Ola M. knighted : Portrait on national TV2

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His Majesty the King of Norway has appointed Professor Ola Mathias Johannessen to Officer of The Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav for his efforts in climate and polar research. On behalf of the King the assistant County Governor of Hordaland, Rune Fjeld delivered the decoration of the Order to Ola M. during a ceremony at the Nansen Center, gathering 140 of his friends, colleagues and family.

The County Governor emphasized that the Council of the Order has in their evaluation considerably acknowledged Johannessens efforts in the research of polar oceans. He has further through his work given major contributions to the understanding of the importance of the polar areas for the global climate and hence key global change issues.

Kåre Rommetveit (Univ. of Bergen) chaired the ceremony, who together with Tore Nepstad (Institute of Marine Research), Anton Eliassen (met.no) and Peter Mosby Haugan (Univ. of Bergen), proposed Ola M. to a candidate for the St. Olav Order.

The founders and close cooperative partners of the Nansen Center represented by Christian Rieber, vice rector Anne Gro Salvanes and Trond Mohn all congratulated Ola M. by addressing his involvement in research and academia as well as in the partnership between industry and research.

The board and staff of the Nansen Centres are proud of their founding director and he was greeted by the chairman of the board Bjart Nygård and vice-director Stein Sandven, who emphasized Ola´s desire to give his staff and students much responsibility at an early age. Congratulations were conveyed from staff and students of the Nansen Centres in Saint Petersburg, Cochin and Beijing, currently visiting Bergen. As institution entrepreneur Ola M. has also taken the initiative to establish the Nansen International Environmental and Remote Sensing Centre (NIERSC) in Saint Petersburg, Russia (1992), the Nansen Environmental Research Centre – India (NERCI) in Cochin, India (1998) and the Nansen-Zhu International Research Centre (NZC) in Beijing, China (2003). He has also taken the initiative to establish the Nansen Scientific Society aiming at a fund raising foundation for students and young scientists fostering “Knowledge without borders”. Totally 172 staff members, including 48 Ph.D. candidates, are employed in the Nansen Group.

The Nansen Center has an extensive network of national and international cooperation. Tore Nepstad and Guro Dahle Strøm delivered greetings from respectively the Institute of Marine Research and the Norwegian Space Centre covering Ola M´s education in physical oceanography and his a pioneer efforts fighting for the development and applications of satellite remote sensing in climate and environmental research during the last 30 years.

In Ola´s “thank you” speech, he naturally included a scientific lecture on his current issues, and emphasized that the “Nansen Group is dependant on the Human Capital” to achieve scientific results. Accordingly, he honoured staff and colleagues at the Nansen Centers, their founders and partners, as well as the Geophysical Institute and the University of Bergen.

Trude Eick (horn), Ola´s niece, and Anders Møllerhaug (piano) played “The Flying Dutchman”, “Espana” and finished with “What a Wonderful World” giving a proper cultural dimension of the ceremony and pleasing Ola´s passion for music.

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