“Barwoodite” named after Henry Barwood as tribute

Lacey Alexander

Staff Writer

A mineral has been named after late Troy geology and earth and space professor Henry Barwood after he discovered it near Little Rock, Arkansas.

Henry Barwood, who unexpectedly passed away in September 2016, will serve as the namesake for a new mineral.

Jane Barwood, secretary of Troy’s theater and dance department and Henry Barwood’s widow, said that he discovered the mineral at Big Rock Quarry, near Little Rock, Arkansas, which was one of his favorite places to explore.

She said he had a talent for identifying minerals simply by looking at and analyzing them.

“He was known for his expertise in looking at a mineral and being able to tell what it is,” Jane Barwood said. “Not everybody is able to do that.”   

After discovering the mineral, Barwood sent samples to Anthony Kampf, curator emeritus of the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles.

According to the museum’s website, Kampf “conducts research principally in the areas of descriptive mineralogy, crystal chemistry, and structural crystallography, focusing on the characterization of new or inadequately described minerals.”

Jane Barwood said that Henry Barwood and Kampf had met at a conference in California.

“He (Henry Barwood) knew Dr. Kampf had the necessary equipment to run the tests needed to determine the makeup of the unidentified mineral and asked him (Kampf) if he would test the new mineral and send him the results,” Jane Barwood said.

After testing, Kampf determined that it was a new, undiscovered mineral.

Kampf’s findings were submitted to the Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature and Classification (CNMNC).

On Aug. 10, the CNMNC unanimously certified that the mineral was new and approved its name as “Barwoodite.”

In the May-June issue of the Rocks & Minerals Magazine, a tribute to Henry Barwood was written by Robert W. Stevens. In the piece, Stevens said that “what (Henry Barwood) did for the mineral community is extraordinary.”

“Minerals were a tremendous part of his (Henry Barwood’s) life, and many of his friends are members of the mineral community,” Kampf said. “I hope that Barwoodite will not only provide a tangible remembrance to his friends and colleagues, but will also remind generations to come that he has a special place in mineral history.”

In the findings sent back to Kampf, the commission stated that “Barwoodite” was a “well-deserved name in honour of an individual who clearly contributed much to mineralogical sciences.”

“A few hundred years from now, a geology student studying mineralogy will read about Barwoodite, and learn about the gifted professor who once taught at Troy University, and his contributions to the world of mineralogical sciences,” Jane Barwood said.

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