Fridtjof Nansen

“Dr. Fridtjof Nansen,” With Nansen in the North: A record of the Fram Expedition in 1893-1896, 1899, From The Library at The Mariners’ Museum, G700.1893.N2.J6.

Fridtjof Nansen

1861 CE - 1930 CE


Primary Goal:

His primary goal was to command the first expedition to cross the treacherous eastern side of Greenland over to the western side on foot. His second goal was to discover how wreckage from the vessel Jeannette reached the coast of Greenland from the New Siberian Islands.


His was the first European expedition to cross Greenland east to west. His ship the Fram drifted the farthest north in ice, and Nansen came within 200 miles of the North Pole by sledge. During the voyage, he made many scientific discoveries that included the depth of the artic sea.

Fridtjof Nansen was born in Store-Frøen, Norway on October 10, 1861. He studied zoology while attending the University and eventually received a doctorate in zoology in 1888. His first artic voyage was aboard a sealing ship, the Viking, in which he hunted seals around Greenland in 1882. There he learned arctic sailing techniques and about ice flows. Nansen was also a champion cross-country skier, a skill that would be a great help to him during his arctic expedition.