One-Week intensive Icelandic Course

Last week seven students attended the one-week Crash Course in Icelandic language offered at the University Centre.

The group of students with teacher Ólafur Guðsteinn and project manager Astrid Fehling.
The group of students with teacher Ólafur Guðsteinn and project manager Astrid Fehling.
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Dr. Matthias Kokorsch Hired as Program Director

The University Centre is offering a new master’s program in Coastal Communities and Regional Development to begin in Autumn 2019 and of course such a new program needs a director. The person hired is Dr. Matthias Kokorsch. Matthias holds a PhD from University of Iceland. The topic of his thesis was "Mapping Resilience – Coastal Communities in Iceland." 

Dr. Matthias Kokorsch has been hired as the program director for Coastal Communities and Regional Development.
Dr. Matthias Kokorsch has been hired as the program director for Coastal Communities and Regional Development.

Beach Debris Research Field Trip

University Centre Coastal and Marine Management students conducted beach debris research near Hólmavík in the Pollution in the Coastal Arctic course, taught by Pernilla Carlsson from NIVA in Norway. Hólmavík is in the Strandir region of Iceland, which is a hotspot for beach debris because of the ocean currents that channel debris to this area, providing a good chance for the students to research the amount and types of debris.

The group of students collected debris from 800 meters of beach.
The group of students collected debris from 800 meters of beach.
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Coastal Studies Students at Arctic Frontiers

Conferences play an intricate role in becoming a scientist and our large faculty and advisor network ensures our students have many interesting options to chose from during their career here at the University Center of the Westfjords and beyond. Last week the 13th annual Arctic Frontiers conference was held in Tromsø in Norway. The conference is a global event, linking policy, business and science for responsible and sustainable development of the Arctic. This year UW was well represented at Arctic Frontiers by students, alumni and instructors alike.

Coastal Studies students and instructor at Arctic Frontiers. From the left: Adriana Neeltje de Vries, Ignacio Baena Vega, Madeleine Purver, Alexandra Stocker, Zoe Walker and instructor Pernilla Carlsson.
Coastal Studies students and instructor at Arctic Frontiers. From the left: Adriana Neeltje de Vries, Ignacio Baena Vega, Madeleine Purver, Alexandra Stocker, Zoe Walker and instructor Pernilla Carlsson.
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Sustainability of Coastal Tourism Destinations

Johanna Schumacher, a 2014 graduate of the Coastal and Marine Management program at UW just published her article, “Measuring and comparing the sustainability of coastal tourism destinations in Germany, Lithuania, and Indonesia” in the multidisciplinary journal Environment, Development, and Sustainability.

Johanna Schumacher, a 2014 graduate of the Coastal and Marine Management program at UW just published an article in the peer reviewed journal Environment, Development, and Sustainability.
Johanna Schumacher, a 2014 graduate of the Coastal and Marine Management program at UW just published an article in the peer reviewed journal Environment, Development, and Sustainability.

Master‘s Programs Contract Renewed

Several staff members recently traveled up north to visit the University of Akureyri (UNAK). The main purpose of this visit was to renew the master´s program contract between UW and UNAK. Whilst up north the staff also used the opportunity to meet with numerous officials at UNAK.

Eyjólfur Guðmundsson, rector of the University of Akureyri and Peter Weiss, director of the University Centre signed a renewed contract between the institutions.
Eyjólfur Guðmundsson, rector of the University of Akureyri and Peter Weiss, director of the University Centre signed a renewed contract between the institutions.
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Seawater heat extraction in the Westfjords

Majid Eskafi, a recent graduate of the Coastal and Marine Management program (2016) just published his master´s research titled “Feasibility of seawater heat extraction from sub-Arctic coastal water; a case study of Onundarfjordur, northwest Iceland”, in the international journal Renewable Energy.

Majid Eskafi recently published his master's research in Coastal and Marine Management in an article in the journal Renewable Energy.
Majid Eskafi recently published his master's research in Coastal and Marine Management in an article in the journal Renewable Energy.
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Astrid and Sigurður hired as the master’s program coordinators

Last month UW sought to temporarily fill the position of master’s program coordinator for the two programs at UW, Coastal and Marine Management and Coastal Communities and Regional Development. Sixteen applicants expressed interest in the position, eight of which were located outside of the Westfjords. 

Sigurður Halldór Árnason and Astrid Fehling have been hired as master's program coordinators at the University Centre.
Sigurður Halldór Árnason and Astrid Fehling have been hired as master's program coordinators at the University Centre.

The University Centre and the Arctic

Since the UW is located at the edge of the Arctic in Ísafjörður, 66.0611° N, 23.1889° W, the important issues of Arctic change are a common thread in our masters programs. In September, Masters Program Director Catherine Chambers organized a session on fisheries and aquaculture in the Arctic at the University of the Arctic (UArctic) congress science session in Oulu, Finland. 

UW representation at the UArctic congress, from left to right. Dr. Pat Maher, Cape Breton University - Arctic Marine Tourism instructor; Dr. Barry Costa-Pierce, University of New England - external reader; Professor Ögmundur Knutsson, University of Akureyri- member of UW Masters Program Committee; Gunnar Már Gunnarson, Project manager at the Northern Research Forum at University of Akureyri; Dr. Catherine Chambers, masters program director at UW; and Dr. Eyjólfur Guðmundsson, rector of University of Akureyri.
UW representation at the UArctic congress, from left to right. Dr. Pat Maher, Cape Breton University - Arctic Marine Tourism instructor; Dr. Barry Costa-Pierce, University of New England - external reader; Professor Ögmundur Knutsson, University of Akureyri- member of UW Masters Program Committee; Gunnar Már Gunnarson, Project manager at the Northern Research Forum at University of Akureyri; Dr. Catherine Chambers, masters program director at UW; and Dr. Eyjólfur Guðmundsson, rector of University of Akureyri.

Thank you everyone for CoastGIS 2018!

September 27. and 28. Ísafjörður turned into a vivid conference venue for the reoccurring CoastGIS symposium.

About a 100 people from various backgrounds had found their way to Ísafjörður, from 20 different nations. More than 50 presented their research orally or with a poster, including 6 former students of the Coastal and Marine Management masters program at UW. We enjoyed many interesting talks on how spatial data and information technologies can help in better understanding and managing coastal space and resources.

The conference was held at Edinborg Culture House as well as the University Centre and offered plenary sessions, parallel sessions, a poster session and a workshop – all in 2 days.

Ísafjörður might be small but has no trouble in serving a conference of this size thanks to many participating facilities and services (Edinborgahús, Edinborga Bistro, Vestfirskar Ævintýraferðir, Hotel Ísafjörður, Fræðslumistöð Vestfjarða, Fisherman Suðureyri, Gústi Productions, Sophus Magnússon bifreiðastjóri).

Photos from the symposium:

Day 1

Day 2

Astrid Fehling, CoastGIS 2018 project manager giving her opening remarks.
Astrid Fehling, CoastGIS 2018 project manager giving her opening remarks.
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