Norwegian Polar Institute

Photo: Norwegian Polar Institute

About Norway’s National Antarctic Program

COMNAP Representative (MNAP): Ole Arve Misund​, Director
(DMNAP): John E. Guldahl, Director Operations and Logistics

Norway has a longstanding history of Antarctic exploration throughout the historic era. A research institute was established in 1928. The Polar Institute has its head office in Tromsø’s Fram Centre – a network of twenty institutes. There are also offices in Longyearbyen and Ny-Ålesund in Svalbard and in Cape Town, South Africa.

The Norwegian Polar Institute is active within the fields of scientific research, mapping and environmental monitoring in the Arctic and Antarctica. The Institute advises Norwegian authorities in strategic and thematic matters relating to the polar regions, represents Norway internationally on various occasions and is Norway’s competent environmental authority in Antarctica.

The Antarctic facilities include Troll Station in Dronning Maud Land, a seasonal station from 1990 turned into a year-round facility in 2005. The nearby field camp of Tor has been in operation since 1985. The ice-strengthened vessel Lance has been used for research in polar waters since 1994. The institute will be the owner of a new national ice-strengthened research vessel that will be operative from 2016.

Troll Station

Organizational structure of the Norwegian Polar Institute

The Norwegian Polar Institute has approximately 160 employees organized into five departments. The Institute is a directorate under the Ministry of the Environment. The Ministry of the Environment defines the Institute’s responsibilities and sets its tasks. Within the research sector of the Ministry of the Environment, the Centre for Ice, Climate and Ecosystems (ICE) has been created as part of the Institute, to intensify research on climate and ecosystems in polar regions, especially in the north. The Institute also has commissions financed by other Ministries, other environmental agencies, research institutes, the Research Council of Norway and the European Union.

The Institute itself is composed of the five departments who work to advice the Director. The Norwegian Polar Institute is also host to the Secretariat for the Climate and Cryosphere (CliC) International Project Office.

Logistically, the Norwegian Antarctic Research Expeditions (NARE), is responsible for supporting all Antarctic research funded by the Norwegian Government. This is organized by the Norwegian Polar Institute under the Operating and Logistics Department. The department also offers its services to external research projects.

The annual budget for Antarctic science and operations is about 11 million USD of which 20% is used for science.

Our Science Program

Monitoring of climate, environmental pollutants, biodiversity, geological and topographic mapping are key activities at the Institute. The work done by the Institute makes a key contribution towards international climate research. The record created by regular monitoring programs will be valuable to improve Norway’s insight into climate and the environment. Another important task is environmental monitoring working towards a minimized human impact. The science results are then used towards advising management where polar environmental issues are concerned. All Norwegian science adheres to Environmental Protocol policy.

In an effort to make NPI and other institutions’s knowledge available to all, the Institute publishes its own peer-reviewed multidisciplinary scientific journal Polar Research. This is an Open Access Journal in English.

The Institute collaborates with many different counties and the Institute itself employs persons from 15 different countries. Logistically, there is much cooperation, especially with nations operating in Dronning Maud Land through the networks of DROMLAN and DROMSHIP.

The Polar Institute participates in several national and regional research projects.

Our Contact Details


Postal Address
Norwegian Polar Institute
Fram Centre
Hjalmar Johansens gt. 14
NO-9296 Tromsø
Phone, Fax
Phone: +47 77 75 05 00
Fax: +47 77 75 05 01

Other links
Climate and Cryosphere Project:
Norwegian Ministry of the Environment:
Fram Centre: