Fram Fjord, Ellesmere Island

Aug 31, 2018 - National Geographic Explorer

This morning National Geographic Explorer entered the Fram Fjord, on the southeastern part of Ellesmere Island. We found ourselves in the wake of Otto Sverdrup, a prominent Norwegian Polar explorer. During the years 1898 to 1902 he was captain and expedition leader on an expedition to explore a large portion of the Queen Elisabeth Islands. With a crew of 16 he let the expedition ship Fram freeze into the ice during the first wintering of the expedition, and the name Fram Fjord is only one of several Norwegian place names in this part of the Canadian Arctic. Captain Sverdrup requested the Norwegian government claim sovereignty over the area that his team had surveyed. The Norwegian government, however did not provide the support that Sverdrup hoped for, and the Canadian government purchased this enormous area from him for 35,000 USD!

Hiking or Zodiac cruising were the options during our morning in the Fram Fjord. After lunch, we sailed towards the southeastern tip of Ellesmere Island, and a couple of presentations were given by expedition staffers James Hyde and Karen Copeland. James talked about the whimsical world of pinnipeds while Karen introduced us to plants in the Polar desert. The evening was calm and sunny. We now sail northwards and see how far the ice allows us to go.

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About the Author

Carl Erik Kilander


Carl was born in Norway and received a master’s degree in forestry and nature conservation from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in 1973. His professional experience is mainly connected to environmental issues and natural resource management on the Norway mainland and in Svalbard. A major part of his professional experience comprises planning and management of protected areas, particularly in the southern parts of Norway and Svalbard. During the period 1999-2001 Carl was Head of the Environmental Department at the Governor of Svalbard´s office. He has also been District Manager (southwestern Norway) followed by the position of Senior Environmental Adviser at the Norwegian State Forest Service.

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