About me

Lawrence Hislop

Expert on polar and high mountain research, policy and communications

My Skills

Project Management
Polar Research
Communications Strategy
Environmental Issues
Social Media
Event Management



I have fifteen years of international experience leading science communications, research and policy on polar and high mountain environmental issues.

Highlights include:
– Communication Director at REV Ocean.
– Leading the global Climate and Cryosphere project (CliC), part of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP).
– Managing polar environmental projects with a focus on the Arctic region for UNEP/GRID-Arendal.
– Guiding staff and teams of experts in the production of scientific papers, policy recommendations and outreach materials.
– Leading organisational change, strategy development, and budgeting for international programmes.
– Producing publications, films and social media for Arctic Council projects and the Himalayan Climate Adaptation Program (HICAP)
– Leading journalism, photography and communications training workshops in Eastern Europe, South Asia, Norway, Finland, Iceland, and Kenya.

I regularly work with government, research, and Indigenous People’s groups. My projects have brought me to over 70 countries across N. America, Europe, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region.

Professional Experience

I am currently the Communication Director at REV Ocean, leading all media engagements, social media updates, we development and film/photography projects.

I was the Executive Director of the Climate and Cryosphere project (CliC) which is part of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). Based in Tromsø, Norway, and hosted at the Norwegian Polar Institute. I provided overall strategic direction, budgeting and management of the international project office. I lead updates of annual work plans for the CliC governing bodies, Scientific Steering Group (SSG), its Chairs, panels and working groups. The scope of my work includes fulfilment of the CliC scientific action plan and the annual priorities set by the WCRP. I am responsible for:
– Managing the budgets and human resources of the project secretariat;
– participation in sessions of the CliC SSG and meetings of other national and international bodies;
– representing CliC at international meetings, and conduct consultations with agencies and institutions on implementation of CliC’s priorities;
– promoting CliC objectives in the cryospheric, climate, polar and broader science communities; and
– seeking sources of funding for the CliC secretariat.

Head of Polar and Mountains Program, UNEP/GRID-Arendal, Norway. From 2009 – 2014.
As a member of the Senior Management Team, I led all fundraising initiatives for polar and high mountain environmental communication projects. I developed high-level strategic partnerships, administration, team building and overall monitoring and evaluation of the program. During this time I hired and managed a core staff of six full-time professionals and ten consultants located on three continents. My work focussed on science assessments, forming policy recommendations and working in multi-media development. I launched environmental awareness raising campaigns, films, photo exhibits, publications and maintained the Polar and Mountains corporate web page.

I have extensive experience working in the Arctic region, producing scientific papers, engaging with local stakeholders, and developing linking policy recommendations for United Nations organisations (UNEP).

I am a co-author of the UN publication View from the Top, which focusses on Arctic change and is available in print, eBook and the iBooks platform. The publication presents the latest scientific knowledge and trends emerging from the Arctic.

As a video producer, I have created a series of short films for the University of the Arctic called Snowy OWL talks. These videos are based on public presentations by inspirational leaders and serve as general information for the public as well as supplementary course material for students studying in or about the North.

I also have been one of the primary photographers on a project called Many Strong Voices (MSV) which focuses on working with Indigenous People’s groups and bringing personal stories and faces of climate change in the Arctic (Greenland, Norway, Alaska) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to the attention of the general public and decision-makers at international climate change negotiations. The project was voted one of the top ten most influential climate change campaigns in the world by the Guardian newspaper.

UN Sustainable Development Goals:
I have worked with various UN agencies and the global mountain partnership to produce a series of mountain policy brochures used for negotiations of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The briefs cover thematic areas including Energy, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction, Forests and Biodiversity. PDF’s in multiple languages can be viewed here.

Himalayas (HICAP):
I have been responsible for the communications and outreach of the Himalayan Climate Change Adaptation Programme (HICAP) involving extensive work in the wider Hindu Kush-Himalayas (HKH) including Nepal, Bhutan, India, China and Pakistan, producing stories and visual documentation of climate change adaptation and resilience. Multimedia outputs and general information about the project is available on this page.

HICAP highlights:

  • Director of the documentary film titled Scaling Mountains, Gaining Heights – Women Environment Leaders. The video is based on interviews I conducted with women environmental leaders from the HKH and spotlights how mountain women, in their role as managers of their local environment, hold valuable lessons for dealing with climate change.
  • Led journalism-training workshops in the HKH teaching local writers, photographers and videographers to create stories for regional media about climate change.

I have contributed as author and photographer to two scientific publications about climate change impacts in the HKH:

I have worked with Mongolian reindeer herding communities in an Arctic Council and UNEP endorsed project called Nomadic Herders and have produced written and visual stories of how climate change is impacting traditional livelihoods and culture. One of the main outputs is a publication called Changing Taiga: Challenges for Mongolia’s Reindeer Herders which is in print, pdf and e-book format. A photo from this book was used in the printed version of the UNFCCC Climate Adaptation Calendar for 2012.

Recent Films

Climate-ecological Observatory for Arctic Tundra (COAT)
Fieldwork footage of vegetation mapping project in Svalbard
Trailer [4 mins]


Scaling Mountains, Gaining Heights
Documentary with interviews of Himalayan women leaders
Trailer [2 mins]
Full Film [10 mins]


Status and Trends of Arctic Biodiversity
Documentary showcasing recent Arctic environmental and biodiversity change
Trailer [2.25 mins]
Full film: [20 mins]