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Chilean named to head Antarctic Treaty research programs

Wednesday, August 1st 2007 - 21:00 UTC
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Chile's Director of the Chilean Antarctic Institute, INACH, Jose Retamales Espinoza became the first Latinamerican nominated president of the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Programs, (Comnap). He took the post last July 13 and will be holding it until 2010.

Mr Retamales Espinoza has a PhD from Bradford University in Chemical Engineering and has been president of the Chilean Antarctic Institute since 2003 and was responsible for the transfer of the main offices from Santiago to Punta Arenas. He is also the first INACH who is not a diplomat but a scientist. Precisely in 2009 Comnap rotating seat will be Punta Arenas given its strategic role for Antarctic scientific research and international cooperation. Comnap with 29 country members was created in 1988 with the purpose of assessing and promoting scientific activities in Antarctica. The naming of Retamales is considered particularly significant since it occurs during the International Polar Year 2007/08, an outstanding scientific research event displayed in both poles and which should help among other things to find clues about the global climate changes. Before he was named to head Inach, Retamales Espinoza was director of the Chemical Engineer Department of the Magallanes University. He was later named Dean of that University.

Categories: Antarctica, Latin America.

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