Key 55: Meteorology 1937; 1966; 1979


Aspects of meteorology had been taught downtown in the Public Health Diploma course early in the twentieth century, but in 1937 the Commonwealth Government sponsored a new department under Dr Fritz Loewe (a refugee from Nazi Germany who had known fellow-Polar explorer Raymond Priestley at the Polar Research Institute in Cambridge).

Initially training forecasters and technicians for the Bureau of Meteorology, then for the R.A.A.F. with the outbreak of war, this department was expanded after the war with the benefit of new sources of external funding. In 1966 a Meteorology Centre was opened at Mt Derrimut. Later the department was combined with the Geology Department to form the School of Earth Sciences. William F. Budd was appointed foundation professor of Meteorology in 1979.

Dr Fritz Loewe (right) in the 'Eismitte' camp, 1930-31 Greenland Expedition
Dr Fritz Loewe (right) in the 'Eismitte' camp where he spent the whole winter during Alfred Wegener's 1930-31 Greenland Expedition
[Source: University of Melbourne Archives, Loewe Collection, Accession No: 88/160]