RICHARDSON, Texas (Oct. 27, 2004) – Dr. Robert H. Rutford, a former president of The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) and one of the world’s foremost authorities on Antarctica, has been presented an award by the Polish Academy of Sciences for his “outstanding contribution to the development of scientific cooperation with Polish researchers” studying the southernmost continent.
Professor Andrzej Legocki, president of the academy, presented the award, a commemorative medal, to Rutford in ceremonies in Warsaw on Sept. 30.
During Rutford’s trip to Europe, he also attended the annual meeting of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), popularly known as the International Antarctic Committee, in Germany, where he was voted an honorary member of the organization. SCAR is a non-government, multidisciplinary group made up of scientists from around the world committed to coordinating and promoting scientific research in Antarctica, protecting the continent’s environment and lending independent technical assistance to the International Antarctic Treaty. During the early 2000’s, Rutford served as president of SCAR, which won the 2002 Prince of Asturias Award in the International Cooperation category under his leadership. The Prince of Asturias Award recognizes and reward “scientific, technical, cultural, social and humanistic work performed by individuals, groups or institutions worldwide.” Other Prince of Asturias Award winners in the International Cooperation category have included Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Yitzhak Rabin, Helmut Kohl and the International Space Station.
Rutford served as UTD president from 1982 to 1994 and currently holds the Excellence in Education Foundation Chair at the university.
Rutford, 71, has made nearly 20 trips to Antarctica and plans to go again in late November or early December. An ice stream that he discovered on the continent, which measures 130 miles by 30 to 40 miles, bears his name. Rutford first went to Antarctica in 1959 to conduct research for his Ph.D. dissertation.
Rutford received a distinguished service award from the National Science Foundation in 1977 – the highest award the foundation gives -- and was awarded the Antarctic Service Medal. He has been an author and a co-author of many published papers about Antarctica.
The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor®, enrolls more than 14,000 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s web site at www.utdallas.edu.