Suva, Fiji – Prof. Michael G. Patterson has taken up his appointment as Director of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) Applied Geoscience and Technology Division (SOPAC) succeeding Dr Russell Howorth, whose tenure with the organization officially ended on 31st January 2013.
Before taking up this position with SPC, Prof. Patterson, who is from the United Kingdom, held a Professorship of Applied and Environmental Geosciences at the University of Leicester, from 2009, before which he was Director of Science, Skills and Facilities at the British Geological Survey for five years.
Holding a PhD in geology (1984) and a post graduate certificate in education (1985), Prof. Patterson is a chartered geologist, a chartered engineer, Fellow of the Geological Society of London, Member of the Institute of Materials, Mining and Metallurgy, life member of the Association of Geoscientists for International Development, Member of the Society of Economic Geologists, and he is a member of the STAR network.
[Dr. Russell Howorth (l) and Professor Michael Patterson]
As well as his career as a geologist, Prof. Patterson has published extensively, and brings a strong understanding of the SPC SOPAC Division to his new appointment, through his previous work in the Pacific region in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. His work has also taken him to South and South-east Asia, the Caribbean and South America.
Dr Howorth, is an internationally recognised earth scientist, had previously worked as Deputy Director of SOPAC until 2005, after serving the region with the (then) Commission for more than 26 years.
Dr Howorth will continue with SPC for a further month at the request of its Director General, Dr Jimmie Rodgers, and will represent the Secretariat as Dr Rodgers’ Special Envoy at upcoming meetings in New York and Washington as well as in Kingston, Jamaica. Dr. Howorth is the Chair of the Legal and Technical Commission of the International Seabed Authority, headquartered in Jamaica.