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Press Statement 09-002
Statement by Arden L. Bement, Jr., Director, National Science Foundation, on the Death of Dr. Jerri Nielsen FitzGerald

June 24, 2009

We at the National Science Foundation and U.S. Antarctic Program are saddened to hear the news of the death of Dr. Jerri Nielsen FitzGerald on Tuesday, June 23, 2009.

During her time as the physician at NSF's Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Dr. FitzGerald was a dedicated member of the station team, and we will always be appreciative of her service to the US Antarctic Program and the scientific mission that continues there.

Dr. FitzGerald's cancer diagnosis while at the station and her subsequent evacuation in October of 1999 made her a public figure through circumstance and not through choice, yet she was able to inspire and educate others diagnosed with the disease and continue practicing medicine. We extend our sympathies to her family, colleagues and community as they mourn her loss.

NSF manages the U.S. Antarctic Program, though which it coordinates all U.S. scientific research on the southernmost continent.


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Dana W. Cruikshank, NSF, (703) 292-7738, dcruiksh@nsf.gov

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

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