Harold “Stoney” Stonehouse: 1922-2011

Professor Emeritus Harold Bertram “Stoney” Stonehouse died December 2, 2011, at his home in Yucaipa, California. He was 89.

Stoney taught Mineralogy as well as other geology courses and served as field trip director for the Department of Geological Sciences for many years. He was the departmental advisor for undergraduate majors and Earth Science teachers before retiring in 1989.

Originally from Walton-on-the-Hill, a small village near Stafford, England, Stoney received his Ph.D. in Geochemistry, Economic Geology, and Mineralogy  from the University of Toronto in 1952. He worked for American Smelting and Refining in New Jersey, and then the Illinois Geological Survey before coming to Michigan State University (MSU) in September, 1955.

Following his Fulbright Fellowship in Earth Science Education (K-16) in 1973, Stoney served on various state education committees to improve the teaching and learning of science in Michigan. He was named the Outstanding Education Specialist in Michigan in 1981.

Shortly after the founding of the Michigan Earth Science Teachers Association (MESTA) in 1967, Stoney started the long-standing association between MESTA and MSU; he served on its board and as journal editor, and worked tirelessly to promote the excellent teaching of Earth Science. He was a MESTA Honorary Life Member and the Stoney Award, a mini-grant program to support innovative K-12 classroom ideas, was established in his honor.

In 1983, Stoney helped transfer the MESTA experience to the national level as he helped establish the National Earth Science Teachers Association (NESTA). He served as the Executive Advisor to NESTA from 1983 until 1991.  He was named a Fellow of the association in 1994 and NESTA’s Jan and Stoney Award for Significant Achievement is named in his honor.

Stoney was actively involved in the Michigan Science Olympiad and National Science Olympiad. He served on the national board from 1984 to 2002.  He coordinated the first two National Science Olympiad tournaments at Michigan State University and the three of the Michigan Science Olympiad Tournaments.

He is survived by his wife, Janet Woerner, four children from his first marriage and two grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made in Stoney’s name to the National Earth Science Teachers Association, the Michigan Earth Science Teachers Association, the National Science Olympiad, or the Michigan Science Olympiad.

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