Jackie Ronne - An Antarctic Explorer's Life
Namesake of the Ronne Ice Shelf
[06.17.09 - UNITED STATES] Jackie Ronne was a pioneer in Antarctic history. She was known as "Antarctica's First Lady," which was also the title of her book. At the last minute, she went along with her husband, Captain Finn Ronne, on his private expedition. On the Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition of 1946 - 1948, she became the 1st American woman to set foot in Antarctica, and with the wife of the expedition's chief pilot, became one of the first two women to overwinter in Antarctica. She was the expedition's recorder/historian. They spent 15 months together with 21 other members of the expedition in a small station they had set up on Stonington Island in Marguerite Bay. She is the namesake of the Ronne Ice Shelf, (second largest on Earth) which was previously called Edith Ronne Land. Her husband, Finn, who discovered and mapped that previously unknown territory during his Expedition, named it in her honor.
Jackie returned several times to Antarctica, including on a Navy-sponsored flight to the South Pole in 1971 (she was the seventh woman at the pole), a 1995 trip back to her former base at Stonington Island as guest lecturer on an expedition ship and continued lecturing on cruises for a number of years. She made a total of 15 trips to the Antarctic. She also made a trip to Spitsbergen in the Arctic with her husband Finn, daughter Karen, and nephew Jahn. She loved to travel.
Jackie was a fellow of The Explorer's Club, a past president of the Society of Woman Geographers, honorary board member of The Antarctican Society as well as The American Polar Society, and active in other organizations, including The National Society of Arts and Letters and ARCS. She will be missed by many people, but especially her family - daughter Karen, son-in-law Al, grandson Michael, and granddaughter Jaclyn.
Quark extends its deepest sympathy to the family.