School of Earth and Environment Seminar Series

Fritz Loewe – Polar scientist, refugee, and pioneer


Dr. Ursula Rack, Polar Historian


Gateway Antarctica

Time & Place

Thu, 03 Mar 2022 16:00:00 NZDT in ER 263/


Fritz Loewe was a committed scientist in glaciology, meteorology, and related fields on the three poles. The fascination with snow and ice in particular lasted over sixty years. His life took many turns because of political changes such as World War One and the fascistic developments in the 1930s and his Jewish ancestry. An extraordinary network amongst the scientific community helped him in many ways over the decades. His life can be seen as inspiration for current efforts to overcome discrimination and enhance diversity within the polar community. Based on diary entries, correspondence, reports and scientific articles, this paper will present Loewe's pioneering scientific research on snow and ice, and Polar meteorology.



Short biography:
Dr Ursula Rack is a polar historian and an Adjunct Fellow at Gateway Antarctica, University of Canterbury, New Zealand. She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in London, and an Institute Associate at the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge. In 2018, Ursula was appointed a New Zealand Winston Churchill Memorial Fellow for the project: “How different countries research, collect and communicate their Antarctic history”. In 2012, Ursula was the first humanities recipient of a COMNAP (Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs) Research Fellowship for the project “Reconstructing historic Antarctic climate data from logbooks and diaries of the Heroic Era”. Ursula teaches Antarctic history in Antarctic courses and is a lecturer on Antarctic expedition cruise ships and spent four seasons in the Antarctic.