Fritz Müller, 1926-1980


  • W. Peter Adams
  • C. Simon L. Ommanney



... Fritz first came to the Arctic Institute in 1955 .... He came as a McGill-Carnegie Arctic Research Scholar to undertake the study of pingos, which form the basis of his doctoral dissertation and of the definitive publications on pingos, which were his first major scientific contributions. ... After two very full field expeditions to the Mackenzie Delta and Greenland in connection with the pingo work, Fritz left the Arctic Institute and McGill to accompany the successful Swiss Everest Expedition of 1956. ... Fritz climbed to the 8200-m level, taking the opportunity to extend his studies of patterned ground, begun in Greenland, to levels close to 8000 m in the South Col. ... In 1959, Fritz returned to Canada as a Research Associate at McGill and as leader of the Jacobson-McGill Arctic Research Expedition to Axel Heiberg Island, which has effectively operated ever since. Fritz himself was in the field in the Arctic Islands for eighteen field seasons during the last two decades. ... Although Fritz left Canada in 1970 to become head of the Department of Geography at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich, he maintained an expedition office and the title of Honorary Professor at McGill for the remainder of his life. ... [During the Seventies, he was extensively involved] in the North Water Project, a study of the relatively ice-free areas between Devon and Ellesmere islands and Greenland, and its surrounding land and ice masses. ... In addition to his roles as leader of the Axel Heiberg and North Water projects, he set up glaciological teaching and research programs at McGill and ETH, ... [and chaired a number of committees of a number of international organizations across Canada, Germany, Switzerland and the United States.] ... We are pleased to report that the Government of the Northwest Territories has officially re-named the ice cap in central Axel Heiberg Island (70 47 N, 91 30 W) as the Müller Ice Cap, in his memory.