Distinguished Norwegian Polar expert Dr. Olav Orheim will highlight the drivers behind the rapid changes now taking place in the Arctic. An emerging race for raw materials, combined with climate change giving access to the Arctic Ocean, has lifted the High North on the global political agenda, and has brought in new players, including China.

This lecture is presented as a tribute to the memory of Norwegian Resistance hero and 2001 ASF Cultural Award Winner Gunnar Sønsteby. It has been made possible by the Sønsteby/Whist Fund of The American-Scandinavian Foundation, which was established in 1998 by ASF Trustee Andrew Whist in honor of Mr. Sønsteby.

About Dr. Olav Orheim

Dr. Olav Orheim is a distinguished Norwegian polar expert, who has been deeply involved in Arctic affairs from the Cold War period to the present. His career includes Professor at University of Bergen and director of the Norwegian Polar Institute from 1993 to 2005.

From 2005 to 2012, he was in charge of International Polar Year activities at the Research Council of Norway.

About Gunnar Sønsteby

As the chief of operations in the Norwegian Resistance Movement during the German occupation in Norway during World War II, Gunnar Sønsteby (1918–2012) — also known as “”Kjakan”” (“”The Chin””) and “”No. 24″” — saved countless lives and went on to become his country’s most highly decorated citizen. Following the war, he lived and studied in the United States before returning to Norway in 1955. His book, Report from No. 24, chronicling his wartime activities, was published in 1960.

Mr. Sønsteby’s visionary support helped to establish Norway’s Resistance Museum in Oslo, which ensures that his and future generations will remember the struggle the Norwegians fought on their own soil during a time of foreign occupation. He spent many years giving lectures at schools, universities, civic organizations, and cultural institutions around the world, including more than 200 lectures in the U.S.

He was decorated by the governments of Great Britain and the United States; in 2008, he became the first non-American to receive the Special Operations Medal. He was awarded the ASF Cultural Award in 2001 “in recognition of his efforts to advance the understanding and appreciation in the United States of the challenges confronted and resistance efforts undertaken by the Norwegian people in World War II.”



Photo by the American-Scandinavian Foundation

THU – 1-10-2013 – 6:30 PM