Laboratory, providing geochemical analytical support to ESD (1995-2001); the Group Leader for the Center for Isotope Geochemistry (1999-Present); and the ESD Program Lead for Geothermal Energy Development (2001-Present).
Kennedy’s research interests focus on naturally occurring isotopes for investigating problems, such as:
- Sources, geochemical evolution, transport process and flow rates of crustal fluids
- Trapping of noble gases in sediments and the role biological processes may play
- Time scales for processes using both cosmogenic and radiometric techniques, with a focus on difficult to date young materials
- Tectonic and magmatic processes and their impact on crustal fluids and the development of economic resources
- Role of fluids in active faults chemical and isotopic fractionation related to transport in both saturated and unsaturated zones