Seymour joined the MSSL Remote Sensing Group in 1984 to carry out a 3rd year undergraduate project. He was a committed city dweller, and was not at all convinced about the rural setting. The RSG was still very young (only a couple of years old) but the opportunities seemed endless and we were expanding quickly. Seymour must have thought so, as in 1985 he signed on to do his PhD. He did some excellent work separating altimeter echoes from leads and floes in polar ice, to map the ocean geoid in ice-infested zones - something that no-one previously had managed. A paper emerged in 86 and he went on to resolve a mystery about the geological history of the formation of the Canada Basin, much to the disappointment of John Brozena, a Canadian geophysicist who was in the midst of a multi-season airborne survey to solve the same problem. John was philosophical and graceful about having been sidelined, and was very supportive of Seymour’s work.
During one of our PhD progress sessions Seymour and I wondered about the possibility of measuring sea ice freeboard and hence deriving ice thickness. Sea ice thickness measurements were a holy grail of remote sensing, but at the time nobody had figured out how it might be done. Seymour reminded me recently that at the time I encouraged him to have a go - as a sideline to his main work – but warned him “not to make a career of it”. Luckily he took no notice and went on to become the acknowledged world expert.
Seymour was a great contributor to the group, generous with his time and ideas, and quickly became a core member of our happy and enthusiastic band. We must have been pretty busy for the first few years as no photographs of the RSG exist (as far as I know) until 1986. Seymour somehow avoided the lens until 1988 but is captured in the shot below. Answers on a postcard as to the others present!