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The “Tinker-Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica” was presented to an individual in the fields of Antarctic science and/or policy who demonstrated potential for sustained and significant contributions that would enhance the understanding and/or preservation of Antarctica. The Tinker Foundation’s goal was to establish a prestigious award that recognizes excellence in Antarctic research by honouring someone in the early to mid-stages of his or her career. 

The Tinker-Muse prize provided recognition of the important work being done by the individual and to call attention to the significance of understanding Antarctica in a time of change. The Prize was awarded by the Tinker Foundation and administered by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) between 2008 and 2018, closing after the tenth award in July 2018. This is a legacy page replacing the Tinker-Muse Prize website. A full version of the original website content can be downloaded from the pdf SCAR Library (812 KB)

About the Prize

The Tinker-Muse Prize was awarded to individuals who have demonstrated excellence in Antarctic science or policy and who showed clear potential for sustained and significant contributions that would enhance our understanding of Antarctic science or policy and promote Antarctica’s preservation for future generations.

The Tinker Foundation wished to establish a prestigious award recognizing excellence in Antarctic science or policy by honouring someone in the early- to mid-stages of their career. The Tinker-Muse Prize was inspired by Martha T. Muse’s passion for Antarctica and was established in her honour. It was a legacy of the International Polar Year 2007-2008.

Individuals were nominated for recognition by members of the Antarctic community of scientists and policy makers. The goal was to recognize the leaders of tomorrow and to enhance the impact and scope of their leadership in the future.

Award Recipients

These individuals were awarded this prize for their demonstrated excellence in Antarctic science or policy, as well as their clear potential for sustained and significant contributions that enhance our understanding of Antarctic science or policy and promote Antarctica’s preservation for future generations.

2018 - Michael Meredith (UK)
For outstanding international and interdisciplinary leadership, and his research into the role of the Southern Oceans in controlling regional and global climate via changes in ocean circulation. 

2017 - Matthew England (New Zealand)
For his outstanding research, leadership and advocacy for Antarctic science, and his sustained and seminal contribution to Antarctic science through profound insights into the influence of the Southern Ocean on the continent and its role in the global climate system

2016 - Rob DeConto (USA)
For his outstanding work on past and future Antarctic climate and for research integrating geological data with modelling to reveal likely consequences for future sea level rise from ice sheet melt.

2015 - Valérie Masson-Delmotte (France)
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.

2014 - Tim Naish (New Zealand)
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

2013 - Martin Siegert (UK)
For his innovative research on Antarctic subglacial lakes and the reconstruction of Antarctic glacial history.

2012 - Steve Rintoul (Australia)
For his profound contribution to our scientific understanding of the Southern Ocean and of Antarctica’s role in the global system.

2011 - José Xavier (Portugal)
For his outstanding research on the predator-prey dynamics that sustain populations of albatrosses, penguins and other top predators in the Southern Ocean.

2010 - Helen Fricker (USA)
For her discovery of active sub-glacial lakes, showing that these lakes form dynamic hydrologic systems, where one lake can drain into another in a short period of time.

2009 - Steven Chown (South Africa)
For his outstanding research and provision of world-renowned advice to the Antarctic Treaty System. He is a widely published and cited authority on invasive species and the effect of climate change and human interactions on Antarctica.
For a brief bio and a recording of the award presentation and lecture, click on the recipients names.

Tinker web rgb smallThe Tinker Foundation

The Tinker Foundation was founded in 1959 by Dr. Edward Larocque Tinker in support of the Iberian tradition in the Old and New Worlds and continues to reflect this linguistic and geographical focus today. The Foundation awards grants to organizations and institutions concerned with the affairs of Latin America, Spain, and Portugal. Over time, the Foundation developed a specific interest in Antarctica.
The Foundation’s grants support the study of public policy and the search for innovative solutions to some of the environmental, economic, political, and social problems facing these areas today. The Foundation has long been committed to advancing education. It no longer accepts new proposals for Antarctic projects but continues to fund the Tinker-Muse Prize.

Martha MuseMartha T Muse

Martha Twitchell Muse was a founding director of the Tinker Foundation in 1959 and subsequently served in various capacities, becoming Executive Director in 1965 and President in 1968. She became Chairman of the Board of Directors in 1975 at the Foundation’s incorporation, a position she retained until her retirement in 2008.

Ms. Muse provided outstanding leadership over her years of service, both to the Tinker Foundation and others. She was the first woman to be elected to the Board of Trustees of Columbia University and served as a director on the boards of several organizations, including the Americas Society, the Council of the Americas, and the Spanish Institute. Her directorships included the New York Stock Exchange; the Cuba Policy Foundation; and many corporate directorships, including the American Smelting and Refining Company, the Bank of New York, ACF Industries (formerly named the American Car and Foundry Company), Sterling Drug Inc., Associated Dry Goods Inc., May Department
Stores, and Irving Bank and Trust Company. In addition to her directorships, Ms. Muse was also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Inter-American Dialogue, and the US–Spain Council. For her many contributions to the field of Latin American and Iberian relations, she received various awards, including the Orden al Mérito por Servicios Distinguidos en el Grado de la Gran Cruz (Merit Order for Distinguished Services in the Rank of the Great Cross) from Peru, the Order of the Southern Cross from Brazil, the Order of Bernardo O’Higgins from Chile, and the Orden de Mayo al Mérito (May Order of Merit) from Argentina.

In 2009 the Tinker Foundation celebrated its 50th anniversary and, at this time, recognized the leadership of Ms. Muse as she retired from the Foundation by establishing the Muse Prize in her honour.

Martha Muse passed away on 9th February 2014.