Dr Richard C Powell

Associate Professor of Human Geography; Fellow of Mansfield College


Dr Powell's research interests encompass geographies of science, political economies of resources and the geopolitics of territory. His work involves questions at the intersection of the social and environmental sciences and utilises ethnographic and historical methods. Although his fieldwork has focused on the Circumpolar Arctic (specifically Nunavut, Greenland and northern Norway), he has also undertaken other research in Denmark, Canada, the US and the UK. 

He has appeared as an expert witness before the House of Lords Select Committee on the Arctic (October 2014.) He is the winner of the Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) Gill Memorial Award 2013 for research in historical and polar geography. 

Dr Powell has acted as an international expert for a number of Arctic states, including Canada, Norway, Finland, and Estonia.


  • Greenland (social/political/cultural/economic issues)
  • Canadian Arctic (social/political/cultural/economic issues)
  • Arctic geopolitics
  • History of geography and science, especially with respect to Arctic
  • Oil/gas/minerals in Arctic
  • Rights of Arctic indigenous people
  • Legal claims in Arctic
  • UK Arctic and Antarctic policy

Media experience

Dr Powell has experience of broadcast interviews, both live and pre-recorded, for a number of outlets including BBC World News, BBC Radio 4's Costing the Earth, and PBS. He has also worked with international print journalists.