B Acknowledgments A
Preparation of this account of a series of expeditions to Baffin Island that took place in the 1960s has depended on access to field reports, the published papers of many individuals, my own diaries, and the considerable stretch of my memory. This has led, understandably, to a heavy reliance on recollections of field colleagues, their diaries, and correspondence. Olav Løken, despite a debilitating illness, painstakingly read through an early draft and made available his thorough field reports from 1964 to 1967. Roger Barry, Michael Church, Art Dyke, John England, George Falconer, Gunnar Østrem, and Patrick Webber have read through all or parts of the text and have contributed many valuable corrections, suggestions, and additions from their own research material. Pat, in particular, supplied a large amount of his subsequent research material and its interpretation. Norma Sagar provided information about Brian, her late husband. Jane (Philpot) Buckley and Lyn (Drapier) Arsenault are acknowledged for many helpful assists. Angus Hamilton, leader of the 1961 Dominion Observatory’s geophysical expedition to Baffin Island, read chapter 2 and provided a valuable check on the details of several incidents. Gifford Miller, based on his extensive and continuing Arctic research, along with John England and Art Dyke, has generously kept me informed of new developments and evolving interpretations.
Three other colleagues, not part of the Baffin Island field teams, also read and commented on an early version of the manuscript, and thus special thanks are due to Denis St-Onge, Peter McKinnon, and Pierre Camu. Dr. Camu, former president of the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority, kindly read through and extensively annotated a first draft that had set the far more complicated goal of combining the detailed administrative struggles of the Geographical Branch, of which he had been an earlier senior member, with the Baffin Island operations. He urged that the two topics should be treated separately, except for the necessary linkages and explanations. His wise advice convinced me, leaving the outline of a second book waiting in my filing cabinet.
Not only did David Harrison serve as helicopter pilot par excellence, field companion, advisor, and friend from 1965 to 1967, but I “rediscovered” him later in life as an accomplished writer and editor. I cannot thank him enough for reliving with me much of the challenge and excitement among Baffin Island’s high mountains and fiords, although I will refer here specifically to his ability to provide very necessary technical corrections to my frequent accounts of the manner in which he was able to negotiate through oftentimes daunting flying conditions. His overall editorial perspicacity has been of immeasurable help.
The enthusiasm and general support of the entire staff of the former Geographical Branch of the Department of Mines and Technical Surveys (becoming Energy, Mines, and Resources in 1966) deserve a special mention. These individuals were the essential “home team.” At the higher administrative levels, I cannot exaggerate my great respect, admiration, and gratitude for the wisdom, guidance, and encouragement afforded me by the late Dr. W. E. van Steenburgh, deputy minister. I also record my special respect and thanks for the role played by the late Dr. James Harrison, director of the Geological Survey of Canada and assistant deputy minister. Our ideological conflict, as detailed in the text, did not put a dent in his encouragement for the Baffin Island endeavour, which materialized into vital support for my later career development from his subsequent positions of assistant director-general of UNESCO and chair of the United Nations University Scientific Advisory Committee. From among the other senior departmental administrators, former Geographical Branch Director the late Dr. Norman Nicholson’s initial acceptance of what must have seemed to him an overambitious personal dream provided the first essential building block.
Special thanks are due to all members of the field teams and support staff that numbered over fifty men and women, many very youthful, some of them teenagers. Their camaraderie, determination in often strenuous conditions, persistence, and staying power continue to impress me a half century later. From among them I must single out Professor Cuchlaine King, who continues to provide encouragement and inspiration, even from her extended-care home in Wensleydale, Yorkshire. She was my undergraduate tutor and the faculty member of the University of Nottingham student expeditions to Iceland. She was also the spearhead for breaking through the Canadian federal government opposition to gender equality in the Arctic.
In the present era of apparent governmental indifference to a high level of free enterprise research in the Arctic, made the more onerous by the seeming limitation of freedom of expression by governmental scientists, designation of the Baffin Island years as a golden age is perhaps appropriate. In retrospect, the Baffin Island team members of 1961 to 1967 were certainly beneficiaries of what may be classed as special privilege. Many of their results have turned out to bear acutely on the impacts of climate change, perhaps the major challenge facing all of us today. Those fifty or so young scientists and students have made, and are still making, a remarkable contribution. This is effectively demonstrated in chapter 10, which recounts many of their achievements.
I have dedicated the book jointly to Cuchlaine King and the late Olav Løken. Olav’s leadership in the field was the single most critical assist I could wish for during the later years when administrative and political pressures in Ottawa limited my own Baffin Island involvement.
Many thanks for the highly supportive foreword written by the Honourable Peter Adams, Arctic field researcher, professor, and former director of the McGill Sub-Arctic Research Laboratory.
Dave Andrews, of Digital Art and Restoration in Ottawa, undertook the skillful adaption of the photographs for publication, and Barbara Gordon of Ottawa provided vital cartographic support. I am especially grateful for the editorial care and strong sympathetic support provided by Elisa Hart, editor of the AINA Northern Lights series. Without the care and support of Peter Enman, editor at University of Calgary Press, this book may never have seen the light of day. Alison Jacques impressed me with her meticulous care as copyeditor, for which profound thanks. Special thanks are due to Melina Cusano for turning the process of layout into an art form. Finally, Pauline Ives has provided total support for the past sixty-three years: companionship in isolated parts of Labrador-Ungava, care of small children while I squandered family time in Baffin Island, and so much more.
Jack D. Ives, Ottawa
April 15, 2015