Surveyor and Deputy Leader Ross Sea Party TAE.
OBE. Surveyor and Deputy Leader Ross Sea Party TAE. Waimate High School (Dux). Victoria University Wellington BA, PhD. Polar Medal. NZ Institute of Surveyors’ Fulton Medallion. Mrs Patrick Ness Award of the Royal Geographical Society. Born in 1919, Bob entered Public Service in 1936, joined the Department of Lands and Survey in 1938, surveying unmapped areas of Fiordland. Served in Middle East during WWII with 12th Field Regiment of Artillery; injured in action and invalided home to New Zealand. Consulting Registered Surveyor since 1948. In 1949 he led the mapping survey party of the New Zealand-American Fiordland Expedition; in 1950 he completed a survey of the Bounty and Antipodes Islands.
During TAE , he surveyed vast areas of the Trans-Antarctic Mountains by dog sledge with George Marsh, with one journey of 1,680 miles (2740km) being the longest dog sledge journey on record in Antarctica. Executive Officer, Antarctic Division of the DSIR (1958–59). Resumed survey practice in Wellington in 1959. Led the 1963–64 Northern Victoria Land expedition, the last major Antarctic expedition where dogs were used.
Member of the Ross Dependency Research Committee from its inception in 1958, chairman 1971–1983; president of the New Zealand Antarctic Society (1960–63); member of the New Zealand Geographic Board (1968-86), and chaired the Royal Society of New Zealand’s National Committee for Antarctic Research (1970–76). Also involved with the Outward Bound Trust, and the World Wildlife Fund. Chairman of the Nature Conservation Council, and of the Australian and New Zealand Schools Exploring Society, and served on the world executive (1969–74) of the Commonwealth Association of Surveying and Land Economy (CASLE). Fellow of the NZ Institute of Surveyors and Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. In 1979 he was knighted for his services to the Ross Dependency, conservation and surveying and was awarded an honorary doctorate in science from Victoria University.