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This document has been archived.

NSF Press Release


NSF PR 00-32 - May 12, 2000

Media contact:

 Peter West

 (703) 292-8070

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

Antarctic Researcher Dies

Rodney Marks, 32, an Australian citizen who was conducting astrophysical research at the National Science Foundation's Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, died at approximately 6 p.m. on Friday, May 12, local time. (U.S. Stations in Antarctica keep New Zealand time.)

Marks was spending the austral winter (February through November) at the station. He was employed by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, working on the Antarctic Submillimeter Telescope and Remote Observatory (AST/RO) project. AST/RO is a research project of the University of Chicago's Center for Astrophysical Research in Antarctica (CARA).

He previously had spent the winter at the Pole during the 1997-98 research season as part of CARA's South Pole Infrared Explorer (SPIREX) project.

Marks apparently died of natural causes, but the specific cause of death has yet to be determined. His next of kin have been notified.

Marks' death is the second in the U.S. Antarctic Program this year. John G. Biesiada, 43, a Canadian citizen, died at McMurdo Station, the main U.S. scientific station in Antarctica, on Jan 8, 2000.

Marks was born in Geelong, Australia. He held a bachelor's degree with 1st Class Honors from the University of Melbourne and a doctorate in physics from the University of New South Wales. His thesis research was on the characterization of the South Pole site for astrophysical observations.


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