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Retired Cornell agronomist Earl Stone dies at age 92

Retired professor of agronomy Earl Lewis Stone Jr. died July 23 at his home in Gainesville, Fla. He was 92.

Stone served for 31 years on the Cornell faculty, teaching and conducting research on forest soils, with an emphasis on the effects of soil properties on forest type and growth; symbiotic tree-root fungi called mycorrhizae; soil fertility and forest ecology; forest element accumulation; and biology and chemistry of the forest floor.

Born July 12, 1915, in Hinmansville, N.Y., Stone received his B.S. in forestry at Syracuse University in 1938 and his M.S. in soil science at the University of Wisconsin in 1940. After working as a junior forester and then with the Eighth Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 5th Air Force in the Pacific, he earned his Ph.D. in soil science at Cornell in 1948, the same year he was appointed to the endowed Charles Lathrop Pack professorship in forest soils in the Cornell agronomy department.

After retiring from Cornell in 1979, Stone served as a visiting professor and then adjunct professor of soil science at the University of Florida.

During his career, he served as a visiting associate professor of forestry at the University of the Philippines; Fulbright senior research fellow at the Forest Research Institute, New Zealand; visiting professor in Thailand; consultant to the National Institute of Biology, Indonesia; consultant to the President's Advisory Panel on Timber and the Environment; and, for 20 years, a member of the Bikini Atoll Rehabilitation Committee. He also served as editor of the journal Forest Science from 1965 to 1972 and as editor, associate editor or editorial advisory board member for numerous other scientific journals and conference proceedings.

Stone was predeceased by his wife of 56 years, Margaret Stone, and by his second wife, Jean La Chance Stone. He has numerous survivors in his extended family.

Contributions in memory of Stone can be sent to the Charles Lathrop Pack Forestry Trust, Cornell University, P.O. Box 2600, Ithaca, NY 14850. A memorial service was held last August in Gainesville, Fla.

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