Roberto Filippi (1982 – 2011)
It was his love of glaciers that brought Roberto Filippi to us, but it was also because of that love that we lost him. Roberto was a visiting Italian scholar at the Byrd Polar Research Center in the Ice Core Paleoclimatology Group from April 2009 until June 2010. During that period he was involved in a project that mapped the retreat of the Quelccaya ice cap (Peru) and the ice fields of Kilimanjaro (Tanzania). He also participated in ice-core drilling projects in the Cordillera Blanca (Peru) and in the Antarctic Peninsula. After his visit here, he returned to Italy and started to work at the European Academy of Bolzano, where he was involved in mapping the glaciers of the massive of Ortles-Cevedale.
On March 9, 2011 Roberto was hiking on a glacier on Mt. Blanc in the French-Italian Alps when he fell into a crevasse and was killed. He was 29 years old. Strongly motivated to reach his objectives, Roberto was very much appreciated at the Byrd Polar Research Center for his excellent attitude towards learning new techniques and for his invaluable support in the field. But most of all we will remember him for his outstanding kindness and attentiveness towards the people around him. Those who met him, however briefly, were certainly moved by the look of friendliness and sweetness in his eyes. During the year that Roberto was at the Byrd Polar Research Center he acquired many dear friends and colleagues who now mourn his passing and remember him with great fondness and love. A video in Roberto's memory can be found here.