Hanne H. Christiansen is a professor in Physical Geography at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), and presently a visiting researcher at the Aarhus University in Denmark. Her research is within periglacial geomorphology, focusing on active layer – permafrost dynamics including the ground thermal regime, cryostratigraphy, and climatic and meteorological control on periglacial landforms, processes and sediments. She has field experience from Greenland, Svalbard and former cold climatic landscapes of Scandinavia from the last 25 years. Hanne has been involved in the establishment of the Arctic Safety Centre at UNIS and works with the consequences of climate change on permafrost in Arctic communities focusing on geohazards. Presently she is leading the UNIS interdisciplinary geoscientific strategic project ‘Developing a permafrost and meteorological climate change response system to build resilience in Arctic communities’. She has been the Vice Dean for Education (2018-2020), Head of the Arctic Geology Department (2013-2021) both at UNIS, and President of the International Permafrost Association, IPA (2016-2020).
As a UArctic Chair of Permafrost Physical Processes she will be focusing on increasing the Nordic links within the High Arctic, especially between North Greenland and Svalbard and further developing permafrost education within science and engineering, especially working with internship development and field learning.
UArctic Chairs are highly qualified academics who serve as academic drivers in a broad area of relevance to the Arctic. They implement and drive collaborative actions in research and education among UArctic members and Thematic Networks and build partnerships with the broader Arctic community.