The Icelandic Institute of Natural History (IINH) is an agency of the Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Climate.

The history of the IINH goes all the way back to 1889, when the Icelandic Natural History Society was founded. Today, around 60 employees work for the IINH at our locations in Garðabær and Akureyri.

The IINH has responsibility for a broad range of research and monitoring activities:

  • The IINH conducts basic and applied research on the natural environment in Iceland, with a focus on botany, ecology, taxonomy, geology, and zoology.
  • The IINH maintains scientific specimen collections and databases, collects literature on the natural history of Iceland, and operates the Icelandic Bird-Ringing Scheme.
  • The IINH participates in environmental consultant work on sustainable use of natural resources and land development in Iceland and assesses the conservation status of species, geological formations, habitats, and ecosystems.
  • The IINH oversees the registration of natural phenomena on Iceland’s Nature Conservation Register and proposes additions to this list.
  • The IINH has a mandate to monitor Iceland’s natural environment and organises nature monitoring.

The IINH also provides a range of services for the general public, from scientific outreach to pest identification services.