“I have always been passionate about the use of collective knowledge for the common good. It is amazing how much progress we can make when we trust each other and collaborate. Working with colleagues from different backgrounds allows me to see how I can help solve their problems and they mine.”
Having recently rejoined the StormGeo team, Erlend previously worked for the company from 2008 to 2011. “During my first period in StormGeo, I was motivated by the practical application of my then ongoing studies within meteorology, oceanography and climate dynamics. Now, I’m motivated by the possibility of being part of the solutions of tomorrow.”
Coming from academia and looking to make his research more applicable, Erlend was drawn to the dynamic research and development team at StormGeo — where he says science is important for the end user.
A major part of Erlend’s role is as a resource for StormGeo’s participation in the UN Global Compact Action Platform on Sustainable Ocean Business. “This role, along with working on climate science outreach in media, allows me to build on my expertise and passion within climate science research and communication to reach new audiences and continue fostering climate action.”
Notably, Erlend was one of the founders of the awareness project, Pole to Paris. “I started this project together with a friend and co-researcher based in New Zealand after we had both finished our PhDs in polar climate research. He cycled from the polar region that he knew best through his research (the Antarctic) while I ran from mine (the Arctic).” Along their journeys, the two researchers connected with people through educational and public events, conventional and social media, and two-way interaction — building awareness and support for climate action. “Through these means, a conservative estimate told us that we reached more than one million people in over 30 countries.” After 10,000 km on bike and 3,000 km on foot, they met in Paris for the climate summit in December 2015.
“It took a huge physical and mental effort to make it all the way to Paris by climate-neutral leg power, but the climate summit outcome of the Paris Agreement made it all worth it.”
As for his future at StormGeo, Erlend says he is keen to see where machine learning and artificial intelligence can go, in terms of providing better weather forecasts and climate change projections.
“I am particularly grateful for being in a position, in which I work toward sustainable solutions for the globe as a whole. While I might be sitting in Bergen, being part of the StormGeo workforce allows me to interact internationally every day and collaboratively find solutions for people across all corners of the globe.”
Climate change; science communication; Arctic sea ice; extreme weather.
Erlend holds a PhD in Climate Dynamics from the University of Bergen, Norway.