Olafur Arnalds - Agricultural University of Iceland
Ph.D. Soil Science, Texas A&M University (1990). Co-advicors: Tom Hallmark and Larry Wilding
M.Sc. Soil Science, Montana State University (1984). Advisor: Jerry Nielsen
B.Sc.Geology, University of Iceland (1980).
2012- Professor, Faculty of Environment, Agricultural University of Iceland (AUI) (Landbúnaðarháskóli Íslands – LbhÍ)
2005-2012 Professor and Dean, Faculty of Environment, AUI
1998-2004. Department head. Environment. Agricultural Research Institute (ARI/Rala).
1980 - 1997. Research Specialist, Agricultural Research Institute (ARI/Rala).
1981-1990. MS and Ph.D. studies (Montana and Texas), and Research Scientist, ARI/Rala
Frequent collaboration with the Soil Conservation of Iceland (Landgræðsla ríkisins) throughout the carrier. Also lecturer at University of Iceland since 1984, with few lectures per annum (environmental issues - ongoing) to a full course on soil science (until 2006) .
One of main lecturers at the UNESCO - GRÓ Land Restoration Training Programme. (A 6-month program for professionals from the developing countries).
Sjá einnig færslu á Vísindavef HÍ .
Icelandic soils. Focus: realizing soils as a part of the environment and ecosystems that provide multiple services and are subjected to multiple processes that shape the landscapes of the Earth. OA lead and participated in research related to the basic properties and characterization of Icelandic soils Projects include “The Icelandic Research Fund” (Rannis) funded projects and international co-operation, such as the COST-622 Action “Volcanic Soil Resources of Europe”. Topics include basic properties, chemistry, mineralogy, soil development and cryoturbation, together with capacity building in soil research and characterization. Much of this work is summarized in the book “The Soils of Iceland” (Springer World Soils Book Series). Lead author of an Icelandic classification of soils and a soil map of Iceland. Contributed Icelandic soil data to the “European Soil Atlas” and “The Soil Atlas of the Northern Circumpolar Region”. Soil research includes soil development in relation to ecological restoration and carbon sequestration in soils. OA has written and contributed to review texts on Andosols (soils of volcanic regions) and impacts of volcanoes on soils and ecosystems.
Erosion and dust production. OA lead the National Survey of Soil Erosion in Iceland, operated by the Agricultural Research Institute (ARI/Rala) and the Soil Conservation Service (Landgræðsla ríkisins), primarily from 1991-1997; which earned the Nordic Nature and Environmental Award in 1998. The survey resulted in an active land database on erosion and the cover of deserts in Iceland. OA has devoted considerable effort in studying aeolian processes (wind erosion) on the Icelandic deserts and most recently made an effort to quantify and map dust production from Icelandic dust sources (which are of global scale) with colleagues and students.
Nytjaland (The Icelandic Farmland Database). OA is project leader. The project aims to use satellite images to classify all Icelandic surfaces into several vegetation classes, and to gather farmland boundaries as possible. The project was initiated in 2000, funded directly by the government and by competitive research funds. The results are a detailed land cover database used for a variety of purposes, both research and development, and administration and reporting such as part of the IGLUD database used for reporting to the UN-FCCC.
Land condition and restoration OA participates in work related to assessing condition of the land and restoration. Activities include basic and applied research, method development for Icelandic conditions, assessment in the field (both soil erosion, but also rangeland condition assessment), government committees and consultation, outreach and development of educational materials. OA has been an active critic of the failure of the sheep industry and the government to adjust land use to land condition. He has also criticized perverse government subsidies in public, reports as well by peer-reviewed papers, subidies that have maintained large scale unsustainable grazing practices.
Campaign to make information on agricultural subsidies public OA has campaigned successfully under the Freedom of information Act to make information about agricultural subsidies and related materials (cross-compliance etc) as open public information. Legal appeals (a long road) were eventually successful, with a major milestone reached when the information on agricultural subsidies became public in 2020.
Boards, awards etc
The Nordic Council “Nature and Environmental Award” 1998. On behalf of the project Jarðvegsvernd.
Landgræðsluverðlaunin 2018 (Icelandic Soil Conservation Service Award).
ÓA hlut einnig umhverfisviðurkenningu umhverfisnefndar Mosfellsbæjar ásamt Ásu L. Aradóttur og Andrési Arnalds fyrir störf að umhverfismálum.
United Nations University Land Restoration Program: Studies Committee (academic governance body) and teaching, 2007 – present.
Rammaáætlun I and II, Master Plan for hydro and geothermal energy resources in iceland. Working Group I (Phase 2) and Working Group II (Phase 1).
SoilSoc - Network for soils in the Nordic Countries (chair from 2009-2011).
Board of Rannsóknasjóður (The Icelandic Research Fund), 2006-2009.
(National Committee on United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification – UN CCD). Discontinuous from 2005 to 2011.
EU Soil Bureau. Plenary member of the EU Soil Bureau, ISPRA, Italy,
SCAPE, Soil Conservation and Protection in Europe. EU-Concerted Action, Steering committee, special advisor; 2001-2005
Agricultural University of Iceland. University Council. 2005-2006.
Management committee for EU-COST Action 622: Volcanic Soil Resources of Europe. Co-chair of working group IV, land-use. 1998-2003.
Management committee for EU-COST Action 623. Soil Erosion and Global Change.
Steering committee for Local Agenda 21 (Staðardagskrá) for the Mosfellsbær community. 1999 – 2001