Obituary | Karl Kuivinen

Obituary | Karl Kuivinen

Karl Kuivinen
Karl Kuivinen

Karl Church Kuivinen, 69, a retired research scientist, died Oct. 10 in Lincoln.

Kuivinen worked for 29 years at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in a variety of capacities with a primary focus on polar research.

Born Feb. 19, 1948 in Cleveland, Ohio, Kuivinen graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1971. He also served as a personnel specialist and courier with top-secret clearance in the United States Army.

In his final months of military service, Kuivinen was assigned under “Project Transition” to the National Science Foundation’s Office of Polar Programs, where he contributed to the initial draft impact statement for Antarctica.

During his research career, which spanned 1968 to 2003, Kuivinen worked to provide logistical support, glacio-climatological research, field operations management and ice-drilling services to an international cadre of scientists conducting field work in both Antarctica and the Arctic. He served 39 field seasons in the polar regions and received the United States’ Antarctic Service Medal from the United States in 1970 and the Polar Service Medal from the Soviet Union in 1988.

Kuivinen started working at Nebraska in 1974. His work included serving as field operations manager for the Ross Ice Shelf Project Management Office, director of the Polar Ice Coring Office, and co-director of the snow and ice research group.

In 2005, an Antarctic geological feature was named in honor of Kuivinen’s service. The Kuivinen Ridge is a transverse ride that extends across the Saint Johns Range between an unnamed glacier and Ringer Glacier in Victoria Land.

Kuivinen is survived by his wife, Linda Russell Kuivinen; sister, Marta Kuivinen Brown of Bellevue, Washington; sister, Rachel VerDuin of Brookfield, Wisconsin; nephews, David Brown, Matthew Brown; and niece, Melinda Waite.

A private burial is planned for Chagrin Falls, Ohio. The family requests memorial gifts to the People’s City Mission in Lincoln. Condolences can be left online.