Ronald K. Stoessell

Ron's Story

Biography Research Projects Research, Patent, Publications, Grants, and Graduate Students Water Chemistry Data Course Notes

Ron with graduate students Yang Chen and Yong Chen at Calica in the Yucatan (1990)

         Ron was born in 1947 in New Orleans, Louisiana, and grew up in the rice country in southwest Louisiana.    He received his B.S. in Geology in 1968 from LSU and then went to northern Guatemala to do field geology that summer.    While doing field work he had the interesting experience of being captured by Indians, held for a trial on tribal lands, and then released with an ear of corn as a token of friendship.    (Never underestimate a "drunken but determined group" of pygmy Mayan Indians with machetes and ropes!)    In the fall of 1968, he enlisted for two years in the US Army and served in the mechanized infantry until 1970.    To his eternal gratitude, the Army sent him to Germany and not to Viet Nam.    After his discharge, Ron went back to LSU in 1971 and received his M.S. in Geology in 1974.    At LSU, he worked with Jeff Hanor and measured diffusion coefficients of cations in multi-salt solutions within an artificial porous media.    (Why work with real rocks when you can make your own!)    Ron left LSU in 1973 for graduate work at UC Berkeley where he received his Ph.D. in 1977.    He worked with Harold Helgeson doing a combined field and laboratory study of the geochemical origin of sepiolite at Sinya, Kenya, determining the thermodynamic properties of the mineral.    Richard Hay, the Berkeley field geologist at Olduvai Gorge and Richard Leaky, the Kenyan paleontologist, were his field supervisor and sponsor in Africa.    Ron spent the summer of 1975 with his first wife Louise Poorman Barnninger at Ol Tukai in Amboseli National Park on the Tanzania border, doing his field work at Sinya on the northern edge of Mt. Kilimanajaro.    It was an incredible summer!

         As an undergraduate, Ron had worked as an exploration geologist for Union Oil of California in Lafayette, Louisiana.    After graduate school at Berkeley, he moved to Houston in 1977, working for a year as a Research Geologist in Exxon Production Research Company.    He began his academic career in 1978 at his alma mata LSU as an Assistant Professor on soft money in Coastal Studies at LSU.    He joined UNO in 1982, becoming an Associate Professor in 1984, a Professor in 1990, and a Research Professor in 2004.    Ron's research interests are in low-temperature geochemistry applied to environmental problems.    He has been accused of being a resort geochemist because of his many years of research of the mixing zone along the Caribbean Sea in the Yucatan.    After Hurricane Karina devastated New Orleans in 2005, he set up a mobile chemical laboratory for doing water chemistry (Chemistry on Wheels or COW) in the field on his research projects.

         Ron retired at the end of the 2006 fall semester but continues his research as Professor Emeritus at UNO.    He splits his time between Louisiana and North Carolina.    Following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, he and his second wife (Londi Moore) bought a house on a ridge west of Murphy, North Carolina, where he is expanding his research into ground-water chemistry within crystalline rocks of the Appalachian Mountains.

         Ron and Londi also do nature-friendly residential developments: Old Mandeville Woods in Louisiana, and Cameron's Ridge in North Carolina in which she builds homes and he oversees development without the usual total destruction of the woods.    Preserving wildlife habitat is important to them.    They are both active in animal sanctuaries, shelters, and rescues, funding the spay and neuter program in the City of Mandeville for several years and helping to fund St. Francis Animal Sanctuary in Tylertown, Mississippi, for the North Shore area of the Florida Parishes.    In 2008, Londi supervised and Ron helped fund the development of a low-kill Animal Shelter the Valley River Humane Society (VRHS) Shelter in Murphy, North Carolina, for Cherokee and adjacent counties.    That effort was over-turned in 2009 by local politics in the county.    In March, 2009, Ron incorporated Logan's Run Rescue (LRR) and formed it with Londi for doing rescue work and spay and neuter in SW North Carolina and adjacent areas in Georgia and Tennessee.    The rescue is named after their dog Logan who died tragically July 17, 2008.    In a nasty political power struggle, typical of 501(c)(3) rescues, LRR was taken over in 2012 by a group of individuals who dismantled most of the rescue work to concentrate on spay and neuter.    Ron then began working with Casey Lattimer, President of the The Delta Humane Society of Louisiana in Rayville, Louisiana.    In 2014, he formed Lost Dogs Run (LDR) in North Carolina with the help of his friend Melissa Marcum and his son David.    LDR promotes fostering for unwanted animals nation-wide.    Please help support your local rescue, sanctuary, and humane societies.

Ron has one child, David Stoessell, 35, who after a stint in the US Air Force, received his B.S. in 2003, in Architectural Engineering from the University of Texas in Austin.    In 2010, he received both his license as a professional engineer in Texas and a M.B.A. in real estate development from Arizona State University in Phoenix.    David lives in Austin and works as both a civil engineer and MBA doing land development projects. Ron is married to Yolanda (Londi) Moore, a former geohydrologist with a M.S. in Geology from UNO.    Londi builds houses with a passion for design, see Nature's Escapes, and develops subdivisions with Ron that are environmentally friendly with wildlife servitudes and lots of green space, see Old Mandeville Woods and Cameron's Ridge. In Louisiana, Ron and Londi lived in the Teal Tree House on Lake Pontchartrain with their rascals: two Cavalier spaniels - grumpy Cameron and saintly Logan - with foxy Josey, una perrita de las calles de San Ramon de Costa Rica.    Can you tell which is which below? Logan died in in 2008 and Cameron passed in 2010.    In North Carolina, Ron is building a cabin on 50 acres on the slopes of Fort Butler Mountain, the origin of the Trail of Tears for the Cherokee.    (No coastal flooding at 2000 feet elevation!)

Now listen Up!
Cameron taking charge in 2001

David and Isis (2006)

Beginning of David's Development in 2007

Londi as a UNO
M.S. graduate student in 1990

Londi doing Yucatan
hydrology in 1991

Entrance to Old
Mandeville Woods (2005)
"Our 1st development"

The Teal Tree House
by Terrance Osborne (2006)

The Rascals
by Leah Stanley (2004)

Winter Blue Ridge View
from our North Carolina deck

         For 25 years Ron has been doing research in the Yucatan.    He is currently examining the saline water under the interior of the Yucatan in deep sinknoles (cenotes).    In 2004, Ron and Jim Coke, a well-known cave diver in the Yucatan, sampled some of the deep interior sinkholes.    The jungle terrain and beautiful sinkholes make this an interesting place to do a study.    The goals include explaining the origin of this water which begins as seawater and ends up being modified by evaporite dissolution under the Yucatan interior.    The overlying fresh water composition is controlled by mixing due to thermal convection from heat transfer upward from the warm saline water into the cooler fresh water, producing a uniform brackish composition with depth, see Stoessell and Coke, 2006.     Other projects being worked on in the Yucatan include determining the rates of calcite raft formation at the water surface in caves due to degasing of carbon dioxide, trying to find more examples of heat anomalies in the cenote haloclines that are thought to be due to local geothermal convection cells, see Stoessell et al., 2002, and measuring flow rates in the underlying saline water.    See Ron's list of journal publications ("Publications) for those related to the Yucatan.

Professional Work

Research Experience Patent & PDF Copies of Signficant Publications
& a List of Abstracts
Grants Received Graduate Students

Water Chemistry Data

         In anticipation of retirement, Ron starting putting water compositional data on this web site.    These are data that he has collected in various projects over the years.    The analytical methods are described in the publications which are mentioned in the files.    Some of the data are unpublished and some are from student MS thesis projects that he supervised.    Please email Ron for instructions as to how to reference the data if you want to use it in a publication or for other public use.

Amboseli, Kenya
PDF file
PDF File
South Louisiana
PDF File
Southwest North Carolina
PDF File
PDF File

Course Notes

EES 1000 Physical Geology with Syllabus
EES 1004 Historical Geology with Syllabus
GEOL 4658 Environmental Geochemistry
GEOL 4659 Geochemical Thermodynamics
GEOL 6660 Field and Laboratory Geochemistry

email me at

Pilated woodpecker behind the teal tree house (3/11/06)