21 December, 2007

The Polar Medal has been awarded to six British Antarctic Survey (BAS) staff for their outstanding achievement and service to the United Kingdom in the field of Polar Research.

Awarded previously to famous figures such as Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton; Vicky Auld (Meteorologist and Base Commander), Dr Pete Convey (Terrestrial Biologist), Russ Ladkin (Instrument Engineer), Dr Phil Leat (Geologist), Pete Lens (Computer Engineer) and Robert Paterson (Chief Officer on RRS James Clark Ross) will collect the prestigious medal for ‘service in support of the acquisition of knowledge of Polar regions’.  Between them the six have spent nearly 90 years working for BAS.

The polar medal was instituted 100 years ago in 1904 for members of Captain Scott’s first expedition to the Antarctic. Regulations governing the award have been revised and now ‘acquisition of knowledge of Polar regions shall normally be ten years such service to be considered a medal’. However, greater emphasis is now placed on individual service.

Former staff members David Leatherdale, (former BAS line pilot), Simon Brockington (former BAS Marine Assistant and Biologist), and Alan Carroll (FIDs ionosphericist and base leader at Port Lockroy, and supporter of UKAHT) were also awarded the medal.

The group will collect their award at a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace next year.