14 December 2016:
SCAR could not achieve its mission without the generous help of hundreds of volunteers and the goodwill and cooperation of many major organizations and institutes. Certificates of Appreciation were introduced in 2004 to recognize the efforts of those who give so generously of their time and expertise, working to make a real difference to SCAR and Antarctic science. Normally, certificates are awarded to people for their outstanding contributions but SCAR recently awarded such a certificate to the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI), which has hosted the SCAR Secretariat since 1959.
SCAR was founded during the International Geophysical Year of 1957-58, holding its first meeting in February 1958. The Director of SPRI at the time, Gordon Robin, was elected as Honorary Secretary of SCAR in September 1959 and volunteered to house the Secretariat at the institute. In the early days, he was assisted by a local secretary and they were joined in 1962 by George Hemmen as part time Assistant Secretary, and later Executive Secretary until 1989. Over the years, SPRI has generously continued to provide office space and support for the Secretariat, which now comprises 2.6 staff members!
In recognition of the years of support given by SPRI, it was agreed that the Institute should be awarded a Certificate of Appreciation. On 30 November, at the Institute’s regular morning coffee, SCAR Executive Director Jenny Baeseman officially presented the certificate to SPRI Director Prof Julian Dowdeswell, thanking him for the long association of the two organizations and the continued hosting of the Secretariat. Prof Dowdeswell responded by highlighting SCAR’s vital role in enabling Antarctic research and advising the Antarctic Treaty parties, and said the close relationship had been beneficial to both organisations over the years.