I’m chair of the GRID-Arendal board and director of the Norwegian Polar Institute. Most of my work has been in cold-regions field research and I’ve led and participated in a number of research expeditions to Antarctica and the Arctic. One highlight for me was leading the Norwegian-USA scientific traverse into a largely unexplored region of the East Antarctic ice sheet during the International Polar Year in 2007-2009. This expedition was the largest and most complex Norwegian scientific expedition in Antarctica in modern times. In 2011, I retraced Roald Amundsen’s 1911 route to the South Pole as part of the national celebration of the Nansen-Amundsen Year.
I have a Ph.D. (and M.S.) from the Norwegian Institute of Technology. I was Adjunct Professor at the University Centre in Svalbard from 2002-2007. Since 2017, I’ve been an advisor to the government of Switzerland to contribute to the establishment of the Swiss Polar Institute.
I also serve on a large number of national and international committees, boards, and delegations including deputy chair of the Norwegian Government’s Expert Committee on Northern Regions Policies, national expert to the Arctic Council and the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meetings, lead author on IPCC’s fifth assessment report, member of the Norwegian Academy of Technological Sciences, the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Arctic, China Council for Cooperation on Environment and Development, and the Explorers Club.
I have published more than 60 peer-reviewed scientific papers, a large number of conference papers and reports, more than 100 newspaper articles and written 3 books.