“Arise to birth with me, my brother…”
“Sube a nacer conmigo, Hermano…”
Canto XII, Pablo Neruda.
John H. Mercer (1922-1987)
Glaciology lost one of its most perceptive thinkers with the passing of John Mercer on 3 July 1987 in Columbus,Ohio, U.S.A. He received his Ph.D. in Geography from McGill University in 1954. John was a Research Scholar from 1954 to 1956 at the Australian National University in Canberra, where he studied land use and population in western Samoa. He returned to Canada and worked in the Canadian Hydrographic Office in Ottawa as a geographer in 1957 and 1958. During 1959–60, 1961–62, 1964, and 1966, the American Geographical Society employed him at its World Data Center for Glaciology in New York.
There can be no hesitation with respect to John Mercer’s other great contribution to glaciology. He stands alongside C.C. Caldenius as a pioneer “father of South American glacial history”. For two decades, right up to and including the year he died, John Mercer devoted his major energy to studying the Quaternary Andean glaciations.
Here is the link to his obituary on Journal of Glaciology:
Geoffrey Owen Seltzer (1959–2005)
The Quaternary science community lost one of its most influential participants with the passing of Geoffrey Owen Seltzer on January 15, 2005. Geoff touched the lives and careers of numerous students and colleagues through his powerful intellect and insight and his genuine kindness. Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1959, Geoff earned his B.A. at Carleton College (1982) and his M.S. (1987) and Ph.D. (1991) at the University of Minnesota. He was a postdoctoral fellow and senior research associate at the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State University, and he had served on the faculty of the Earth Sciences Department at Syracuse University since 1994. Geoff was elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of America in 2004. Geoff’s major contributions to the field of Quaternary science include his careful analysis of the climatic significance of paleosnowlines in the Andes, his novel use of stable isotopes from Lake Junin (Peru) to develop a record of regional moisture balance, his leadership in compiling multiproxy evidence from Lake Titicaca sediments to substantiate early warming of tropical South America at the Last Glacial-Interglacial transition, and his galvanizing efforts to use surface exposure dating methods to develop a glacial chronology for the tropical Andes of Peru and Bolivia. Results of Geoff’s research are published in more than 42 papers in journals including Science, Nature, Geology, Quaternary Research, and GSA Bulletin.
This is the website which honors his work at Earth Science Department, at Syracuse University:
Henry Arthur Osmaston (1922–2006)
On 27 June 2006 the Quaternary science community lost a beloved colleague and maverick member who lived during a period of global transformation and profound scientific advancement. Henry A. Osmaston’s astounding life and research career spanned the better part of the 20th century and vitally linked Victorian-era colonial exploration and discovery with modern technological innovations that stand to revolutionise and reconfigure our understanding of glacial geology, geography, ecology and earth sciences.
Henry brought academic formalisation to his decade-long study of Ugandan alpine environments by writing his doctoral thesis at Oxford: The past and present climate and vegetation of Rwenzori and its neighbourhood. This work integrated careful observations of ecology and glacial geology with innovative computer data analyses. It was instantly recognised for its brilliance, and his external examiner rated it the best he’d ever read. This accolade launched Henry’s university lecturing career as he was promptly hired as Lecturer of Geography at Bristol University, where he would eventually retire in 1988 as Senior Lecturer.
This is the website which honors his work :
Roberto Filippi (1982-2011)
It is really hard to communicate that our friend and colleague Roberto Filippi past away March 9, 2011 due to a fall in a crevasse on the Mt. Blanc glacier in the French-Italian Alps. Roberto was at the Byrd Polar Research Center from April 2009 until June 2010 and participated in expeditions to Peru and Antarctica.
Thanks to the big effort of Luca Carturan (University of Padova) and also with the help of Henry Brecher, the Ortles Project group was able to continue and eventually complete the job that Roberto initiated. This work, in memory of Roberto, is now published in The Cryosphere.