The Institute has established a four-year Thor Heyerdahl professorship in co-operation with the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB). Professor Arild Vatn was appointed to the professorship in 2008. The main area of focus for the professorship is research and research supervision.
Four core thematic areas within environmental governance are: climate politics, institutions and behaviour, health and development, and environmental governance.
The modern UMB university aims to play a key role within the environmental sciences, focussing on the core areas; biology, food, the environment, land and natural resource management with associated aesthetic and technical subject areas.
There are currently approximately 2900 students at UMB, around 400 of whom are from countries other than Norway. Each year approximately 800 new students register at the university, half of them women. There are in the region of 940 employees, 495 of whom are in academic positions (2007). The university has achieved international recognition within the environmental sciences, in particular in the field of genomics and the practical application of genetic expertise in the production of food from fish, plants and domestic animals.