Friends named scientist Markus Dyck as one of three victims. According to scientists, Markus Dyck, a leading Canadian polar bear scientist, was one of three people aboard a helicopter that crashed near Resolute Bay, Nunavut, on Sunday.
Harvey Lemelin, a close friend of Dyck’s, said he was in “denial” when he first heard the news.
“I was searching for reassurance. I was hoping that everyone was mistaken. And then you find out it’s true — total destruction “According to Lemelin.
On the day the helicopter crashed, Dyck was surveying bear populations in Lancaster Sound for the Nunavut government. Two other members of the aircrew have perished.
Dyck was vocal in his support for community-based polar bear management, according to Lemelin.
“Markus was one of those people who fell in love with bears, loved them, and devoted his life to them,” he said.
Dyck, according to Lemelin, told him two weeks ago that he was leaving for fieldwork.
“He was working for Nunavut, combining conventional and empirical expertise, analyzing all forms of testing, and performing those critical sample counts.”
The Igloolik-based scientist pushed back against environmentalists who said the bears were vanishing. He was also a proponent of incorporating conventional wisdom into science, according to Lemelin.
“What he was thinking about was Inuit and Cree people’s willingness to live with polar bears in the long run, to continue traditional harvesting activities, and to treat polar bears sustainably and respectfully,” Lemelin said.