William Crosley, mining engineer, was an associate member of the (British) Institution of Civil Engineers and from 1900 to 1904 was an active member of the Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) Scientific Association in Bulawayo. He was elected a member of its council in July 1901. When the association formed a meteorological committee around the beginning of 1902, to collaborate with the Meteorological Commission of the Cape of Good Hope, he became its first chairman. He was furthermore a joint vice-president of the association during 1902/3, and president during 1903/4. He left Bulawayo during the next year and in June 1905 was made a life member.
In his first paper before the Rhodesia Scientific Association, "Rainfall and its conservation", delivered on 31 October 1900, he advocated the establishment of a network of meteorological observatories in Rhodesia and discussed the meteorological elements. The paper was published in the association's Proceedings (Vol. 1, pp. 31-41). In December 1901 he read a second paper, "Tanks and wells for domestic water supply" (Proceedings, Vol. 2, pp. 94-126), which dealt mainly with water quality. In his final paper, read in April 1902, he dealt with a totally different topic, namely "The treatment of snake-bite", with antivenom serum from the Pasteur Institute (Proceedings, Vol. 3, pp. 28-39).
Crosley was awarded a United States patent in 1903 for improvements in (mechanical) calculators. In later years he published a book on Surveying for settlers; a simplified handbook for the use of pioneers, farmers, planters and others settling in new countries (London, 1922, 159p).