What we do

The Norwegian Polar Institute is a directorate under the Ministry of the Climate and Environment. The Institute’s activities are focused on environmental management needs in the polar regions. We produce scientific knowledge, conduct mapping and provide professional and strategic advice to the Norwegian authorities. We are present in the Arctic and the Antarctic, operate research stations, carry out expeditions and are the owners of the research vessel Kronprins Haakon. The institute is the environmental authority for Bouvetøya and for Norwegian activity in Antarctica.


One of the institute’s main tasks is to be an adviser to the Norwegian authorities in polar environmental issues. In Antarctica, the institute is the authority for all Norwegian activity.

Our advising role

Research and monitoring

Research and monitoring in the polar regions yield information that is crucial for understanding global environmental changes and their consequences. Better data coverage and insight into climate and the environment will also improve Norway’s ability to manage its national territories and resources.

The Norwegian Polar Institute does research on biodiversity, geological mapping, climate and pollutants in the High North and the polar regions, and contributes to national and regional research programmes that involve these topics.

We also provide important contributions to international climate research and the Institute is an active point of contact within the international scientific community.

Our research

Research infrastructure

Logistics and support

Research in polar regions is challenging, not least in terms of logistics. Great distances, cold climate and the general lack of infrastructure place stringent demands on transport systems, equipment and safety. The Norwegian Polar Institute outfits and organises major expeditions to both Poles, owns the research vessel Kronprins Haakon and runs several research stations stations, two in Ny-Ålesund in Svalbard (Sverdrup and Zeppelin Observatory) and two in Antarctica (Troll and the field station Tor).


Mapping and place names

The Norwegian Polar Institute is the national mapping authority for polar land regions, including geological surveys for non-commercial purposes. The Institute publishes maps in both digital and printed form.

The Institute is also the official agency responsible for place names in the Norwegian polar regions.



The Institute’s goal is to ensure that information about our research results and management tasks is presented well, both through our own website, publications, library and exhibitions, and in the media.

2019  in numbers