Adolf Hoel

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Adolf Hoel
Adolf Hoel 1911.jpg
Adolf Hoel (1911)
Rector of the University of Oslo
In office
Preceded by Didrik Arup Seip
Succeeded by Otto Lous Mohr
Personal details
Born 15 May 1879
Died 19 February 1964
Nationality Norwegian

Adolf Hoel (15 May 1879 – 19 February 1964) was a Norwegian geologist, environmentalist and Polar region researcher. He led several scientific expeditions to Svalbard and Greenland. Hoel has been described as one of the most iconic and influential figures in Norwegian polar exploration in the first half of the 20th century, alongside Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen.[1][2] His focus on and research of the polar areas has been largely credited as the reason Norway has sovereignty over Svalbard and Queen Maud Land in the Antarctica.[3][4][5] Hoel was the founding director of the Norwegian Polar Institute and served as rector of the University of Oslo and as President of the Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature. The mineral hoelite and the Hoel Mountains in Antarctica are named in his honour.


Hoel was born in Sørum in Akershus, Norway. He attended Hans Nielsen Hauges Minde in Oslo and the University of Oslo taking his cand.real. examation in 1904. He married Elisabeth Birgitte Fredrikke Thomsen in 1916. [6][7]

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 during the German occupation of Norway. 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. [8] He was President of the Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature from 1935 to 1945.

In 1933, he became a member of the Nasjonal Samling party of the former minister of defence, Vidkun Quisling, largely due to the Norwegian nationalist approach to the Norwegian occupation of a part of Greenland in the early 1930s. After World War II, he finished his work for the Norwegian Polar Institute on the history of Svalbard (Svalbard. Svalbards historie 1596-1965) which was published as a three-volume set after his death. [9] [10] [11]

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


  1. ^ Norsk imperialist inn fra kulden, Aftenposten
  2. ^ De glemte heltene i isen
  3. ^ Susan Barr. "The Pioneering Work of Adolf Hoel in the Period 1906 – 1925". svalbardmuseum. Retrieved January 1, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Hoelite". Retrieved January 1, 2017. 
  5. ^ "Hoel Mountains". U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved January 1, 2017. 
  6. ^ "Adolf Hoel". Store norske leksikon. Retrieved January 1, 2017. 
  7. ^ Geir Tandberg Steigan. "Hauges Minde". Arkitektur og historie i Oslo. Retrieved January 1, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Adolf Hoel". Norsk Polarhistorie. Retrieved January 1, 2017. 
  9. ^ Tor Bjarne Christensen. "Naturverner, polarhelt og landssviker". Retrieved January 1, 2017. 
  10. ^ Drivenes, Einar-Arne (2002). "Adolf Hoel". In Helle, Knut. Norsk biografisk leksikon (in Norwegian). 4 (2nd ed.). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 3 November 2013. 
  11. ^ "Svalbard. Svalbards historie 1596-1965. I-III". vialibri. Retrieved January 1, 2017.