The Martin Bergmann Medal for Excellence in Arctic Leadership

Established by The Royal Canadian Geographical Society in 2012, the medal recognizes achievement for “excellence in Arctic leadership.”

It celebrates “Marty” Bergmann, a public servant with an outstanding passion and talent for networking that led him to link up scientists with resources and technology. Marty also connected science (Western and traditional knowledge) to policy makers and to others who could translate knowledge to action (e.g. innovators, business leaders, news-makers and authors).

The Martin Bergmann Medal is awarded for:

  • distinguished accomplishments in Arctic leadership in the Canadian Arctic;
  • excellence for a recent outstanding achievement, or for a lifetime of achievement, both being equally eligible.

See past Bergmann Medal winners.

Looking to nominate someone?

How to nominate

A two-page letter must clearly respond to the mandatory criteria and categories of qualifications outlined here.

Mandatory Criteria

The nomination package must clearly demonstrate the nominee’s collaborative approach to improve any facet of Arctic knowledge and/or life for northerners. In considering suitable nominees, you are encouraged to be inclusive, in respect to gender and the diversity of Canadians.

In addition to the mandatory criteria, candidates will be evaluated on their qualifications in one or more of the following categories referring to the significance of contributions to Arctic leadership in any field including (but not exclusive to):

  • Disciplinary and interdisciplinary science activities
  • Education, communication and outreach activities
  • Inspiration and influence on policy directions
  • Teaching and mentoring of future Arctic leaders with a focus on training Indigenous people
  • Discovery initiatives

Nominations can be made by Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada. You may submit one or more nominations for the medal using the form at the bottom of this page.

Annual deadline for nominations:  June 30.

Nominations will stand for a period of three years.

2020 Recipient: Jason Edmunds

Jason Edmunds is a remarkable leader, a gifted logistician and an expert Arctic guide. An Inuk from Nunatsiavut, Edmunds leads Adventure Canada expeditions in the Arctic with thoughtfulness, sensitivity, graciousness and calm. Edmunds has developed personal relationships with staff on his expeditions — from Inuit culturalists, guides and biologists to musicians, painters and archaeologists — developing a culture of empathy such that his guests return home with knowledge, wisdom and newfound appreciation for Inuit and Arctic ecosystems.

Edmunds sits on the board for Travel Nunavut, the Indigenous Advisory Circle for the Peel Region School Board and the Toronto Inuit Association. He has worked as assistant director and Indigenous liaison for the Labrador Winter Games and monitored populations of polar bears. He is also a proud member of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and of the Explorer’s Club. His belief in travel as a transformative, cultural and educational experience comes across not just to travelers, but to everyone he meets.

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society is proud to award The Martin Bergmann Medal to Jason Edmunds for his impressive leadership, mentorship and advocacy for Arctic peoples and environments.

A small fundraising committee set up by the adjudication committee is charged with raising sufficient funds to create an endowment to ensure the future of the award. These funds are managed by the Ottawa Community Foundation. The endowment fund for the medal will accept donations to a maximum of $125,000.

How to Make a Donation

To make an online donation, click here.

Bergmann Medal Nomination

Only nominations submitted by the nomination deadline (January 15, 2021) will be considered for the 2021 Bergmann Medal. Nominations submitted after the deadline will be considered in the following year. Submissions must be filled out in their entirety and cannot be accessed again.

NOTE: This form does not have an automatic save function. Please ensure that you save your work elsewhere to ensure it is not lost in completing this process.

Nominator Name*
Is the Nominator an RCGS Fellow?*

Brief description of nominator including relationship to nominee

Nominee Name*
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Specifically describing the nominee’s accomplishments in relation to the mandatory criteria of collaboration supplemented by the other categories noted above, to justify why the individual is worthy of the Martin Bergmann Medal.

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Please upload an abridged version of the nominee's curriculum vitae, including selected publications, films or other achievements. A strictly enforced total maximum of ten (10) pages is available for CV, publications, etc.

Drop files here or

Up to four additional one-page letters of support for particular aspects of the nominee's achievements may be uploaded.

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