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Nordic Geoscientist Award

RBP wins Nordic Geoscientist Award

This year’s Nordic Geoscientist Award was given to Rolf Birger Pedersen, Professor at the Department of Earth Science (GEO) and Centre for Geobiology (CGB) at the University of Bergen (UiB).

The Award is presented every second year, and this is the third time it has been given out as part of the annual Nordic Geological Winter Meeting. Learn more. This year’s Meeting was in Helsinki, Finland 13-15 January.

Annakaisa Korja, the 2015 Chair of the Geological Society of Finland, said that this year’s Award choice was simple! Here is her speech.

The Nordic Geoscientist Award 2016 is granted to a scientist who during his or her career has advanced specific fields of the geosciences and has been strongly involved with the society around us. The prize is given biannually and the nomination committee consists of the presidents of the Geological Societies and the Director Generals of the Geological Survey. The prize comprises a framed diploma and an engraved plate of stone, this time designed by Helena Korkka and sponsored by Palin Granit Oy.

This year we have fixe excellent candidates. However, after two preliminary voting rounds the decision was quite unanimous.

This year’s nominee is famous in his field. It is rare that we can give the award to a person who has initiated a new field of science and besides that, is working closely with industry AND promoting science to the general public. All in all he is well worthy of the award criteria – by both his scientific and societal merits.

He is well known among the scientists studying seafloor geology and geobiology of deep ocean basins. He is a pioneer in the scientific field of geo-bioscience – a science that builds on both geology and biology.

In particular he has studied the Arctic Mid-Ocean Ridge system using submersibles and underwater robotics. His studies have resulted in new understanding of the volcanic processes and have led to the discoveries of deep-sea hydrothermal systems, seafloor mineral deposits and unique, deep-sea ecosystems.

Lately he has become involved in CO2 storage related research that is focused on the sequestration of CO2 in the oceanic lithosphere, as wll as considering seafloor leakage scenarios and their environmental consequences.

The winner has been the driving force for the establishment of a new research centre at the University of Bergen (UiB), which will be a Centre for Deep Sea Research, where he will be Centre Director. The new centre will be one of the world's leading environments for basic research on the deep ocean layers and will continue the work undertaken at Centre for Geobiology. He is currently establishing a Norwegian marine Robotics Facility that will not only enhance Nordic capability for deep ocean research and exploration but also help in developing marine robotics for industry.

He is also well known for his interest and capability to communicate science to the general public. He has made TV movies and last fall he was involved in Transatlantic Science Week promoting Norwegian sciences across the Atlantic.

I am sure that by now many of you have guessed the winner; he is Professor Rolf Birger Pedersen.

[Pedersen is ]The founding father of the Centre for Geobiology (CGB) at the University of Bergen, an institution that is searching for new fundamental knowledge about the interaction between the geosphere and biosphere and educates new generations of interdisciplinary geobiologists.

It is my honour and privilege to give the Nordic Geoscientist Award 2016 to you Professor Pedersen.

Read more reports (in Norwegian)