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Gessel, Stanley P. (?–1995)

Stanley Gessel, Professor Emeritus of Forest Soils at the University of Washington, passed away in his sleep at his home in Seattle, in the early hours of 13 May 1995 from heart failure. He was 78 years of age.

Stan was a native of Utah where he received his Bachelor in Range Management. After serving in the Air Forces in the Second World War he completed his Doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley as Hans Jenny’s first graduate student in forestry. He moved to the University of Washington, Seattle, where he developed the forest soils institution and research program that he held until his retirement in 1983.

He pioneered forest soils, nutrition and nutrient cycling work forming the basis for the extensive forest fertilisation program in the Pacific Northwest. The work had major influence in Australia. He worked on various projects throughout the world including the impacts of atomic weapons testing in the Marshall Islands.

He worked at various times with T N (Bill) Stoate, and Australian students associated with him included Wal Gentle, Wilf Crane, Bob Boardman, Hans Porada, John Turner, Sue Turner, Geoff Pople and Phil Ryan and he interacted with a variety of others.

He was a humble and kindly man and was scientifically very productive. It is intended that a research scholarship endorsement fund be set up in Stan’s name to continue his work

Original publication

  • IFA Newsletter, vol 36, no 4, August 1995, p 28

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Citation details

'Gessel, Stanley P. (?–1995)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 8 July 2020.

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