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The Martin Bergmann Medal for Excellence in Arctic Leadership and Science

2013 Recipient - David Hik



(Photo: Richard Siemens)

Receiving a medal in recognition of your excellence is an honour, but when that award is named after a close, now deceased, friend, it becomes especially meaningful. Here David Hik talks about his career as a northern scientist.

On the North

It’s a special place. We often think of it as remote and isolated, but it’s connected to the rest of the planet as well. When I go to the North, I go back to places I’ve been going for 30 years. In many ways, those are the places I think of as home.

On lessons from Martin Bergmann

Marty showed that the best thing you can do is bring people together and get them talking to each other. There’s nothing like infectious enthusiasm to get people doing new and exciting things.

On his current work

A lot of my work is in the mountains of the Yukon. I’m interested in how animals — herbivores, specifically — are able to find food in years with extreme conditions.

On his legacy

I’d like people to remember how much fun they had during International Polar Year 2007–2008. We found a way for people from 60 countries to work together and translate the lessons we learned into new research programs.

On what’s next

There is a large range of variability in the North, and it’s important that we study the system over a long period. I’ll mostly be trying to promote the ecological, social and environmental networks that support that work. The Canadian High Arctic Research Station (set to open in 2017) will put us in a really good position to work on this.

Read more about David Hik at canadiangeographic.ca.

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