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(William Stanley) Stan Paterson


1924 - 2013

Glaciologist. Born in Edinburgh, Paterson was educated at George Watson's College and the University of Edinburgh, where he was also a keen mountaineer. He assisted in the first detailed survey of the mountains of South Georgia (1955-6). He undertook doctoral studies in Canada but was also part of the Scottish East Greenland Expedition of 1958. In the 1960s, Paterson joined the Canadian Polar Continental Shelf Project and was responsible for extracting ice cores which provided a history of the earth's climate. The results of his work has been used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. His book The Physics of Glaciers (1969) remains a standard text in the field of glaciology, now in its fourth edition. In the 1990s, we was involved in research on the ice caps of Mars and convened a NASA workshop which led to the to the polar lander missions of 1998 and 2008. Paterson was awarded the International Glaciological Society's Richardson Medal in 2012 in recognition of his outstanding services to glaciology. He died on Vancouver Island, Canada. Mount Paterson in South Georgia is named after him and his autobiography Ice Man: The Making of a Glaciologist was published in 2014.


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