New mineral named after former KSU professor

Jacob Runnels

A former professor at Kent State has been honored with a new mineral being named after him.

The new mineral, Carlsonite, was named after Ernest Carlson, (1933-2010) who was a professor of geology. He taught classes in McGilvrey Hall on subjects such as geology and petrology (the study of rocks).

“In 2010, Ernie wrote a short thing in Ohio Geology in which he reveals there are two [mineral] specimens in Ohio,” Rodney Feldmann, geology professor, said. “One of them was Carlsonite, but someone else studied it and named it after his death.”

Feldmann said that the mineral was born in a spontaneous combustion of shale oil, and according to the Akron Beacon Journal, the fire was located near the Huron River. The minerals surrounding the shale oil mixed with the fire to create Carlsonite.

“One thing about Carlsonite is that it is very soluble, which it dissolves readily,” said Feldmann said. “The people that described it are going to have to preserve it in some medium where it won’t dissolve.”

Feldmann also said that possible media the mineral could be preserved in range from oil or glycerin, which would help protect the mineral from the atmosphere.  There is no discovered use for Carlsonite as of yet, Feldmann said.

Contact Jacob Runnels at [email protected].