ALEXANDER A. STOYANOW (1879-1974), PIONEER ARIZONA GEOLOGIST:
A BIOGRAPHICAL BIBLIOGRAPHY
At the beginning of this century the Paleozoic and Mesozoic stratigraphy
of Arizona, with the possible exception of the Grand Canyon region, was a
veritable jigsaw puzzle still unsolved. In 1923 Alexander A. Stoyanow, a recent
emigrant to the United States from revolution ravaged Russia, became a
professor of geology at the University of Arizona. An accomplished scientist
with 19 years of research in the geology, stratigraphy and paleontology of
Europe and Asia, Dr. Stoyanow came to Arizona with a unique combination of
knowledge and experience that allowed him to eventually unravel Arizona's
complex stratigraphy and place it in the modern continental and global context.
Stoyanow's research has had a profound influence on the study of Arizona's
geology and even the most recent publications continue to reference his early
The present paper consists of a brief biography of Alexander Stoyanow
and a comprehensive bibliography of his scientific publications. For
biographical data I have drawn heavily from the University of Arizona Archives
in the University Library's Special Collections Department and from Lee and
Schroter's (1977) memorial article.
Alexander Alexander Stoyanow was born on August 7, 1879, near the Black
Sea village of Jelesnovodsk in Russia. His childhood interest in rocks,
minerals and fossils influenced his decision to major in geology in college and
in 1899 he graduated with honors from St. Vladimir University in Kiev. He
continued his education and received an MS in geology in 1901 from the
University of Moscow and an EM in Mining Engineering in 1904 from the
Petrograd School of Mines. In further pursuit of his scientific goals he
returned to the University of Moscow and was granted his PhD degree in
Stoyanow's professional career began in 1906 as an Assistant in the
Academy of Sciences in Petrograd. In 1911 he was appointed to the staff of the
Russian Geological Survey. Among his many assignments included studies of
auriferous mineralization and nonferrous mineral deposits in northern Persia,
the trans-Caucasus near the Russian-Chinese border in the Tarbagatoi and
Saur Mountains, and along the Irtysh River and nearby Kalbin Range. He was
also assigned the task of studying the stratigraphy of Mount Ararat and
possible petroliferous structures and sediments in the northwest Caucasus.
He led an expedition for the Chinese government to study gold deposits of the
Kwen Lun Mountains between the Gobi Desert and Tibet. He continued his
search for oil during World War I in Kurdistan and eastern Turkey, near
headwaters of the Euphrates River. He was an active member of the Russian
Mineralogical Society and the Russian Paleontological Society.
His professional activities in Russia were terminated in 1917 by the
Bolshevik Revolution. Along with other scientific and upper class Russians he
fled with his family to Finland across frozen Lake Ladoga.
A friendship with Dr. Fritz Schuchert of Yale University led him to his
first geological work after fleeing Russia. In 1920 he made for Schuchert a
paleontological study of the Gothland Islands of Sweden. In 1921 he initiated
major field work in the Malay Archipelago for the Sinclair Oil Company. His
association with Schuchert was instrumental in Stoyanow being appointed a
professor of geology at the University of Arizona in 1923. He was also
appointed in 1927 a geologist for the Arizona Bureau of Mines. He continued
at the University in full-time teaching and research until 1950. For the next
24 years he remained on the faculty in a part-time capacity. Also during
those years he had temporary research posts at the California Institute of
Technology and the University of California at Los Angeles. During the final
years of his life he maintained a paleontological laboratory at the University
of California at Los Angeles where he continued studies on his large
collection of Paleozoic and Mesozoic fossils. This collection is now in the
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, California. Stoyanow passed
away on November 18, 1974.
Alexander Stoyanow was a fellow of both the Geological Society of
America and the Paleontological Society and a full member of the Society of
Sigma Xi. He received the University of Arizona's Medallion of Merit in
1908. Valanginien und Hauterivien des Kislowodsk Umgegenden. Ann. Geol. et
Mineral, d. 1, Russia, v. 10.
1910. On the Character of the Boundary of the Paleozoic near Djulfa. Verhandl.
der Russisch-Kaiserl. Mineralog. Gesellschaft, bd. 47.
____. On a New Genus of Brachiopoda. Bull. de l'Acad. Imper. Sci. de St.
Petersbourg, p. 853-855.
1915. Sur l'Amia des Depots Tertiaires de Siberie. Bull. du Comite Geologique,
t. 34, no. 284.
____. On some Permian Brachiopoda of Armenia. Memoires du Comite Geologique,
livr. 111, 95 p., 6 pls.
1923. The Paleozoic Beds of the Angara Series of West Siberia. Am. Jour. Sci.,
vol. 6, p. 22-36.
1925. Oil Prospects of the Willcox Region. Ariz. Min. Jour., vol. 9, no. 7, p. 11-
1930. Cambric Formations of Southeastern Arizona and Their Trilobitic Faunas
[abstr]. Pan-Am. Geol., vol. 53, p. 315-316.
____. Certain Aspects of Devonic in Arizona [abstr.]. Pan-Am. Geol., vol. 53, p.
____. Observations on Mississippian Corals of Arizona [abstr.]. Pan-Am. Geol.,
vol. 53, p. 317.
1936. Occurrence of the Malone and Torcer Faunas at the Base of the Arizona
Comanchean. Science, vol. 83, p. 328.
____. Jurassic and Early Cretacic Faunas from Arizona [abstr.]. Pan-Am. Geol.,
vol. 65, p. 375-376.
1937. Correlation of Arizona Paleozoic Formations: Reply. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am.,
vol. 47, p. 1999-2000.
____. Fossiliferous Zones in the Cretaceous and Tertiary Deposits of
Southwestern Arizona [abstr.]. Geol. Soc. Am. Proc. 1936, p. 296-297.
1938. Lower Cretaceous Stratigraphy in Southeastern Arizona [abstr.]. Geol.
Soc. Am. Proc. 1937, p. 117.
1939. Paleontological Stratigraphy of Arizona; Its Relation to Adjacent Areas
[abstr.]. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am., vol. 12, p. 1960.
1940. Arizona Paleozoic Paleogeography. Pan.-Am. Geol., vol. 73, p. 376.
____. Paleozoic Paleogeography of Arizona [abstr.]. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am., vol.
51, p. 1950.
____. Revision of the Permo-Triassic Sequence at Djulfa, Armenia [abstr.].
Bull. Geol. Soc. Am., vol. 53, p. 1823.
1946. Molluscan Faunule from Devonian Island Mesa Beds, Arizona [abstr.].
Bull. Geol. Soc. Am., vol. 57, p. 1234.
1947. Problems of Mississippian Stratigraphy in Southwestern United States
[abstr.]. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am., vol. 58, p. 1278-1279.
1948. Some Problems of Mississippian Stratigraphy in Southwestern United
States. Jour. Geol., vol. 56, p. 313- 326.
____. Stratigraphic Evaluation of Some Upper Paleozoic Index Fossils of
Arizona [abstr.]. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am., vol. 59, p. 1383.
____. Sequence of Cambrian Trilobite Faunas in Southeastern Arizona [abstr.].
Bull. Geol. Soc. Am., vol. 60, p. 1922.
____. Occurrence of Texan Permian Ammonoids in Arizona [abstr.]. Bull. Geol.
Soc. Am., vol. 60, p. 1946.
1952. The Original Collection of Cambrian Trilobites From Sonora. in
Cambrian Stratigraphy and Paleontology Near Caborca, Northwestern Sonora,
Mexico. Smithsonian Misc. Colln., vol. 119, no. 1, p. 49-59.
1955. [with Susuki, Takeo] Discovery of Sonoraspis in Southern
California. Bull. Geol. Soc. Am., vol. 66, p. 467-470.
1956. Types of Bathyuriscus howelli var. lodensis Clark. Bull.
Geol. Soc. Am., vol. 67, p. 679-681.
1958. Sonoraspis and Albertella in the Inyo Mountains, California.
Bull. Geol. Soc. Am., vol. 67, p. 347-351.
____. Suture of Acanthohoplites aschiltaensis (Anthula). Bull. Geol. Soc.
Am., vol. 69, p. 607-610.
Lee, Charles A., and Schroter, G. Austin, 1977. Memorial to Alexander Stoyanow
1879-1974. Geol. Soc. Am. Memorials, vol. 6, 2 p.
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