Arthur M. Hussey III, Professor of Geology Emeritus, died on July 26, 2016, in Bowdoinham, Maine.
I write to share the sad news that Professor of Geology Emeritus Arthur M. Hussey, 85, passed away peacefully on Tuesday evening, July 26. For much of his 39-year teaching career, Art was the sole faculty member in the geology department, carrying on Bowdoin’s rich history in a field in which the College’s first science professor, Parker Cleaveland, played a prominent role. A dedicated field geologist and recognized authority on the structural geology of the Appalachians and of Maine, Art also curated the James Bowdoin III and Parker Cleaveland mineral collections at the College.
Arthur Mekeel Hussey II was born in Pittsburgh on March 9, 1931, and graduated from Wells High School in Maine in 1950. He traced his interest in geology to his childhood, when he played with (and studied) the cobbles and pebbles along the sea wall near his grandfather’s house in Wells Beach. He earned a B.S. in geology and mineralogy at Pennsylvania State University in 1954, where he won the W. A. Tarr Award for scholarship in the Earth sciences. His graduate study at Harvard was interrupted by service as a first lieutenant in the U. S. Air Force from 1955 to 1957. He continued his graduate study at the University of Illinois, and was awarded his Ph.D. in 1961. Before coming to Bowdoin, he was a visiting assistant professor at Purdue University in the 1960-61 year.
He joined the Bowdoin faculty in 1961 as a visiting assistant professor of geology, became an assistant professor in 1962 and an associate professor in 1966. He was promoted to the rank of full professor in 1972. Beginning in 1958, he worked with the Maine Geological Survey to describe and map the structural geology of the Maine coast from Kittery to Pemaquid Point. Art was a co-editor of the Bedrock Geological Map of Maine (1986), a comprehensive survey of the state’s rock formations and geologic history commissioned by the Maine Geologic Survey. His book A Guide to the Geology of Southwestern Maine was published in 2015, and summarized nearly sixty years of his research.
The author of scores of papers and maps on the geology of Maine, Art remained professionally active until the time of his death. He had co-authored a paper for a New England Intercollegiate Geological Conference field trip scheduled for this fall, and he would have been at the front of the group, sharing his knowledge about the deep history of a landscape he knew so well. Art was a lecturer and scientific consultant on many statewide geologic projects, ranging from mapping the bottom of Casco Bay to tracing seismic movements along Maine fault lines. When the College undertook the repair and reconstruction of the two Chapel towers in 2003 and needed to replace a number of stones, Art drew on his detailed knowledge of local geology to identify the quarry that produced the original stones. Always a teacher, Art led field trips for geologists, students, and the general public to acquaint others with the wonders of Maine’s geological history.
Art took great pride in his students and their accomplishments. At the time of his retirement, the Arthur M. Hussey II Prize in Earth and Oceanographic Science was established at the College to recognize an outstanding senior research project. He was a long-time member of the Geological Society of America, the New England Intercollegiate Geological Conference, and a board member of the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum in Bethel. The Geological Society of Maine was formed during an informal meeting of colleagues in Art’s barn in Bowdoinham in 1974, and he served as the organization’s first president and publications editor. He also served as a member of the Topsham School Board in 1971. Some at Bowdoin may not have known about Art’s passion for narrow gauge railroads and his volunteer work as a conductor for the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Company.
Art is survived by his children, Arthur M. Hussey III of Fairbanks, Alaska, Nathaniel Hussey of Matinicus, Maine; Mary Hussey Stride of Bowdoinham, Maine; several grandchildren; and his former wife, Ruby Lord Hussey.
We share with Art’s family, colleagues, former students, and friends a deep sense of loss at his passing.