In Loving Memory of Rich Ocello

In lieu of flowers, the Ocello family is asking for donations to The American Brain Tumor Association in the memory of Rich.  

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Ocello Ridge
In honor of Rich's memory a ridge in Anartica has been named - Ocello Ridge.
It is located at 85.35 S, 175.02 W, in a region known as the Cumulus Hills.

It was named in memory of Rich by Mark Salvatore.

It's located next to Shackleton Glacier (named after the famous Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton) in a mountain range called the Cumulus Hills. There are a few reasons why I wanted this feature to be named for Rich. First, it's an area that I will be working on a lot over the next 2-3 years, and so having Rich's name associated with it will keep him in my mind. Second, this area is likely going to be home to a new Antarctic camp in a few years, where scientists will be stationed throughout the 2015-2016 winter months. There's a chance that this might be a region of increased study, and so "claiming" it now might make the name stick throughout the scientific literature. There's also a slight chance that I might be going to this camp, and I can only imagine taking a picture on top of Ocello Ridge...

Unfortunately, at the moment, Ocello Ridge is not an official name, and making it official might be harder than it seems. Most Antarctic features were named in the 1960s when they were first mapped. Since then, scientists have been giving unofficial names to features and landforms as they study different regions. A year ago, the committee that decides what places get official names decided that features must be named after retired Antarctic explorers, which resulted in most previously named features becoming nameless once again.

But, ask any Antarcitc researcher where the Marchant Hills are and they'll point it out on a map, no problem (including Dave Marchant, the active Antarctic researcher who they're named after).

So, the hope is that by unofficially naming this ridge Ocello Ridge, the name will stick and the community will adopt it. Regardless, and hopefully like the Marchant Hills, the name will stick and Rich's name will remain associated with this feature. Whether or not we can propose this name as the official name of the feature will likely depend on that committee's decisions on the current naming scheme, and we'll know more about that as they continue to decide what gets officially named and what doesn't.

by Rich Ocello on Sun, Jan 26, 2014 @ 8:40 PM

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