The Norwegian Polar Institute's office building in Tromsø
|Ministry of Climate and Environment|
The Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI; Norwegian : Norsk Polarinstitutt) is Norway's central governmental institution for scientific research, mapping and environmental monitoring in the Arctic and the Antarctic. The NPI is a directorate under Norway's Ministry of Climate and Environment. The institute advises Norwegian authorities on matters concerning polar environmental management and is the official environmental management body for Norwegian activities in Antarctica.
The institute's activities are focused on environmental research and management in the polar regions.The NPI's researchers investigate biodiversity, climate and environmental toxins in the Arctic and Antarctic, and in this context the institute equips and organizes large-scale expeditions to both polar regions. The institute contributes to national and international climate work, and is an active contact point for the international scientific community. The institute collects and analyses data on the environment and cultural heritage sites on the islands of Svalbard and Jan Mayen through the project Environmental Monitoring of Svalbard and Jan Mayen (MOSJ). Topographic mapping is also an important task: the NPI is the national surveying and mapping authority for Norway's polar areas, including non-commercial geological surveys.
In Antarctica, the institute is responsible for the management of all Norwegian activities.This means that all Norwegian subjects planning activities in Antarctica must first contact the NPI.
The NPI maintains a database of reported sightings of whales, walruses, seals, and polar bears in the Svalbard area to which the public is encouraged to contribute.The reported sightings are used in research and monitoring.
The NPI is the official agency responsible for place names in the Norwegian polar regions.These areas include Svalbard and Jan Mayen and their adjacent waters, Queen Maud Land, Bouvet Island, and Peter I Island. Place names are officially adopted by the responsible committee at the NPI, which maintains a database of place names that is publicly searchable.
The NPI was established in 1948 under the Norwegian Ministry of Industry, but must be seen as an extension of Norwegian Svalbard and Arctic Ocean Survey, Norges Svalbard og Ishavsundersøkelser (NSIU), which was founded on 1 March 1928.Previously, Norway's Svalbard research had been organized as the Norwegian state-supported Spitsbergen Expeditions, with roots dating back to 1906. With the establishment of the NSIU, Norwegian research activity in eastern Greenland increased.
With Harald Sverdrup as the first director, the NPI's mandate included Antarctica and was considerably broader than that of its forerunner, the NSIU.From 1949 to 1952, the NPI led the multinational Maudheim Expedition to Antarctica and had a base in Queen Maud Land from 1956 to 1960 (Norway Station), during the International Geophysical Year, also known as the third International Polar Year. The NPI established the permanent research station Troll in Antarctica in 1989–90; Troll has been operated as a year-round research station since 2005. The NPI carried out annual summer expeditions to Svalbard and, starting in 1968, has had a year-round research station in Ny-Ålesund. In 1979, the NPI became was a directorate under the Ministry of the Environment (currently the Ministry of Climate and Environment).
In 1993, the decision was made in the Norwegian Parliament to move the headquarters of the NPI from Oslo, Norway's capital, to Tromsø, a coastal city north of the Arctic Circle.The process was completed in 1998. This relocation led to changes in the institute's profile and areas of interest as departments were reorganized, new personnel recruited, new positions established and research priorities shifted.
The NPI runs the Sverdrup Station and the Zeppelin Observatory in Svalbard, the Troll and Tor research stations in Antarctica, and Norvegia Station on Bouvet Island.
The NPI jointly owns the research vessel RV Kronprins Haakon with the University of Tromsø and the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research.
The NPI has built up a sizeable polar history collection in the form of photographs, books, journals and other archival materials.
The Library contains unique collections of polar history literature, including more than 15,000 books as well as diaries, ship registers and logbooks, newspaper cuttings and special collections, for example, a special collection pertaining to Umberto Nobile.
The Photo Library contains pictures from polar expeditions, mapping in Svalbard, Greenland and Antarctica, research (including geology, glaciology, biology and oceanography) and commercial activities such as mining in Svalbard, seal hunting in the White Sea, whaling in the Southern Ocean and trapping in Greenland and Svalbard.The collection consists of about 90,000 photographs, including some 60,000 historical photographs. The rest are modern images documenting research activity in Svalbard and Antarctica and adjacent marine areas. A large part of the collection is accessible to the public via the NPI's online image archive.
|No.||Portrait||Name||Term of office|
|2||Anders K. Orvin||1957||1960|
|5||Nils Are Øritsland||1991||1993|
|8||Ole Arve Misund||2017||Incumbent|
Jan Mayen is a Norwegian volcanic island in the Arctic Ocean, with no permanent population. It is 55 km (34 mi) long (southwest-northeast) and 373 km2 (144 sq mi) in area, partly covered by glaciers. It has two parts: larger northeast Nord-Jan and smaller Sør-Jan, linked by a 2.5 km (1.6 mi) wide isthmus. It lies 600 km (370 mi) northeast of Iceland, 500 km (310 mi) east of central Greenland and 1,000 km (620 mi) west of the North Cape, Norway. The island is mountainous, the highest summit being the Beerenberg volcano in the north. The isthmus is the location of the two largest lakes of the island, Sørlaguna, and Nordlaguna. A third lake is called Ullerenglaguna. Jan Mayen was formed by the Jan Mayen hotspot.
Spitsbergen is the largest and only permanently populated island of the Svalbard archipelago in northern Norway. Constituting the westernmost bulk of the archipelago, it borders the Arctic Ocean, the Norwegian Sea, and the Greenland Sea. Spitsbergen covers an area of 37,673 km2 (14,546 sq mi), making it the largest island in Norway and the 36th-largest in the world. The administrative centre is Longyearbyen. Other settlements, in addition to research outposts, are the Russian mining community of Barentsburg, the research community of Ny-Ålesund, and the mining outpost of Sveagruva. Spitsbergen was covered in 21,977 km2 (8,485 sq mi) of ice in 1999, which was approximately 58.5% of the island's total area.
Bear Island is the southernmost island of the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago. The island is located in the western part of the Barents Sea, approximately halfway between Spitsbergen and the North Cape.
Svalbard and Jan Mayen is a statistical designation defined by ISO 3166-1 for a collective grouping of two remote jurisdictions of Norway: Svalbard and Jan Mayen. While the two are combined for the purposes of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) category, they are not administratively related. This has further resulted in the country code top-level domain .sj being issued for Svalbard and Jan Mayen, and ISO 3166-2:SJ. The United Nations Statistics Division also uses this code, but has named it Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands.
The Greenland Sea is a body of water that borders Greenland to the west, the Svalbard archipelago to the east, Fram Strait and the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Norwegian Sea and Iceland to the south. The Greenland Sea is often defined as part of the Arctic Ocean, sometimes as part of the Atlantic Ocean. However, definitions of the Arctic Ocean and its seas tend to be imprecise or arbitrary. In general usage the term "Arctic Ocean" would exclude the Greenland Sea. In oceanographic studies the Greenland Sea is considered part of the Nordic Seas, along with the Norwegian Sea. The Nordic Seas are the main connection between the Arctic and Atlantic oceans and, as such, could be of great significance in a possible shutdown of thermohaline circulation. In oceanography the Arctic Ocean and Nordic Seas are often referred to collectively as the "Arctic Mediterranean Sea", a marginal sea of the Atlantic.
Troll is a Norwegian research station located at Jutulsessen, 235 kilometers (146 mi) from the coast in the eastern part of Princess Martha Coast in Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. It is Norway's only all-year research station in Antarctica, and is supplemented by the summer-only station Tor. Troll is operated by the Norwegian Polar Institute and also features facilities for the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and the Norwegian Institute for Air Research.
Adolf Hoel was a Norwegian geologist, environmentalist and Polar region researcher. He led several scientific expeditions to Svalbard and Greenland. Hoel has been described as one of the most iconic and influential figures in Norwegian polar exploration in the first half of the 20th century, alongside Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen. His focus on and research of the polar areas has been largely credited as the reason Norway has sovereignty over Svalbard and Queen Maud Land in the Antarctica. Hoel was the founding director of the Norwegian Polar Institute and served as rector of the University of Oslo and as President of the Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature.
The Fram Strait is the passage between Greenland and Svalbard, located roughly between 77°N and 81°N latitudes and centered on the prime meridian. The Greenland and Norwegian Seas lie south of Fram Strait, while the Nansen Basin of the Arctic Ocean lies to the north. Fram Strait is noted for being the only deep connection between the Arctic Ocean and the World Oceans. The dominant oceanographic features of the region are the West Spitsbergen Current on the east side of the strait and the East Greenland Current on the west.
Queen Maud Land is a c. 2.7 million square kilometre (1.04 million sq mi) region of Antarctica claimed as a dependent territory by Norway. The territory lies between 20° west and 45° east, between the claimed British Antarctic Territory to the west and the similarly claimed Australian Antarctic Territory to the east. On most maps there had been an unclaimed area between Queen Maud Land's borders of 1939 and the South Pole until 12 June 2015 when Norway formally annexed that area. Positioned in East Antarctica, the territory comprises about one-fifth of the total area of Antarctica. The claim is named after the Norwegian queen Maud of Wales (1869–1938).
Norway has three dependent territories, all uninhabited and located in the Southern Hemisphere. Bouvetøyen is a Subantarctic island in the South Atlantic Ocean. Queen Maud Land is a sector of Antarctica which spans between the 20th meridian west and the 45th meridian east. Peter I Island is a volcanic island located 450 kilometres (280 mi) off the coast of Ellsworth Land of continental Antarctica. Svalbard is not considered to be a dependency. While the Svalbard Treaty regulates some aspects of that Arctic territory, one article acknowledges that these islands are part of Norway. Similarly, Jan Mayen is recognized as an integral part of the nation. Both are, however, unincorporated areas.
ISO 3166-2:SJ is the entry for Svalbard and Jan Mayen in ISO 3166-2, part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The standard defines codes for names of principal subdivisions of all countries coded in ISO 3166-1. Svalbard and Jan Mayen does not exist as an administrative region, but rather consists of two separate parts of Norway under separate jurisdictions—Svalbard and Jan Mayen. Further subdivision for Svalbard and Jan Mayen occurs under Norway's entry, ISO 3166-2:NO, namely NO-21 for Svalbard and NO-22 for Jan Mayen. There are currently no ISO 3166-2 codes for Svalbard and Jan Mayen.
Antarctic was a Swedish steamship built in Drammen, Norway, in 1871. She was used on several research expeditions to the Arctic region and to Antarctica from 1898 to 1903. In 1895 the first confirmed landing on the mainland of Antarctica was made from this ship.
Paul-Louis Mercanton was a Swiss glaciologist, meteorologist, and Arctic explorer.
Oceanwide Expeditions is a Dutch company specializing in expedition-style voyages to Antarctica and the Arctic. Deploying its own fleet of ice-strengthened vessels, Oceanwide emphasizes small-scale, flexible tours that provide passengers close contact with polar wildlife, landscapes, and historical sites. Tours usually take place in regions only accessible by sea, with little to no infrastructure. The locations visited are first reached by ship, after which expedition guides take small groups of passengers to landing sites by way of Zodiac Milpro RIBs, enabling safe cruising and maximum shore time.
Research stations in Queen Maud Land are connected by the Dronning Maud Land Air Network Project (DROMLAN), which is a cooperative agreement for transportation between eleven nations with research stations in East Antarctica. Long-range aircraft fly between Cape Town, South Africa and either the Troll Airfield, located at the Troll research station, or the runway at the Novolazarevskaya Station. From these two main airfields, smaller aircraft may fly further to other Antarctic destinations.
Jan-Gunnar Winther is Director of the Norwegian Centre for the Ocean and the Arctic at Nofima and Specialist Director at the Norwegian Polar Institute located in Tromsø.
Arctic Trading Co. was a Norwegian company founded on 24 June 1929.
Hallvard Ophuus Devold was a Norwegian Arctic explorer, trapper and meteorologist. He was instrumental in the attempt to establish Eric the Red's Land in 1931. His brother Finn Devold shared his vision and helped to establish a Norwegian station at Finnsbu, SE Greenland.
Finn Devold was a Norwegian Arctic explorer, marine biologist and meteorologist. His father was parish priest Harald Ophus Devold. Together with his brother Hallvard Devold, Finn shared the same interest in the Arctic areas and in the expansion of Norwegian sovereignty in Greenland.