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Photographer wins science accolade - 16/07/1999

Prominent landscape photographer Lloyd Homer was one of five people to be awarded science achievement medals this week.

Homer received his bronze medal from Sir Edmund Hillary for a career in which he has taken more than 140,000 aerial and landscape photographs of New Zealand. His work is recognised internationally.

A former employee of the Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences (GNS) and now a freelance photographer, Homer has survived three aircraft crashes in the course of photographing New Zealand from the air.

Homer’s photographs are widely used by the scientific community, and are sought after by the publishing industry, and for cards and brochures, annual reports, advertising material, and as wall murals.

Others to receive bronze medals at the same time were geologist Kelvin Berryman, historian Alan Mason, seismologist Russell Robinson, and volcanologist Colin Wilson.

All except Alan Mason work for GNS.

Dr Berryman has made a significant contribution to understanding earthquake mechanisms in New Zealand. In particular he is internationally recognised for his work in paleoseismicity - using a range of techniques to determine the date, location, and size of prehistoric earthquakes.

Alan Mason is a leading science historian. Since retiring from a business career, he has chronicled the history of geology in New Zealand, and has produced three biographies of pioneer geologists.

Dr Robinson is a leader in seismology and tectonics, and in particular in developing analytical techniques to understand earthquake mechanisms.

Dr Wilson received his award for outstanding contributions to the understanding of the world’s volcanoes and their hazards, and in particular for his work on the Taupo volcano.

The New Zealand Science and Technology medals were instituted by the Royal Society in 1990 to recognise people who have made exceptional contributions to New Zealand society and culture through science and technology.

They are awarded for scientific achievement, and to those who have helped to advance science and technology through related activities such as communication and education.

Medal winners are people who have made significant advances in their field and produced work that is internationally recognised.

The medals are awarded annually. This year there were 23 bronze medals, seven silver, and one gold medal awarded to Dr Bill Robinson who invented lead-rubber earthquake isolators for buildings and bridges. There are an estimated 10,000 buildings and structures around the world that have been fitted with isolators.

John Callan
Communications Manager
Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences Limited
Ph: 04-570-1444 (w)