Lou Sanson is the Director-General of the Department of Conservation.

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Lou Sanson.
Lou Sanson

Lou Sanson was the Chief Executive of Antarctica New Zealand for seven years, responsible for developing, managing, and executing New Zealand’s activities in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.

During this period he was reponsible for overseeing the deepest ever multi-national sedimentary science drilling project in Antarctica and a significant New Zealand investment in International Polar Year science (2007-2009). 

He also led the development of Antarctica’s largest wind turbine project focussing on reducing fossil fuels at McMurdo Station and Scott Base; carried out a major upgrade of facilities at Scott Base; placed a significant focus on outreach of the New Zealand Antarctic Programme and led the environmental, education and training coordinating groups at the Council of Managers of National Antarctic Program.

He first worked in the Antarctic on glacial drilling and geohydrology projects for the New Zealand and United States Antarctic research programmes in the Dry Valleys in 1982/1983. He has also worked as a New Zealand government representative and as guest lecturer on Antarctic cruise ships, both in the Ross Sea and Antarctic Peninsula.

Prior to this Lou was Conservator for Southland Conservancy in charge of Fiordland National Park, Stewart Island and the Subantarctic World Heritage Area.

He also led the establishment of Rakiura National Park and some of the world’s largest island eradication projects and helped establish a network of marine reserves in Fiordland.

A keen outdoor person, Lou enjoys natural history, hiking, ski-touring, diving and photography.

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