Email Print Share

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

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 Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

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.


Media Contacts
Dana W. Cruikshank, NSF, (703) 292-7738, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2021 budget of $8.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

mail icon Get News Updates by Email 

Connect with us online
NSF website:
NSF News:
For News Media:
Awards database:

Follow us on social
Twitter: and