Adolf Hoel

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Hoel in 1911.

Adolf Hoel (15 May 1879 – 19 February 1964) was a Norwegian geologist and polar researcher. The mineral hoelite is named in his honour. His focus on and research of the polar areas is largely credited as the reason Norway has the sovereignty over Svalbard and Queen Maud Land. He led several scientific expeditions to Svalbard and Greenland.


Hoel was born in Sørum. He married Elisabeth Birgitte Fredrikke Thomsen in 1916. He was the leading Norwegian researcher at Svalbard in the early 20th century, and in 1928 founded Norges Svalbard- og Ishavsundersøkelser, which became the Norwegian Polar Institute in 1948. In 1933, he became a member of the Nasjonal Samling party of the former minister of defence, Vidkun Quisling, largely due to his Norwegian nationalist approach to the Norwegian occupation of a part of Greenland in the early 1930s. Hoel became a fellow of the University of Oslo in 1911 and a docent in 1919. He was appointed a full professor in 1940. Hoel was rector of the University of Oslo from 1941 to 1945. After the war he finished his work on the history of Svalbard in three volumes. He died, aged 84, in Oslo.[1]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Didrik Arup Seip
Rectors of the University of Oslo
Succeeded by
Otto Lous Mohr


  1. ^ Drivenes, Einar-Arne (2002). "Adolf Hoel". In Helle, Knut. Norsk biografisk leksikon (in Norwegian) 4 (2nd ed.). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 3 November 2013.