People

Dr. Matthias Kokorsch is the director of the master’s program in Coastal Communities and Regional Development. Dr. Kokorsch was hired as academic director in March 2019 and will begin work at UW in August 2019. Until then Dr. Catherine Chambers, director of Coastal and Marine Managment,  is the acting director of the master’s program in Coastal Communities and Regional Development.

Matthias Kokorsch holds a PhD from the University of Iceland in Geography, a state examination for teaching in Geography, Social Sciences and Pedagogy from the University of Duisburg and Essen. His PhD dissertation was entitled “Mapping Resilience – Coastal Communities in Iceland” (Seigla íslenskra sjávarbyggða).

Matthias Kokorsch’s research interests include community resilience, regional development, particularly in sparsely populated regions, structural changes of old-industrial areas, and resource management in combination with aspects of justice and decision-making processes. His recent publications include “Prosper or perish? The development of Icelandic fishing villages after the privatisation of fishing rights” and “Where have all the people gone? The limits of resilience in coastal communities”. Earlier publications are on fisheries management in Iceland. Prior to his job as program director, Matthias Kokorsch worked as scientist for the Thünen-Institute of Rural Studies in Germany and taught at the University of Hanover.

The Program Director in Coastal Communities and Regional Development has the following roles:

  • Professional oversight over the master’s program, administration and co-ordination of the curriculum
  • Contact between the Master's program committee, University Centre staff, teachers and students in Coastal Communities and Regional Development
  • Recommend new teachers, instructors, and thesis advisors to the master’s committee
  • Facilitate cooperation, foster a network around the program and be of an assistance to teachers if needed
  • Answer or correctly forward all questions relating to professional aspects of the master’s program
  • Keep track of students’ academic progress, both in courses and when working on their theses
  • Take responsibility for thesis assessments, including presentations (lectures) and defenses

The Coastal Communities and Regional Development master´s program is an international cross-disciplinary program. We await students from a variety of academic backgrounds, ranging from geography, macro-economics and social sciences to public administration and even journalism. Our programs are internationally oriented and attract students from all over the world.

Ægir Student Association represents the student community at the University Center of the Westfjords. Ægir was the giant Norse spirit of the sea, and as a master brewer he was also chief party organizer for the gods of Valhalla. Its intention is to provide an insight into student life, while building relationships with the local community of Ísafjörður.

Ægir Student Association's website