I was fortunate enough to be trained as a geologist at the University of Oslo where I studied Precambrian Geology and used Isotope Geochemistry to understand fundamental processes of how continents were created. My geoscience brought me to a very new and innovative workplace called GRID-Arendal in 1991. We created the first ever digital state of environment report and presented it at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio 1992. We led UNEP's Polar activities in the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy process, which preceded the Arctic Council. I led GIS activities at GRID-Arendal where, among other things, we developed the model that became GLOBIO.
My love for geoscience, an interest in geostatistics and handling of big numbers led to a break from GRID-Arendal when I joined the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate for a few years where I focused on petroleum resource assessments, including work on improvement of the tools used to estimate undiscovered petroleum resources and the success of the art of petroleum exploration.
However I had to come back to GRID-Arendal and Arctic work and was asked to join the team to build the University of the Arctic in May 2002. The UArctic Presidency gives me a fantastic opportunity to foster academic interest in northern environment and development issues.