The Westfjords Tourist Bureau

Friday´s lunch lecture, February 13, will be given by Jón Páll Hreinsson, manager of Markaðsstofu Vestfjarða, The Westfjords Tourist Bureau, who will speak about their goals and mission. Markaðsstofu Vestfjarða, is a non- profit organisation owned by the municipalities in the Westfjords, along with Atvinnuþróunarfélagi Vestfjarða and Ferðamálasamtökum Vestfjarða.


The goals of the Tourist Bureau are to provide information about the life, nature and society in the Westfjords to both foreign and national tourists, so that they can fully enjoy their time here. Their mission is also to increase overall awareness of both the Westfjords and Iceland.


The lunch lecture is in Icelandic and will take place at the University Centre, beginning at 12:10 in the caffeteria - all are welcome.

Climate Changes and Policy

Dr. Norm R. Catto, Professor of Geography, visiting from Memorial University, St. John's, Newfoundland, has begun teaching the last core class, Climate Change and Policy, for the Master´s Program in Coastal and Marine Management. His research interests include coastal geomorphology, sedimentology, Quaternary sea level change, and the impacts of climate change. He has been the editor-in-chief of "Quaternary International" since 1999, and previously was Associate Editor from the foundation of the journal in 1989.

Dr. Catto has also just completed the Canadian edition of "Natural Hazards and Disasters", a textbook for university students. His interests are in measuring weather driven events that are currently happening or will happen in the near future, and that are having impact on specific communities, as well as providing ideas as to how to cope with them. He and his students have research interests in the Canadian Arctic (Sachs Harbour, Gjoa Haven, Tuktoyaktuk), Serbia, South Korea, Germany, Argentina, Estonia (among others), and many places throughout Canada.
Professor Norm R. Catto
Professor Norm R. Catto

"An ambitious cross-disciplinary graduate program," says visiting Professor

Dr. Gabriela Sabau, instructor for Economics of Coastal and Marine Environments, gave an interview on the time she spent at the University Centre of the Westfjords. During the interview Dr. Sabu described a field trip she took with her students to the fish processing plants, Gunnvör and Klofningur, in Ísafjörður Municipality and stated, "I have learned as much as I have taught." Dr. Sabau was please with her time at the University Centre and expressed an interest to further collaborate with the University Centre of the Westfjords.

The interview was published on the Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Memorial University´s website.

Shores and Storms: Coastlines in Atlantic Canada

Professor Norm R. Catto will be our guest Friday the 30th of January during the next Lunch lecture. Professor Catto currently teaches a course on climate changes and policy at the masters program in coastal and marine management at the University Centre.


Coastlines in Atlantic Canada are subject to numerous storm events, rising sea level, and human activities. Shorelines are dynamic and change rapidly in form and sediment texture, in response to all these stresses. Changes impact not only the landscape, but also human use of the coastlines, including infrastructure maintenance, housing development, tourism, and capelin harvesting (among others). Ongoing study allows us to understand the linkages among factors causing changes in the beach systems.


The talk will start at 12.10 in the University Centre's cafeteria and is open to the public. The talk will be given in English.

Proessor Norm R. Catto.
Proessor Norm R. Catto.

A split second

Ólafur Jens Sigurðsson will be our guest Friday the 23rd of January during the next Lunch lecture. Ólafur teaches physics and mathematics at the preparatory program for university entrance at the University Centre of the Westfjords.


Throughout the history of mankind, people have been interested in measuring time. In modern time, we do so with a device called the atomic clock. This lecture will describe the way such a clock works, what problems arise when such a clock is built, and plans to improve these clocks. Finally, Ólafur will discuss his master's thesis, about laser cooling of magnesium atoms.


The talk will start at 12.10 in the University Centres cafeteria and is open to the public. The talk will be given in Icelandic. Further information is available on our Icelandic site.


Coastal and Marine Politics and Policy

The spring semester in the Coastal and Marine Management program has commenced. This week, the students in the masters program, began the first of the final two core courses, Coastal and Marine Politics and Policy, taught by Auður H. Ingólfsdóttir.

Auður H. Ingólfsdóttir, Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy , is trained in international relations with a specialization in environmental and resource policy . She has coordinated a master's programme in environmental studies for the University of Iceland, worked as a special advisor in the international office of the Ministry for the Environment, and as an environmental consultant. During the last two years she has worked for international missions in Sri Lanka and the western Balkans as an expert from the Icelandic Crisis Response Unit of the Foreign Ministry.

The last core class, Climate Change and Policy, will begin on January 26th. Upon completion of the core classes the students will begin their elective courses. During each three week module, the students will choose between two simultaneously taught electives.
Auður H. Ingólfsdóttir
Auður H. Ingólfsdóttir

Open house

These days the construction work, that has been ongoing in the University Centre since last summer, is coming to an end. On this occasion we welcome all students, staff members and indeed all residence in the Westfjords to celebrate with us at on Tuesday 18 November between 12 and 13 PM in the University Centre. We would especially like to thank students, staff members and guests for their patience! A light lunch will be offered and everyone welcome to join us. This is a good opportunity to get a glimpse of the activity of the University Centre as well as the other research and service offices that are housed in the Vestrahús building.
Photo: Ágúst Atlason
Photo: Ágúst Atlason

Fisheries driven evolution: an alluring hypothesis

In this week's lunch lecture Jacob Kasper, a masters student in Coastal and Marine Management at the University Centre, will discuss declining fish populations in relation with fisheries.


It is widely known that most fish populations are declining, fish are smaller at maturity and are maturing at younger ages. In recent years it has become widely accepted that these changes are due to the selection pressure that fisheries put on fish populations. The data behind these claims will be presented and examined.


Jacob Kasper received his BA in Marine Biology from Bates College, Lewiston, ME in 2000. After graduating he worked in a research laboratory studying population genetics in Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria, and on a whale research boat studying sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) in the Pacific and Indian oceans. At Harvard Medical School he earned a Master's of Art degree (2008) in the Biological and Biomedical Science program studying transcription regulation in P. falciparum. Upon completion of his degree he focused his attention on marine science. He spent two years teaching Marine Biology and Conservation. To further his carrier in marine conservation, he is currently studying at the University Centre of the West Fjords earning a Master's in Coastal and Marine Management.

Jacob Kasper
Jacob Kasper

3X Technology

In today's Lunch lecture Johann Jónasson, the manager of 3X Technology in Ísafjörður will discuss the company's history, ideology and product development. He will also talk about the recently developed processing line for fish factories that the company was awarded the Icelandic fisheries Award in October.

The talk will start at 12.10 in the University Centres cafeteria and is open to everyone. The talk will be in Icelandic, further information available on our Icelandic site.

United Nations University students

Five students from the United Nations University Fisheries Training Programme in Iceland arrived in Ísafjörður last weekend. The students will be staying in Ísafjörður until February to study fishing technology by staff members Einar Hreinsson and Ólafur Örn Ingólfsson at the Marine Research Institute branch in Ísafjörður. The University Centre of the Westfjords provides the teaching and working space for the students.
Roany Martinez (Cuba), Makkhen Kheng (Cambodia), Kingsley Madalo Thengo (Malawi) Mahadew Rama Kokane (India) Theofillus Kairua (Namibia)
Roany Martinez (Cuba), Makkhen Kheng (Cambodia), Kingsley Madalo Thengo (Malawi) Mahadew Rama Kokane (India) Theofillus Kairua (Namibia)
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