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Above the Clouds

The CliCNord Consortium -

Researchers and Institutions

The CliCNord consortium brings together the expertise of 6 nordic research institutions. All CliCNord associated research partners have strong research competencies in disaster risk studies and an international level of expertise, and all are highly experienced in the dissemination, application, and communication of the results from large-scale research projects, which will ensure the effectiveness of CliCNord project results among relevant stakeholders. CliCNord includes cases from Denmark, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden, and the autonomous region the Faroe Islands, and will all be investigated by research teams located in each country.

The partners are:

  • University College Copenhagen (UCC) - Emergency and Risk Management Programme 

  • RISE Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE) - Department of the Fire Research Dynamics

  • Lund University (LU) - Centre for Sustainability Studies

  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) - Centre for Energy, Climate and the Environment

  • Arctic University of Norway (UiT) - Department of Technology and Safety

  • University Centre of the Westfjords (UW) - Coastal Communities and Regional Development Program


Further information about these institutions and departments can be found below in the ‘Research teams’ section, where each team has provided a presentation of each participating research team and their respective organisations, the included researchers, and how the teams will contribute to CliCNord. 


Integration of external expertise

Furthermore, the CliCNord community workshops (WP7) aim to integrate diverse expertise, experiences, and knowledge from several parts of the Nordic countries, as well as from outside the region, through direct engagement with different communities, including CliCNord-associated partners and experts from broader research and practitioner networks. This will primarily be done through activities dedicated to establishing a sustainable network of experts that both guides and informs the CliCNord project through the CliCNord community workshops. These workshops consist of advisors invited from different relevant organisations (representing practitioners, researchers, and citizens). The aim is to integrate and involve experts from:

  • international fire departments, relief agencies, and the police;

  • relevant public authorities, including social services and health services;

  • researchers also outside the consortium and from other related projects;

  • civil society and citizen organisations who have different levels of experience;

  • industry stakeholders who offer relevant solutions;

  • members of standardisation bodies.

Research Teams

University College Copenhagen (UCC)

UCC is one of the largest university colleges in Denmark with 20000 full-time students and 2000 full-time employees. Research and innovation at UCC is application-oriented, as it emphasises interprofessional problem solving and comprehension. Both research and teaching activities related to the Emergency and Risk Management programme at UCC are targeted towards institutions from both the public welfare sector, civil sector organisations and private companies, and there is a focus on risk and crisis management of a broad variety of hazards: natural, technological, and terrorism. All researchers affiliated with the programme hold an interdisciplinary approach in their research, and the programmes’ projects are mainly carried out in a collaborative process. Two of the main objectives of the research activities of the programme are: to investigate ways to strengthen relationships between civil society, organisations, and emergency management in crisis; to deal with complex operations.

UCC will contribute to the project with leadership and management (WP1), which is described in detail in the ‘Management Plan’. Andersen is the team leader and Kongsager is the project leader (PL). Furthermore, the team will take the lead in three of the cases (Denmark 1, led by Nina Baron; Denmark 2, led by Mikkel Nedergaard; and the Faroe Islands, led by Rico Kongsager). 


Rico Kongsager holds a PhD in Geography. His core areas of research include climate change adaptation with a focus on resilience and vulnerability of communities, flood risk management, natural disasters, GIS and remote sensing, sustainable development, and applied science/geography. He teaches disaster cycle management, climate change adaptation, methodology, and innovation. Kongsager is the originator of the CliCNord project and is the project leader of CliCNord.


Nina Blom Andersen holds a PhD in Communication and crisis management. She has been involved in several research projects about scientific and public dissemination in communication processes related to disastrous events. Amongst other things, she is concerned with the ways that citizens are taken into account in crises and disastrous events by authorities and the role of the changing media ecology in times of crisis. Her latest project have been one concerning citizens’ engagement and involvement in their local area as well as another concerning institutions’ intra-organisational practices for dealing with hazards. The Danish Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) has funded several of her projects, and she is often employed in teaching and training activities on crisis management and communication aimed at authorities and NGOs who have a managerial emergency responsibility. She holds a thorough understanding of the relationship between the Nordic countries, as she is trained as a sociologist in Lund, Sweden, and has been a member of a Norwegian research network in the last six years.


Nina Baron holds a PhD in Environmental Sociology. In her research projects, she has focused on barriers and possibilities in cooperation between public and private actors related to climate adaptation, emergency management and flood risk. Together with Birgitte Hoffmann from Aalborg University, Denmark, Nina has published a handbook about how citizens and emergency management organisations can cooperate on better flood risk protection.

Mikkel Nedergaard holds a M.Sc. in Human Geography. His areas of research interest include climate change adaptation and resilience and innovation and evaluation capacity building of organisations. Nedergaard has extensive experience with assessments and evaluation of humanitarian programmes in response to conflict and natural disasters. He has written articles on Evaluation Capacity Building and the use of Collaborative Approaches to Evaluation to support learning and adaptation in social interventions. He teaches innovation, monitoring, and evaluation in relation to disaster management.


Lund University (LU)

The research at the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS) focuses on sustainability challenges such as climate change, water conflicts, food security, land use changes, and urban transformation – often conducting research as part of international cooperation. LUCSUS has a strong international research profile and runs an extensive outreach and impact activities programme to advance the societal dialogue on sustainability. In particular, it is common for the centre to conduct high-quality and high-impact research in close collaboration with stakeholders relevant to specific cases.


Postdoctoral Researcher David Harnesk will partake in and contribute to the project throughout the project period (2021–2023) and will provide input to the research project by leading one of the case studies. He has already contributed significant knowledge to the interdisciplinary research field of sustainability science. His methodological expertise on interdisciplinary sustainability research will contribute to the integrative work of the project overall. He has also worked and published on Sámi struggles and is well versed in the ecology of reindeer husbandry and how it is affected by reindeer husbandry. He has good connections with local stakeholders, which will be of great benefit for the case study work.


Professor Lennart Olsson will assist throughout the project period (2021–2023) with his expert knowledge on the effects of climate change on land and land-based ecosystems. His current research fields include human–nature interactions in the context of climate change, land degradation, and food security. His current research focuses on the politics of climate change in the context of food security and poverty. He also has a strong interest in theoretical and methodological development in the context of interdisciplinarity and sustainability science. These broader sets of theoretical and methodological expertise will benefit the integrative work of the project. He will be working closely with David in the case study research as an expert advisor on natural systems.

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Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

NTNU is the largest university in Norway with about 42000 students and 7400 full-time equivalent employees. NTNU's vision is to create knowledge for a better world and provide solutions that can improve everyday life. NTNU has campuses in Trondheim, Ålesund and Gjøvik, and offices in Brussels and Tokyo. Through eight faculties, NTNU offers numerous professional study programs and has great academic breadth covering humanities, economics, social sciences, health sciences, educational science, entrepreneurship, architecture, and arts. The research areas prioritized during the period 2014-2023 are energy, sustainability, oceans, and health. NTNU participates in the EU’s Research and Technological Development Programmes and partners with world-leading research communities, such as MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, TU Delft, DTU, TU Berlin, Tsinghua, Shanghai Jiao Tong, and the University of Tokyo.

The Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture is an interdisciplinary unit with a staff that covers several disciplines in the humanities and social sciences. The department’s employees are engaged in several major national and international research projects. A large part of this research is funded by the Research Council of Norway or other external funding. Several of the projects have broad interdisciplinary collaboration with experts in medicine, science, and technology.  The energy, climate, and environment group at KULT is among the largest research communities within its focus areas in Europe and has ample experiences with research on sociotechnical perspectives on energy and climate policy, energy efficiency and energy consumption, development of renewable energy, public perceptions of and engagement with climate change and sustainable energy, climate adaption, sustainable cities and transport, and strategies towards sustainability transitions. Scholars in the group come from science and technology studies, sociology, political science, anthropology, organization studies, and gender studies.

The research in CliCNord will be conducted by Associate Professor Robert Næss and Researcher Sara Heidenreich.

Robert Næss is a sociologist and holds a PhD in Science and Technology Studies. His research specializes in climate knowledge and how it is mobilized by local actors such as citizens, local governments, and municipalities. He has extensive knowledge of social research on climate change and has extensive networks in the region studied in the related case. Næss will contribute to this project by both leading the empirical data collection and participating in it. He will contribute to the development of new warning processes with Heidenreich and project partners.

Sara Heidenreich is a social anthropologist with a PhD in Science and Technology Studies (STS). Her research is largely concerned with sustainability transitions, with a particular focus on energy citizenship and public engagement. Heidenreich will have responsibility for data collection that captures the local communities’ perspectives on recovery and vulnerabilities and contribute to this project with her skills in qualitative social research methods.

Building on their interdisciplinary background, Næss and Heidenreich will contribute to the development of innovative theoretical and practical frameworks for disaster response.


RISE Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE)

RISE Research Institutes of Sweden is the Swedish Research Institute and innovation partner. In international collaboration with industry, academia, and the public sector, we ensure the competitiveness of the business community and contribute to a sustainable society. Our 2800 employees support and promote all manner of innovative processes. RISE is an independent, state-owned research institute that offers unique expertise and approximately 100 testbeds and demonstration facilities instrumental in future-proofing technologies, products, and services. RISE has a long history of acknowledged high-quality research and conducting assignments in each of these divisions. RISE is a non-profit organization. RISE’s headquarters are located in Gothenburg, but it has employees all over Sweden.


RISE will be responsible for the case study on wildfires. RISE has extensive expertise in research related to wildfires.


Johan Sjöström (PhD) has conducted extensive research on ignition, spread, and fire behavior in typical Scandinavian landscapes, wildfire danger rating projections, and the risks in the wildland-urban interface. He has been called as an expert witness in several court trials related to wildfires and runs projects funded by local, national, and European funding agencies.


Kerstin Eriksson’s (PhD) research focuses on the organizational aspects of preparing for, responding to, and learning from crises where wildfires have been the major focus in recent years. In this work, the capacity and role of the local community and other citizen activities (e.g. voluntary work) have been the analytical starting point.


Frida Vermina Plathner (PhD) research focus is on how wildfire affects the populated landscape. In relation to this topic, she has investigated which features are important for the survivability of structures in a fire area, in what type of wildfire people are injured, and in mapping populated areas that are at risk from wildfire. Frida has experience in working with wildfire danger rating systems and fire behavior.


All participants from RISE have performed research about both the 2014 Västmanland wildfire and the wildfires during 2018 in Sweden.


University Centre of the Westfjords (UW)

Matthias Kokorsch holds a PhD in Geography and centres his research on community/social resilience. He has set up a framework for measuring resilience in small communities. He is the programme director at the University Centre of the Westfjords (UW), a small higher educational institution. UW is a member of international partnerships, for instance through the University of the Arctic, and has participated in projects of the Nordic Council and the European Union. UW is a young and flexible organisation and employees strive to serve the educational and research needs of the Westfjords to the fullest and to provide researchers outside the region with an excellent service. The UW building is home to more than 50 people in research, teaching, and services and thus has an interdisciplinary way of working and is well connected in the community.


Jóhanna Gísladóttir, who is finalising her double PhD degree at the Environment and Natural Resources program, Faculty of Political Science, University of Iceland and Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University.


Kokorsch is the team leader and Gísladóttir is the case assistant, and they will investigate the Icelandic case. Both researchers are familiar with organising workshops and research in Iceland and have a profound knowledge of resilience from different perspectives that will contribute to the project.


The Arctic University of Norway (UiT)

The Arctic University of Norway is the northernmost university in the world, having around 4000 staff members and 17000 students in 10 campuses in Northern Norway. Department of Technology and Safety (ITS), being part of the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Technology, is an interdisciplinary department (engineering and social sciences) dealing with societal safety and security in an all-hazard fashion. It is located in the biggest UiT campus in Tromsø, having a unit in Harstad.


The current project is part of the above department’s research group ‘Societal Security, Safety, Engineering, Environment and Emergency Preparedness’. In the current project, UiT’s main case study area has a focus on climate change-induced flash floods. The project team will work closely with the stakeholders, most notably Tromsø Municipality and the County Governor of Troms and Finnmark, but also emergency services and critical infrastructure operators


The project team consists of two main persons. Professor Christer Pursiainen holds a doctorate in political science from the University of Helsinki. He has a long experience in working within the field of crisis management and public policy, from several academic institutions and international organisations.


Associate Professor Dina Abdel-Fattah holds a PhD in Natural Resources and Sustainability from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Dina has an interdisciplinary background in both natural and social sciences. Her work and research span social science, computer science, and glaciology. Dina teaches Humanitarian and Emergency Logistics and supervises several Bachelor´s and Master´s students at UiT. In addition to the CliCNord project, she is currently involved in several research projects; two key projects, funded by the Norwegian Research Council and Erasmus+, are regarding spray icing maritime hazards in the Arctic and crisis management education, respectively.

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