Professor Richard Powell

Department name
Scott Polar Research Institute
College Lecturer (Geography)
Director of Studies (Geography)

Cultural, historical and political geographies; Histories of geographical thought; Circumpolar Arctic

Richard's research interests encompass historical and cultural geographies, the geopolitics of territory and resources, geographies of science, and the histories of the social and natural sciences.

His fieldwork has focused on the Circumpolar Arctic (specifically Nunavut, Greenland and northern Norway), as well as Denmark, Canada, the US and the UK. In October 2017, he started a major, five-year, ERC-funded project on Arctic Cultures.

Richard teaches extensively across geographical topics, and has a deep commitment to encouraging students from all backgrounds to study at Oxbridge. Richard supervises a group of postgraduate and postdoctoral scholars at the Scott Polar Research Institute, and always welcomes enquiries from prospective students and collaborators.

Richard is from Wakefield, West Yorkshire.


Undergraduate teaching in the Geography Tripos: Producing Geographies (Part IB); Copenhagen Fieldclass (Part IB); Human Geographies of the Arctic (Part II). Postgraduate teaching: Polar Studies, Geographical Research, and Research Methods.


Richard has written extensively on Arctic geographies, peoples and cultures, as well as the governance and geopolitics of the Polar Regions. His publications also include historical and cultural geographies, geopolitics and the history of geographical thought. A complete list of publications can be accessed at his homepages at the Department of Geography and Scott Polar Research Institute. He also regularly contributes to public policy and media discussions about the Polar Regions.