Three British Antarctic Survey (BAS) staff have been awarded the Polar Medal. The announcement was published last week (Friday 28 January) in the London Gazette.
Melody Clark is a molecular scientist at BAS. Her research focuses on the genetics of Antarctic marine animals, and how they adapt to the extreme cold and may react in the face of predicted climate change.
Markus Frey is an Atmospheric and Glacio-chemist. He was recently involved in the MOSAiC expedition, which was the largest scientific expedition to date into the central Arctic to explore year-round the Arctic environment and climate system.
John Eager had a successful and varied career at BAS, which involved working as a Chef, Halley Station Leader and, most recently, as Head of Polar Operations. John left BAS in 2021 and is now in charge of the FAAM atmospheric science aircraft for the NERC National Centre of Atmospheric Research.
The Polar Medal is awarded by HM The Queen to personnel for outstanding achievement and service to the UK in the field of polar research.
The first polar award was called the Arctic Medal, which was presented twice in the 19th century. First, to the men who engaged in a search expedition to discover the fate of Sir John Franklin and his crew who were lost while looking for the Northwest Passage in 1847. The second was to the crews of three ships exploring the Arctic in 1875-76.
In 1904, the Polar Medal was inaugurated for members of Captain Scott’s first expedition to Antarctica. Subsequent medals were awarded to members of Ernest Shackleton’s expeditions in 1907-09 and 1914-17.