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Vincentian named among three 2014 laureates

Vincentian named among three 2014 laureates


A Vincentian has been named among the three 2014 laureates for the prestigious Anthony N. Sabga Caribbean Awards for Excellence.{{more}}

Dr Richard Robertson, a highly acclaimed geologist and vulcanologist, received the award for Science and Technology, joining Trinidadian Professor Liam Teague, who received the Arts and Letters Awards and Karen de Souza of Guyana, for Public and Civic Contributions.

The Anthony N. Sagba Caribbean Awards is the only programme in the Caribbean which seeks out and rewards outstanding nominees in Arts and Letters, Public and Civic Contributions and Science and Technology. It has been in existence since 2005 and was a biennial award until 2010, at which time it became an annual award.

The prizes are worth TT$500,000 each, and each laureate will receive a medal and citation at a ceremony in May.

The laureates were proposed by country nominating committees and selected by a regional panel of eminent persons.

Dr Robertson, currently director of the UWI’s Seismic Research Centre in St Augustine, Trinidad, has done ground-breaking work in the study of volcanoes and the geology of the region. He is a world expert on the subject whose books and articles are used as benchmarks, and he is active in public education on the issue. Dr Robertson has published academic books and numerous refereed articles and book chapters in his area of expertise.

The Vincentian-born Robertson has said his interest in volcanology was inspired by his personal experience in 1979, when he and his family woke to the eruption of the Soufriere volcano, which displaced thousands of Vincentians.

He subsequently studied Geology at UWI, Volcanology at the University of Leeds in the UK (MPhil) and completed his PhD in Geology at Mona, Jamaica. His PhD thesis (The Volcanic Geology of pre-Soufriere Rocks in St Vincent) and his Volcanic Hazards Atlas are benchmarks in the study of volcanology in the Eastern Caribbean.

An experienced field researcher as well as an academic, Dr Robertson served as head of the Soufriere Monitoring Unit in St Vincent and the Grenadines between 1987 and 1993, and in 1996 was chief scientist at the Montserrat Volcano Observatory. His research interests include volcanic hazards, the evolution of volcanism in St Vincent, and multi-parameter monitoring of volcanic hazards. He is much sought after as a consultant in his area of expertise to, inter alia, UNESCO, the Organisation of American States, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the United Nations Development Fund.

In addition to his professional consultancy work, Dr Robertson is also active in public education and public service. He has organised several conferences, short training courses and given numerous lectures throughout the region, and in the US, UK and China. He provides assistance to the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) in St Vincent and the Grenadines and serves as an advisor to similar organisations in Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Montserrat and other islands.