Iceland's Environment and Natural Resources 1 ECTS

CMM28 Elective 1 ECTS
Tímabil W35 26.08.13 - 30.00.13
Kennari Georg Haney

[The module aims at setting the context for studying about environment and natural resources in Iceland, both regarding land and sea.]

As a developed, resource rich, remote and sparsely populated island in the N-Atlantic Ocean, Iceland has distinct aspects, e.g. the country’s geology, geography and demography, which are not easily comparable to other nations. In this course, students will become familiar with basic and specific resource management issues and they will discuss and provide possible solutions using selected tools. The aim is to create an understanding of natural resource management in general and the Icelandic context in particular. Selected natural resources will be introduced, such as living marine resources (mainly commercial fish stocks); energy resources; arable land, soils and vegetation; geological and biological resources; scenic landscapes; and land ownership and use. Selected environmental issues will be explained, such as ownership of resources; access to resources; utilization vs. conservation; nature as a source of nationalism; and public environmental awareness in Iceland.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • Understand, discuss, and think critically about a number of selected resource management issues presented in class.
  • Identify, outline, analyse and communicate a selected natural resource management problem, and provide potential solutions using a resource management tool from the course’s toolbox.
  • Be able to share your viewpoint in an argument about a resource problem.

Group assignment (groups of 3). Due Friday, August 30, at 9am. Presentation of findings from group work in front of class. Application of a selected natural resource management tool from the course’s toolbox on a selected topic from class discussions. 

Attendance and participation in class discussions.

Grading will be P=pass or F=fail


[mynd 1 v t]

Georg Haney holds a MSc in Environment and Natural Resources from the University of Iceland and also has a background in mining engineering. He has worked for the Westfjords Natural History Institute (Náttúrustofa Vestfjarða) as a project manager and research specialist, and with the Wilderness Society Inc., Australias biggest grass roots NGO in Tasmania. Currently, he works for the Icelandic Marine Research Istitute's branch in Ísafjörður.

Guest lecturer
Further reading

Readings and further readings posted on class website.