New Board of UW

At the Annual General Meeting of the University of the Westfjords, held on May 22, a new board was elected. Halldór Halldórsson who has been the chairman of the board from the founding of the University Centre stepped down at the meeting after 10 years of service. Halldór will not go far since he will still sit as an auxiliary member of the board. Jóna Finnstdóttir who has served as a board member for six years also stepped down at the meeting. New board members are Harpa Grímsdóttir, appointed by Ísafjörður Municipality and Elísabet Gunnarsdóttir elected by the representative body.

The board members present in Ísafjörður during the first board meeting of a new board along with the chairman of the representative body. From left: Kristján G. Jóakimsson, Elísabet Gunnarsdóttir, Harpa Grímsdóttir and Dóra Hlín Gísladóttir chairman of the representative body.
The board members present in Ísafjörður during the first board meeting of a new board along with the chairman of the representative body. From left: Kristján G. Jóakimsson, Elísabet Gunnarsdóttir, Harpa Grímsdóttir and Dóra Hlín Gísladóttir chairman of the representative body.

Preparatory Program cooperation comes to an end

Since 2008 the University Centre of the Westfjords and Reykjavík University have had a good cooperation in teaching the first semester in distance learning of the RU preparatory program. The cooperation has been successful and has lasted for 15 semesters. Due to changes in the preparatory program at RU this cooperation will now end.

The first students graduated from the Preparatory Program at the University Centre in January 2010 from Reykjavík University. Upper row from left: Málfríður Þórarinsdóttir, RU Preparatory Program director, Finnbogi Bjarnason, graduate, Sigurbjörg Benediktsdóttir, graduate, Guðmundur Óskar Reynisson, graduate, Guðrún Högnadóttir, executive director RU Open University. Lower row from the left: Martha Lilja M. Olsen, former Director of Education and Teaching at UW, Svafa Grönfeldt, rector of RU and Peter Weiss, University Centre director.
The first students graduated from the Preparatory Program at the University Centre in January 2010 from Reykjavík University. Upper row from left: Málfríður Þórarinsdóttir, RU Preparatory Program director, Finnbogi Bjarnason, graduate, Sigurbjörg Benediktsdóttir, graduate, Guðmundur Óskar Reynisson, graduate, Guðrún Högnadóttir, executive director RU Open University. Lower row from the left: Martha Lilja M. Olsen, former Director of Education and Teaching at UW, Svafa Grönfeldt, rector of RU and Peter Weiss, University Centre director.

One Week Crash Course About to End

Since Monday, May 18, a small and enthusiastic group of students have taken part in the one week long Crash Course in Icelandic at the University Centre. The students come from Great Britain, Germany and the US, although two of the students are actually living in the village of Þingeyri in Ísafjörður Municipality for the summer.

Nemendur ásamt kennara. Frá vinstri: Ólöf Bergmannsdóttir, kennari, Volker Beyer, Kreszentia Flauger, Vera Green, Jane Sophie Lauxen og Samantha Albert
Nemendur ásamt kennara. Frá vinstri: Ólöf Bergmannsdóttir, kennari, Volker Beyer, Kreszentia Flauger, Vera Green, Jane Sophie Lauxen og Samantha Albert

Future of Nature

Visiting Memorial University scholar of philosphy, Sean J McGrath, will give a talk on Future of Nature from a philosophical point of view on Monday, 18.05.2015, 13:00 at UW. The lecture will be in English and is open to the public.

This lecture fits excellently to the ongoing course in environmental economics professor Gabríela Sabaú, she also from Memorial, Grenfell College, is teaching at the moment in the Coastal Management master's programme.

Dr. Sean McGrath, Memorial University, will give a lecture on Future of Nature at University Centre of the Westfjords
Dr. Sean McGrath, Memorial University, will give a lecture on Future of Nature at University Centre of the Westfjords

Artist's perspective on the field of coastal management

David Bruce, a visiting artist from Maine, USA, is participating in the Westfjords Artist Residency currently taking place in Þingeyri.
On the initiative of UW-students, David will give a presentation of his work at the University Center to provide an artist's perspective and contribution to the field of CMM. The talk (in English) will take place on Thursday, 14.05.2015 at 15:00 and will be open to the public.
David Bruce is these days participating in the Þingeyri Arts Residency
David Bruce is these days participating in the Þingeyri Arts Residency

Understanding species-microplastics interactions

Friday, May 8 at 13.00, Lisa-Henrike Hentschel will present and defend her master's thesis, titled: Understanding species-microplastics interactions: A laboratory study on the effects of microplastics on the Azorean H, Megabalanus azoricus. Abstract can be found below. Lisa's thesis advisor is Dr. Mark Lenz, Coordinator at GAME project - Geomar in Germany, the internal reader is Dr. Hrönn Jörundsdóttir, specialist at Matís, Reykjavík. Everyone is welcome to attend the open session starting at 13.00.

Marine animal entanglements in mussel aquaculture gear

Wednesday, April 29, at 4pm, Madeline Olivia Young will present and defend her master's thesis, titled: Marine animal entanglements in mussel aquaculture gear: Documented cases from mussel farming regions of the world including first-hand accounts from Iceland. Her thesis supervisors are Dr. Halldór P. Halldórsson and Scott Lindell. The reader is Dr. Áslaug Ásgeirsdóttir. Everyone is welcome to attend the open presentation.
Madeline Young
Madeline Young

Tourists and seals: Are signs effective?

Tuesday, April 28, at 2pm, Sarah Marschall will present and defend her master's thesis, titled: Interpretation in Wildlife Tourism: Assessing the effectiveness of signage to modify visitor’s behaviour at a seal watching site in Iceland. Sarah's thesis advisors are Sandra M. Granquist and Dr. Georgette Leah Burns. The reader is Rodrigo Menafra.The open session starts at 2pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Sarah Marschall in the field
Sarah Marschall in the field

Monitoring Keystone Seabird Species in Outer Hebrides, Scotland

Monday April 24, at 13:00, Sarah Elizabeth Lawrence will present and defend her master's thesis, titled: An Analysis of Common Guillemot Uria aalge Chick Diet, Atlantic Puffin Fratercula arctica Productivity, and Great Skua Stercorarius skua Diet on Mingulay, Outer Hebrides. Abstract can be found below. Sarah's thesis advisor is Dr. Richard Luxmoore, Head of Nature Conservation, National Trust for Scotland. Reader is Dr. Erpur Snær Hansen, head of ecological research at South Iceland's Natural Institute in Westman Islands.

Sarah Lawrence doing fieldwork
Sarah Lawrence doing fieldwork

Assessing Sea Lice Abundance

Friday April 24, at 09:00, Chelsey Mae Karbowski will present and defend her master's thesis, titled: A First Assessment of Sea Lice Abundance in Arnarfjörður, Iceland. Sentinel Cage Sampling and Assessment of Hydrodynamic Modelling Feasibility. Abstract can be found below. Chelsey's thesis advisor is Dr. Bengt Finstad, Senior Research Scientist at The Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA). Reader is Dr. Rannveig Björnsdóttir, accociate professor at the University of Akureyri and group leader in Aquaculture and bio-resources at Matís ltd. - Icelandic Food and Biotech R&D.


Everyone is welcome to attend the open session.

Abstract 
Two sea lice species are of significant concern for both aquaculture and wild salmonids in the North Atlantic, C. elongatus (von Nordmann 1832) and L. salmonis (Krøyer, 1837). Research has typically focused on the impacts from L. salmonis, as they are the most threatening for salmonid aquaculture causing epidemics in various countries such as Canada, Scotland and Norway. The focus of research has been to assess the abundance of sea lice to determine the threat of epidemics, need for treatment and management. This study used sentinel cages for sampling the abundance of sea lice in Arnarfjördur, Iceland in June, July and August. Results were used to provide a baseline data set; which is valuable for Iceland providing an idea of the lice abundance, before high levels of aquaculture production has developed. Sampling sea lice abundance and management is increasingly connected to hydrodynamic modelling, predicting the dispersal of sea lice in surface currents. This study also assessed the feasibility of hydrodynamic modelling in Arnarfjördur, in connection to the baseline sentinel cage and gill-netting data. Results from this study suggested two areas with significant lice abundance, representative of the sites closest to the aquaculture farms. This suggested an influence from aquaculture farms, but cannot be confirmed due to conflicting results from other sites. Hydrodynamic modelling feasibility is not restricted by the availability of data but by the cost of accessing it. Feasibility should increase as with an increase in the threat of lice epidemics. In the future a comprehensive integrated management approach should be used.

Chelsey Mae Karbowski doing fieldwork
Chelsey Mae Karbowski doing fieldwork
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