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Kathrine Ivsett Johnsen

Senior Research Scientist, PhD
Email address
Phone number
+47 412 34 581
External profile
Research section
Water and society


Dr. Kathrine I. Johnsen is a Senior Research Scientist at NIVA’ section of Water and Society. She works within the broad field of human geography where she engages in research with a focus on natural resource management, policy development, and land-use conflicts. She is particularly interested in the role of traditional/indigenous knowledge in public environmental governance and how different knowledge systems, values, and power relations influence decision-making processes. She has also published articles that discuss and show ways to combine science and local/indigenous knowledge.

Kathrine holds a PhD in Environment and Development Studies from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). Her thesis discusses knowledge-systems that inform the governance of Sámi reindeer husbandry and pasture landscapes in Finnmark, Norway. Kathrine has extensive experience in social science research methods, including designing and carrying out semi-structured and in-depth interviews, participatory mapping, scenario analysis, and other participatory research methods. In addition to publishing scientific texts, she has published reports that synthesize complex science and make information available in laymen’s terms for policymakers and the public.

Kathrine has 20 years’ experience in writing assessments, data analysis, and facilitating capacity building. Before joining NIVA in 2019, she was a Senior Expert on Indigenous and Community Issues at GRID-Arendal where she was responsible for a variety of projects focusing on nature conservation and enhancing the resilience of rangeland ecosystems and pastoralists’ livelihoods. She contributed to several Arctic Council working groups’ assessments and was an observer at the Senior Arctic Officials meetings on behalf of the UN Environment Progamme. She also contributed to UN Environmental Programme’s global initiative on sustainable pastoralism and rangelands, and the work of IUCN on fair governance of conserved areas in Vietnam.

Kathrine has a Bachelor in environmental health from the University of Western Sydney, Australia, and a Master in natural resource management from NMBU. Her Master is a case-study of gender and access to natural resources in Nepal. Kathrine is Norwegian, born in Oslo but lives today in Grimstad in the very south of Norway.