DNR Faculty Member Dr. Mark Bain Passed Away February 8th

The Department of Natural Resources was very sorry to hear about the passing of Dr. Mark Bain on February 8, 2012. He was an active faculty member in our department right up until the time of his death. He will be greatly missed by all the people who worked with him and knew him well. No formal plans for cards or a celebration of his life have been made as of yet, but if you would like to be added to an email list for updates, please contact Erin at eak58@cornell.edu. If you have a fond memory of Mark, or would like to comment, feel free to post it on the comments section of this article (lower right hand side of this box).

The following obituary was published in the Ithaca Journal.

Mark B. Bain

Lansing: Mark B. Bain, of Lansing, NY, formerly of Brooktondale, passed away on February 8, 2012 at the age of 56. Born April 11, 1955, in Gary, Indiana, he was the oldest son of Sam and Rose (Bombardo) Bain, who survive him. He married Jane Barden on July 27, 1980. Mark earned his PhD. from the University of Massachusetts and joined the faculty of Cornell University in 1991. He was a Professor of Systems Ecology in the Department of Natural Resources. His research of aquatic systems took him all over the world where he made many contributions, had many adventures, made many friends, and fostered his love of cooking. Besides being the best father, husband, and son imaginable, he was a mentor to many. His love of fishing from a young age never wavered. Mark was a member of the American Fisheries Society, the Ecological Society of America, and the Association for the Advancement of Science, published over 100 scientific articles, and received numerous awards. In addition to his parents, Sam and Rose Bain of Bethel Park, PA. Mark is survived by his wife of 31 years, Jane Barden Bain; two sons, Paul and Gary Bain, both of Ithaca, NY; his siblings, Keith (Judy) Bain of Dallas, TX, Jeff (Sandy) Bain of Baden, PA, Terese Bain of Monaca, PA, and Sam (Lee) Bain of White Oak, PA. Mark is also survived by a large extended family and his wife’s family. For those wishing to remember Mark in the form of a contribution, please consider the ALS Association at www.alsa.org. Funeral services will be private. A public memorial service is being planned and will be announced at a later date.

Published in Ithaca Journal on February 10, 2012

Link to another article about Mark Bain in the Cornell Daily Sun.


7 thoughts on “DNR Faculty Member Dr. Mark Bain Passed Away February 8th

  1. I had an office immediately next to Mark’s for many years. I could hear that laugh of his through the wall several times a day, and it always made me laugh as well. I will forever miss his optimism and enthusiasm for work and life.

  2. I knew Mark through my father at Cornell (they shared office walls in their department). I also worked for Mark one summer on a fisheries project on Lake Ontario. I remember most vividly though a few moments when I was a child spending nights at his house playing with his two sons and taking hikes around his property and talking about movies (as that’s what his eldest son and I were into at the time). He made a point to do something with us when I visited, whether it be take that hike or take us to a movie. I have a wonderful father and at an early age could recognize another. He was a good man and no doubt will be missed by anyone who had the privilege to know him. My best to his family.

  3. My first real field job in aquatic ecology was with Mark, working with sturgeon on the Hudson River. It was fantastic, and most of my next few jobs were with him as well. I probably would not be where I am today, in a job that I love, were it not for him. I remember him as always ready to sit down and listen, or offer some good advice, from the time I first walked into his office as a visiting high school student (and from my perspective now I see how valuable the time was that he gave to me, in the most friendly and unhurried way, that day), until the last time I can remember talking with him, just a couple years ago as I was starting to think about finding a faculty job myself and was looking for sage advice. I think one of the things that I will remember most about Mark is his sense of humor and his laugh – I am struggling to find the words to describe it, but I remember it vividly. It was a good laugh, and it was used often.

  4. I had the great pleasure to invite Mark over to Norway for a workshop on hydropower peaking and stream ecology in 1997. After this we followed due as overseas colleagues and Mark took me 3 times to Cornell between 1998 and 2002. He and Cornell also participated on our Lake Victoria Vision and Strategy Development project between 2001 and 2003, amongst other collaborative efforts we did together. Besides being a great friend Mark was also my North-Star related to my profession, and a person I could navigate after. We had very much the same approach to the profession although I was more on the consultancy side and Mark on science. Together though we were a great team when we collaborated. But most of all, as mentioned also by others, I remember most his friendliness, his fantastic sense of self irony and of course GREAT laughter. That laughter also crossed the Atlantic when we talked on the phone overseas, and made me to laugh here in Oslo too. He will be deeply missed as a great friend and a mentor in systems ecology.

  5. The news of Mark passing away have left me shocked for almost a month now. I worked with him from 2003 to 2005 at the Cornell Center for the Environment and at any moment he was always a very charming person, laughing and very positive all along. His views in Systems Theory were always something I would bring back home to think about. I vividly remember arriving to snowy Ithaca on the 20th January 2003 straight from the warm Mediterranean climate of Barcelona. Mark came to pick me up and gave me a tour of the city and the campus. First stop: Carl Sagan’s house. I loved every bit of it, and since them I loved sharing the little free time Mark had to discuss ideas. I will always be grateful to him and his first call some day at the beginning of the century to Barcelona. Great friend and fantastic person. You will be missed dearly. My thoughts are with his family.

  6. I am the editor of Acta Ecologica Sinica (International Journal). Mark is the Associate editor of my journal. I have never met him and only contact him by email. But I know he is a responsible associate editor and help us do a lot of journals works. We feel very sad when we hear this news. I hope he will live well in the Heaven. All my best to his family.

  7. I worked with Mark at Cornell in the late 1990s. I responded to an advert after the deadline had passed, and although that job was taken, he offered me a one year fellowship instead. At the time, he seemed to ‘go on gut’ and following a telephone interview I was hired and a few weeks later i arrived from the UK. It turned out to be a turning point in my career and I am forever grateful for his faith in me. He and his wife Jane, put me up at their house for the first month and offered me no end of kindness. He took me fishing, and kayaking with his family and funnily enough I recently bought a fishing rod for my son, and told my son about Mark and his family teaching me to fly fish.

    On our first trip on the research boat, he laughed up-roariously when I stuck my head in the water to untangle the propeller (the engine was off!), and he said he knew then that he had made a good choice in a field assistant. During the year I spent many months on the Hudson river studying Sturgeon with his team, including an evening near New York on July 4th which is etched in my mind forever. Im proud to have my name against his on a book publication. Mark gave people chances; a great humanist, husband, father and teacher, his passing is a great loss, but he will not be forgotten.

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