The Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center was established in 1986 as a non-profit research foundation. According to its bylaws “The Foundation’s goal is to perform interdisciplinary research and development with focus on remote sensing and modelling with respect to scientific problems within the natural sciences.” The Center is a national environmental research institute with basic funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment.

The Nansen Center generate interdisciplinary scientific expertise in Earth system environmental and climate research, satellite remote sensing, modelling and data assimilation. Its research foci are in Earth sciences, particularly covering topics such as physical and biology oceanography, meteorology, sea ice/cryosphere studies, hydrology and climate studies, including remote sensing in all these themes. The Center has been leading, both at national and international level, in the early developments of satellite oceanography for marine and polar research. Research staffs are members of several scientific advisory groups and committees of the major space agencies and national and international committies.

The Nansen Center is one of four partners in the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research (BCCR) that was awarded the status as a Norwegian centre of excellence (SFF) between 2002 to 2012 coordinated by the University of Bergen also in coorperation with Institute of Marine Research and Uni Research. The Nansen Center is also a founding partner of the national Centre for Climate Dynamics (SKD) and the Hjort Centre for Marine Ecosystem Dynamics, both located in Bergen.

The Nansen Center has the following organizational structure per 2017;

Organisation chart 2017
Organisation chart 2017

The Board

Navn Affiliation Position
Knut Fægri University of Oslo Chairman
Anne Marit Blokhus University of Bergen Deputy Chairman
Francois Counillon Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center Representative of the employees
Helge Dahle University of Bergen Board Member
Morten Hansen Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center Representative of the employees
Liv Holmefjord Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries Board Member
Bjart Nygaard Rieber Eiendom AS Board Member

The Scientific Council

Navn Affiliation Position
Lennart Bengtsson Max Planck Institute for Meteorology Chairman
Bo Anderssen Norwegian Space Centre Council member
Heidi Espedal University of Bergen Council member
Solfrid Hjøllo Institute of Marine Research Council member
Øystein Hov The Norwegian Meteorological Institute Council member
Grethe Hovelsrud University of Nordland, Bodø Council member
Nils Gunnar Kvamstø University of Bergen, Geophysical Institute Council member
Robert Shuchman Michigan Tech Research Institute Council member
Rune Teigland TOTAL E&P Norway Council member
Micheal Tjernström Stockholm University Council member
Pierre-Yves Traon Ifremer, France Council member

Management Group

Navn Position
Asle Steiestøl Wingsternes Head of Communication
Christine Due Sivertsen Head of Administration
Johnny A. Johannessen Research Coordinator
Knut Holba Head of Economy
Sebastian H. Mernild Managing Director

Research Coordination

Navn Position
Johnny Johannessen
Lasse Pettersson


Group Leader
Finance Knut Holba
IT Group Lars-Gunnar Persson