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Tribute to an Explorer’s life


On March 12, 2016, Dr. Fred roots, one of the world’s greatest living explorers, will be recognized by the historic Explorers Club in New york City with their highest award — the Explorer’s Medal. The medal is awarded for extraordinary contributions in the field of exploration, scientific research, or to the welfare of humanity.

Roots has participated in ground-breaking expeditions to the Arctic; was a member of the famous Norwegian, British, Swedish Antarctic Expedition in 1949-1952; still holds the record (which will never be beaten) for the longest unsupported dogsled journey in the world — a six-month scientific journey into the Antarctic interior; and planted a flag at the North Pole in 1969.

He was co-leader of operation Franklin, the major study that established the petroleum potential of the Canadian Arctic Islands in 1955 and leader of operation Stikine in 1956 and 1958, the first integrated geological study of the Canadian northern Cordillera. In 1958, he organized the Polar Continental Shelf Project and served as its coordinator until 1971. In 1968, he helped organize Canada’s department of the Environment.

In 1971, he was appointed Advisor, Environmental and Northern Programs, department of the Energy Mines and resources and, in 1973 he became Science Advisor to the department of the Environment and served in that position until becoming Science Advisor Emeritus in 1989 until retiring in 2003.

Roots was also a member of the Polar research Board of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences from 1970-83. From 1979 to 1983 he was President of the International Commission on snow and ice and served on the Science Advisory Board of the Geophysical Institute university of Alaska from 1976-88. he was a founder of the International Arctic Science Committee and served as its first President (1991-94) and since 1983 has been chairman of the Northern Sciences Network of the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Program. He is author of over 250 scientific papers and published reports on polar, environmental and global change subjects.

He is renowned and respected worldwide as a scientist, leader, visionary, intellect, diplomat, and explorer.