Albert P. CraryAlbert P. Crary (1911 - 1987), was a pioneer polar geophysicist and glaciologist and the first person to set foot on both the North (1952 with Lieutenant Colonel Fletcher) and South Poles. Crary was the 6th expedition leader to arrive at the South Pole by surface transportation (the sequence was Amundsen, Scott, Hillary, Fuchs, Havola, Crary). He was widely admired for his intellect, wit, skills and as a great Administrator for polar research expeditions.
Born into a farming family in northern New York state, he was the eldest son in a family of 7 children. He graduated in 1931 Phi Beta Kappa from St. Lawrence University and then went on to Lehigh University for a masters degree in physics. After spending years completing and facilitating research at both poles, Crary eventually settled in the Washington, D.C area with his wife and their son.
In 1991, the National Science Foundation (NSF), which manages the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP), honoured his memory by dedicating a state-of-the-art laboratory complex in his name, the Albert P. Crary Science and Engineering Center (CSEC) located in McMurdo Station. He was also honored to have the Crary Mountains (76 degrees 48' S, 117 degrees 40' W) and the Crary Ice Rise in the Antarctic named for him as well.
Dr. Crary contributed in a variety of important ways to his field including:
- Chief Scientist for arctic ice island T3, 1952 - 1955
- Established the United States Geological Headquarters for the International Geophysical Year, 1955
- Deputy Leader of United States science during the International Geophysical Year, 1957
- Chief Scientist, United States Antarctic Research Program, 1960 - 1968
- Deputy and Director, Division of Environmental Sciences, National Science Foundation, 1969 - 1978
- Dr. Maurice Ewing of Columbia University and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
- Assisted Dr. James Peoples at MOGUL (Project Mogul) as the Field Operations Director using meteorological balloons to experiment with different types of equipment to collect and transmit sound waves in the upper atmosphere (Roswell, New Mexico Incident- see )