For services to Antarctic science and conservation
Mr Lou Sanson was Chief Executive of Antarctica New Zealand from 2002 to 2013.
Mr Sanson began his involvement with Antarctica as a Field Assistant for five months during the 1981/1982 season. During his time as Chief Executive of Antarctica New Zealand he oversaw the establishment and fundraising of $6.3 million for the New Zealand Antarctic Research Institute. He was involved in the leadership of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research's Science Horizon Scanning and Conservation Strategy, initiated in 2011. He contributed to environmental and conservation projects, including the establishment of the largest wind farm in Antarctica with Meridian Energy, the creation of the McMurdo Dry Valleys Antarctic Specially Managed Area, and the Ross Sea Marine Protection Area proposal. He led oversight and funding of New Zealand's largest Antarctic science initiative, International Polar Year 2007/2008 and Census of Antarctic Marine Life. He oversaw Antarctica New Zealand's leadership as operator of the world's deepest and most significant sedimentary drilling project in Antarctica, ANDRILL. He was instrumental in the strengthening of relationships between the Antarctic programmes of New Zealand and the United States. He persuaded countries such as South Korea to base their logistics in Christchurch when they built a new research station in the Ross Sea Region. Mr Sanson also oversaw the completion of Scott Base Facility Hillary Field Centre and the enhancement of search and rescue coordination in the New Zealand Search and Rescue Region of Antarctica.