Ari Trausti Guðmundsson

Ari Trausti Guðmundsson (born 3 December 1948)[1] is an Icelandic geologist,[2] author, documentarian, broadcaster, journalist, lecturer, mountaineer and explorer.[3] He worked as teacher, consultant and lecturer on: earth science, environmental and tourism issues. He served as a mountain guide, TV- weather reporter, media presenter and producer and has planned nature and science exhibitions in Iceland, Paris and London and authored non-fiction books, fiction and poetry. He was a presidential candidate in 2012 and presently he is a member of Icelandic Parliament.[4]

Ari Trausti Guðmundsson
Ari Trausti Guðmundsson.jpg
Born (1948-12-03) 3 December 1948 (age 71)
Alma materUniversity of Oslo
University of Iceland
OccupationGeologist, author, journalist, writer, politician
Known forDocumentaries, explorations, international expertise on the Eyjafjallajökull and Icelandic glaciers
Notable work
Books: Vegalínur, Primordial Landscapes, Íslenskar Eldstöðvar
Exhibitions: LAVA
Political partyLeft-Green Movement, previously chairman of Communist Unity (Marxist–Leninist)
Spouse(s)María G. Baldvinsdóttir
Parent(s)Lydia Zeitner-Sternberg Pálsdóttir and Guðmundur frá Miðdal
Awards-Prize from the Danish-Icelandic Fund 1970
-Aurelio Pecei Environmental Prize, Italy 1998
-Pálsvarða – Recognition from the Touring Club of Iceland, 1998
-Nomination for the Nordic Environmental Price, 1998
-The Honorary Literary Prize for non-fiction - The Library Fund, 1999
-Nomination for the Literary Prize of Iceland, 2001
-The Halldor Laxnes Literary Prize, 2002
-The Rannis Prize for Public Information on Science, 2007
-The Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association Prize for communication in science, 2010
-The Soil Conservation Prize, 2015


Ari Trausti graduated from grammar school in 1968 and finished a course in philosophy and psychology from the University of Iceland in 1972. He attended the University of Oslo from 1968 onwards, and completed a Cand.mag. degree in geophysics and geology in 1973 and as well as advanced studies in geology at the University of Iceland 1983–1984. His various tasks since have been focused on research, journalism, teaching, mountaineering and tourism until 1987. After that he has been working as a freelancer, predominantly occupied with being a consultant and lecturer plus promoting science, nature conservation and innovation in the media, including radio and television. Simultaneously he has written dozens of books and produced, chiefly in cooperation with the film company Lífsmynd, a long array of television programs and documentaries.[5]


Ari Trausti has written numerous books on Icelandic nature, geology, volcanology, astronomy, environmental protection, travel, hiking and mountaineering. All in all, a total of over 50 titles have been published in Icelandic, English, German, Italian and French by various publishers. He also has written the storyboards and scripts for the many TV-programs and documentaries, produced by five different companies, most commonly in cooperation with cinematographer Valdimar Leifsson (Lífsmynd).[6][7]

Besides non-fiction, Ari Trausti has published short stories, collections of poetry and novels, a total of 12 works of fiction. He published his first collection of short stories in 2002, named Vegalínur (Road lines), for which he received the Halldór Laxness Literary Prize in 2002. He has received several other awards, including The Honorary Literary Prize for non-fiction from The Library Fund in 1999 and was nominated for the Icelandic Literature Prize in 2001 for his elaborate book on the volcanic history of Iceland (Íslenskar eldstöðvar) and received The Rannís Prize for Public Dissemination in Science in 2007. He has also written many articles for newspapers and magazines on the environment, nature, culture, tourism and mountaineering.[8][9]


Ari Trausti was involved in left wing politics as chairman of the Maoist league Communist Unity (Marxist–Leninist) 1973-79 and the merger of the two Icelandic Maoist organizations 1979-83; but then became independent of political parties. He was a candidate for the 2012 presidential elections. Late 2016, he became a member of the Icelandic parliament, Althingi, for the Left-Green Movement in the constituency of Southern Iceland (the region from Reykjanes to Höfn).[10]

Mountaineering and explorationsEdit

Ari Trausti is an international member of the US-based international multidisciplinary professional society The Explorers Club. He has traveled widely for decades and summited many mountains domestically (including first ascents) and abroad. He participated in or led expeditions to various remote destinations in the Arctic, Europe, Asia and South-America as well as domestically. In 2014 he toured the Antarctic Peninsula. He was nominated for the Nordic Environmental Price in 1998, received The Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association Prize for communication in science in 2010 and The Soil Conservation Prize in 2015. He has lectured in Greenland, Canada, Germany, Gr. Britain, and United States. He is a member of the committee for the Leif Erikson Award. He participated in radio and TV-programs on nature and science in Norway, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, China, US, Russia and Britain and was one of the experts lecturing in Europe on the Eyjafjallajökull eruption in 2010. Ari Trausti frequently lectures on the volcanic activity in Iceland or is interviewed by the media on various volcanoes and volcanic eruptions as well as Icelandic glaciers. Currently, he work on the high-tech LAVA exhibition in the town of Hvolsvöllur in South-Iceland.[11][12][13]


Ari Trausti comes from a family of artists: his brother Erró is a postmodern painter and pop artist in Paris; their father, Guðmundur frá Miðdal, was well-known painter, sculptor, photographer and writer and his mother, Lydia, was a leading ceramist.[14][15]

Personal lifeEdit

Ari Trausti speaks fluent English, German, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish.[16] In 1985 he held a minor role as a Soviet soldier in the blockbuster movie A View to a Kill.[17]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Ari Trausti Guðmundsson | Literature Web". City of literature UNESCO (in Icelandic). 15 April 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2018.
  2. ^ Alex. "Geologist answers Iceland volcano questions | IceNews - Daily News". Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  3. ^ "Primordial Landscapes | powerHouse Books". Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  4. ^ Review, Iceland (2012-06-21). "Q&A With Presidential Candidates: Ari Trausti Guðmundsson". Iceland Review. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  5. ^ "Vakandi veröld - Forlagið bókabúð". Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  6. ^ "Vakandi veröld - Forlagið bókabúð". Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  7. ^ Editorial (2015-07-01). "Geophysics and climate changes with Ari Trausti". Icelandic Times. Archived from the original on 2016-12-20. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  8. ^ "Ari Trausti Guðmundsson - Iceland Writers Retreat". Iceland Writers Retreat. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  9. ^ "Primordial Landscapes | powerHouse Books". Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  10. ^ (2012-06-20). "The Mountaineer - The Reykjavik Grapevine". The Reykjavik Grapevine. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  11. ^ Alex. "Geologist answers Iceland volcano questions | IceNews - Daily News". Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  12. ^ " - Höfundar". Archived from the original on 2016-12-20. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  13. ^ "Lava Centre". Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  14. ^ (2012-06-20). "The Mountaineer - The Reykjavik Grapevine". The Reykjavik Grapevine. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  15. ^ "Land og saga - SÁLUMESSA. Eftir Ari Trausti Guðmundsson". Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  16. ^ "Ari Trausti Guðmundsson". Alþingi. Retrieved 2016-12-15.
  17. ^ "Klapptré kvikmyndavefur". Retrieved 2017-08-21.

External linksEdit