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Arthur Leroy Bloom

1928 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Arthur Leroy Bloom Obituary
Bloom, Arthur Leroy

Arthur Leroy Bloom, scholar, teacher, world traveler, and friend to many, passed away Wednesday, May 31 at Cayuga Medical Center surrounded by Donna, his wife of 64 years and sons Jeffrey, Jay and Eric. His early education, begun in a two-room country school in southern Wisconsin, led eventually to Miami University of Ohio (B.A. with honors in geology and Phi Beta Kappa), the University of New Zealand (Fulbright Award for M.A.), and to Yale University for the Ph.D.(Silliman Prize). For his early work on its seacoast the University of Maine awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1996.

Cornell University hired Art as a geomorphologist in 1960, but he was almost immediately engaged in cross university collaborations with planetary scientists, archeologists, and soil scientists. Until the disaster of Challenger he was training to be a special observer on a space flight. Throughout his long career Ithaca residents knew Dr. Bloom as the generous local source of information on the superficial geology of the Finger Lakes Region but geomorphology, coastlines, and in particular sea level change were his first and chief academic focus since his days as a young naval officer in the Pacific. His work on uplifted coral reefs in Papua New Guinea are his most famous contribution to the science and his publications provide a baseline for what the earth is capable of in the absence of human beings. His bookshelf contained copies of his early book on The Surface of the Earth translated into German, Polish, Spanish, Portuguese, and Japanese. A later expansion resulted in Geomorphology: A Systematic Analysis of Late Cenozoic Landforms, considered the last comprehensive textbook on the subject as subsequent works have focused on subsets of the field.

Sabbatic leaves took the scientist to Australia, twice to Japan, and for lesser periods of time to Korea and China. Research areas included Micronesia and New Guinea, and when the focus of his department shifted to South America his research expanded to Argentina.

A memorial service will be held at the First Congregational Church, 309 Highland Rd. on Monday, July 3 at 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to:

Arthur L. Bloom Fund for Geological Sciences Research in the Pacific Region

To donate by check please send to:

Cornell University c/o Terry Kent

130 E. Seneca St Ste. 400 Ithaca NY 14850-4353


Cornell Botanic Gardens Attn: Lori Colwell

124 Comstock Knoll Dr., Ithaca, NY 14850
Published in Ithaca Journal from June 7 to June 24, 2017
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