Research projects in Greenland

Research projects in Greenland

For more than 20 years Aage V. Jensen Foundations have supported research projects in many parts of Greenland. Thus it has been possible to initiate a large number of  studies of for example sea mammals and birds, not least in the National Park in North East Greenland.

Where for a long time scientific studies of animals in Greenland were concentrated on commercial fish resources, the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources has been able, during recent years, to focus on many other natural conditions both terrestrial and marine.

By financing a professorship at the Institute of Natural Resources in 2005 the Foundations aimed at supporting the   important research activities into the interaction of man and the eco system and climate in Greenland. The professorship has resulted in a significant professional research boost and has very much strengthened the Institute’s international  cooperation.

The Institute is a contributor to the knowledge gathering on the global climate changes which have a particular impact on the Arctic regions. The impact of climate change on the ice cap and on ocean currents close to Greenland has global significance and is therefore the object of very extensive research activities. Read more on

 “Aage V. Jensen Foundations have made it possible to map the animals, plants and archaeology of the National Park and to gather local knowledge of natural resources, and not least studies of the hunting of walrus and polar bear…”

-Senior researcher Erik Born

Greenland Institute of Natural Resources

Aage V. Jensen Charity Foundation’s greatest commitment in Greenland is the establishment of the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources in Nuuk. The Institute has made it possible for Greenland to take  the scientific studying and monitoring of Greenland’s nature in its own hands.

The main building from 1998 houses laboratories, offices and common facilities for 40 employees. It is of high functional and architectural quality, faced with natural materials and with beautiful inflow of light.

In 2000 an annex was built containing flats and rooms for visiting researchers, and in 2011 the main building of the Institute was extended to make room for further 25 employees.

These facilities have attracted leading researchers from abroad,    strengthened the Institute’s international profile and provided excellent conditions for numerous new projects, in particular in climatic research.

The Institute of Natural Resources has developed into an internationally recognized scientific institute, and its activities are of decisive importance to a sustainable utilization of resources and the protection of the natural environment in Greenland.


“The support from the Aage V. Jensen Foundations laid the foundation for building up the knowledge that forms the basis of the management of natural resources in Greenland…”

-Klaus Nygaard, Director of the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources



Research Station Zackenberg and Daneborg

In 1991 a group of scientists from Copenhagen University decided to establish a research station in the central part of North East Greenland. Research results indicated that in particular the Arctic areas were being  influenced by climatic changes even though the concern about global warming was still quite new.

Since 1997 Aage V. Jensen Charity Foundation has  financed the development of the research station with ten houses for land-based research activities at Zackenberg and two houses and a work boat for sea-based research activities at Daneborg. The station has its own extensive environment monitoring program and is today internationally regarded as one of the leading research stations in the Arctic areas. Every year about 100 researchers from a number of countries visit the station, and during the summer months Zackenberg is one of the busiest places in North East Greenland.

Climatic measurements are made, the development of the vegetation is observed, and the emission of greenhouse gases into the air is measured. Small beetles are gathered for careful study in the laboratories and divers examine the biology beneath the sea ice.


Nordøstgrønlandsk Kompagni Nanok

“When the storm rages even the poorest hut is better than the best tent…”

Words of wisdom spoken by an old trapper during North East Greenland’s so-called “trapper period” (1908-60).

When the last trappers left Greenland in the late 1950s, their more than 300 trappers’ huts soon began to dilapidate. Only a few of them were used and maintained by the Sirius patrol. Polar bears ransacked the huts every now and then and the Sirius patrol therefore began to build their own network of new, bear-proof cabins. In the summer of 1991 a private group of North East Greenland enthusiasts established the non-profit society   Nanok in order to save the old huts. The idea was to repair a number of the huts so that they could both function as small “open-air museums” and be used by people working or travelling in North East Greenland.

During Nanok’s first year the finances were the limiting factor, but in the summer of 1999 Aage V. Jensen     Foundation offered to be the sole sponsor of Nanok – a sponsorship that has existed ever since.

In the period of 1991 to 2011 Nanok renovated 42  culture-historical buildings, and during the years 2003 to 2007 all the buildings in North East Greenland  dating back to the trapper period were documented. All activities in Nanok are carried out on a voluntary basis.



Posted by on Jun 6, 2013 in about Greenland | Comments Off on Zackenberg


An article by Klaus Nygaard, director of Greenland Institute of Natural Resources. The programme, Zackenberg Ecological Research Operations, at Zackenberg is considered the most extensive cross-disciplinary ecosystem monitoring and research programme on climate change effects in the entire arctic and antarctic region. Each year since 1995 a number of scientists from different institutions in Greenland and Denmark have measured c. 3,500 different physical and biological parameters in the marine and terrestrial compartments of the arctic ecosystem at Zackenberg.

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Commitment to Greenland with far-reatching importance

Posted by on Jun 6, 2013 in about Greenland | Comments Off on Commitment to Greenland with far-reatching importance

Commitment to Greenland with far-reatching importance

An article by Klaus Nygaard, director of Greenland Institute of Natural Resources. The Aage V. Jensen Charity Foundation’s commitment to Greenland stretches back more than 20 years. It has developed from support to dissemination and knowledge gathering, ranging from nature research projects to large construction projects. The support has had decisive importance for the continued development of Greenland’s modern society taking place in close interaction with nature.

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