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.

2019 Recipient: Dr. Wayne Pollard

Dr. Wayne Pollard is an accomplished member of the permafrost research community who describes himself, first and foremost, as a field scientist. His ground-breaking publications on permafrost are recognized as foundational works in geocryology and
his research on ground ice, coastal erosion, geochemistry of cold springs and astrobiology covers a wide range of disciplines and drives the main research questions in permafrost research.

His scores of published articles, conference proceedings and book chapters have contributed to a better understanding of permafrost and groundwater systems in cold polar desert environments, the sustainability of physical and biological systems under current and future climates and the application of polar landscapes as planetary analogues.

Throughout his career, Dr. Pollard has been committed to advancing knowledge about Canada’s north in collaboration with, and to the benefit of, Northern residents. His mentorship of a generation of experts who now occupy decision-making positions in government, industry and the academy, ensures that his influence will continue to be felt for years to come.

Dr. Pollard’s research, international by nature, has been instrumental in making researchers from other countries discover, understand and appreciate the Canadian North, thereby enhancing Canada’s international stewardship in Arctic affairs.

Evaluation Criteria

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 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.

Bergmann Medal Nomination

Nominator Name
Is the Nominator an RCGS Fellow?*

Brief description of nominator including relationship to nominee

Nominee Name
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Please upload an abridged version of the nominee's curriculum vitae, including a selected bibliography listing a maximum of ten (10) of the nominee's principal published works. A strictly enforced total maximum of ten (10) pages is available for both the CV and list of publications.

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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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.