Gunnar Isachsen is one of the scientific pioneers of
Svalbard and the Norwegian Polar Institute. He is portrayed on one of the
new stamps that were published today in Longyearbyen in connection with the
100 year anniversary of the settlement. Isachsen was the leader of
the expeditions to Spitsbergen in 1906 and 1907 financed and organized by
Prince Albert I of Monaco.
The expedition in 1906 haled the start of systematic Norwegian scientific investigations in Svalbard and the later establishment of the
Norges Svalbard og Ishavsundersøkelser (NSIU) (Norway's Svalbard and Arctic
Ocean Survey). NSIU was the
predecessor of the present day Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI).
This year therefore also marks the 100-year anniversary
of systematic Norwegian research in Svalbard. This was commemorated by a ceremony unveiling the bust of
Gunnar Isachsen located in the NPI wing at the Svalbard Science Centre in
Longyearbyen on 9th of June. His son Odd Isachsen who
has been invited to this ceremony by the Norwegian Polar Institute carried
out the unveiling.
Gunnarius (Gunnar) Ingvald Isachsen (1868-1939)
Norwegian officer and Arctic explorer. Topographic surveyor of the second
"Fram" expedition 1898-1902. Leader of the expeditions financed and
organized by Prince Albert I of Monaco, to Spitsbergen in 1906 and 1907.
Leader of the Norwegian Spitsbergens Expedition 1909-1910. Norwegian
government delegate Paris 1919 when the question of the sovereignty of
Spitsbergen was decided in favour of Norway. Director of the Norwegian
Maritime Museum in Oslo from 1923. Leader of the "Norvegia" expedition to
the Antarctic 1930-31.