Martha MuseThe Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) and the Selection Committee for the Martha T. Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica join the Tinker Foundation in mourning the passing of Martha T. Muse on 9th February 2014.

Martha was a founding director of the Tinker Foundation. She served as its president for 27 years and its chairman for 33 years, retiring in 2008. It was under her direction that the Foundation became a leading funder of Latin American-related activities, providing support for educational, environmental, security, economic, legal and governance issues. One of her final directives to the Tinker Foundation was incorporating Antarctica-related subjects under its funding mandate. Her passion for Antarctica was recognised with the Tinker Foundation establishing the Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica, an award for mid-career Antarctic scientists and policy makers, recognised as leaders of tomorrow. The First Martha T. Muse Fellows Colloquium will be held in her honour, in conjunction with the Antarctic and Southern Ocean Horizon Scan, in April 2014 in New Zealand.

Martha received her undergraduate degree from Barnard College in 1948 and a master's degree in political science from Columbia University in 1955. In 1981, she received an honorary doctorate from Georgetown University. She was the first woman elected as a trustee to Columbia University and was among the first women named to the Board of the New York Stock Exchange and the Council on Foreign Relations.

A memorial service will be held in New York City in the late spring. Letters of inquiry and condolence may be sent to the Tinker Foundation, 55 E. 59th St., New York, NY 10022.

For a detailed obituary, please see the New York Times website.

Many forecasters and futurists tell us that in 2065:

  • the world’s human population will be 8.5 billion,
  • atmospheric CO2 levels will exceed 650 ppm under a business as usual scenario,
  • the Arctic ocean will be ice free in August and September,
  • average global temperature will 4°C warmer than in 2000,
  • ocean pH will be less than 8.2, and
  • sea level will be ~26 cm higher than in 1990.

What will these dramatic changes to Planet Earth mean for the world’s last great wilderness and a bellwether of global change – Antarctica and the Southern Ocean? To speculate about this future world and the ramifications for human societies, the “1st Martha T. Muse Colloquium” will convene a panel of the Martha Muse Prize Awardees and Guests to address the topic “Beyond the Horizon – Antarctica and the Southern Ocean 2065” in Queenstown, New Zealand on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. The Colloquium is part of the “1st SCAR Antarctic and Southern Ocean Horizon Scan” that is assembling ~80 of the world’s leading Antarctic scientists, policymakers, and logistics science funders to develop a collective community view of the most timely, urgent and compelling scientific questions that need to be addressed in the next two decades.

The Colloquium panel will include Martha T. Muse Prize Fellows Steven Chown (terrestrial ecologist and policy adviser), Monash University, Melbourne, Australia; Helen Fricker (glaciologist and satellite observational specialist), University of California, San Diego, USA; José Xavier (marine biologist ecologist and marine mammals expert), University of Coimbra and the British Antarctic Survey, Portugal/UK; Steve Rintoul, (physical oceanographic modeller and observationalist) CSIRO, Australia; and Martin Siegert (glaciologist and geologist), University of Bristol, UK. The Muse Fellows will be joined on the panel by Neil Gilbert (policy adviser and Antarctic governance expert), Antarctica New Zealand, and Gary Wilson (marine geologist and geophysicist and paleoclimate expert), Director of the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute (NZARI). The panel will be moderated by a public New Zealand personality or popular news scientist to be named. The Muse Colloquium will be made widely available via the web, details to follow.

Tim NaishProfessor Tim Naish has been awarded the 2014 Muse Prize for his outstanding research in understanding Antarctica’s response to past and present climate change and the role of Antarctica’s ice sheets in global sea-level change through time. He led the first season of the ambitious and highly successful Antarctic Drilling Program (ANDRILL) where his international team pioneered innovative drilling technology to obtain sedimentary records of the past 13 million years, paving the way for further successful drilling in previously inaccessible ice-covered areas. As Chair of the ANDRILL Steering Committee, he continued to be actively involved in overseeing the programme, including securing funding for the next phase. More recently, he has played an influential role in the process of translating science into policy as a lead author on the Paleoclimate chapter of the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He is currently Director of the Antarctic Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington, which continues to develop and has more than trebled its capacity under his direction.

The Prize Ceremony will be held at the SCAR Open Science Conference in Auckland in August.

Dr Valérie Masson-Delmotte has been awarded the 2015 Martha T. Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica for her work on the characterization, quantification and understanding of past changes in climate and water cycle, translating the isotopic data to paleo-temperature records.

Valerie Masson Delmotte squareDr Masson has used combinations of the water isotope data to interpret the transport route for the moisture reaching Antarctica and elevation changes of the deep drill sites in Antarctica. She has an interdisciplinary profile in isotopic geochemistry, glaciology, climate modelling and paleoclimatology. She has also contributed to the paleoclimate chapters of two IPCC reports: as Lead Author of IPCC AR4 and as Coordinating Lead Author of IPCC AR5. Her leadership roles in major international Antarctic collaborations include the IGBP-PAGES International Partnerships in Ice Core Sciences (IPICS) and with the International Association of Cryospheric Sciences (IACS). Her research prizes include the prestigious 2013 Prix Irène Joliot Curie for “Scientific Woman of the Year” and she was recognised as “Highly cited scientist” by Thomson Reuters (2014). She is currently head of the scientific and technical council of LSCE (Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de l’Environnement) at CEA (Commissariat à l’énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives). Dr Masson would like to acknowledge her research on Antarctic ice cores could not have been possible without the support of the French Polar Institute (IPEV).

The Prize Ceremony will be held at the PAGES Antarctica2K meeting in September.