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)

The priest Páll Björnsson in Selárdalur

In the next Lunch Lecture the historian Gunnar Marel Hinriksson will talk about the sixteenth century priest Páll Björnsson who lived in Selárdalur in Arnarfjörður. Páll is best known for his persecutions during the witchcraft age in the Westfjords, but in his talk Gunnar Marel will focus on other aspects of his life and work with emphasis on his education and scholarship.

The lecture is in Icelandic and starts at 12.10, it is open to everyone. Further information available on our Icelandic website.

The Lunch lectures are an informal venue for presenting research that is ongoing or completed. The presentations take around 20-30 minutes and after that discussions are welcome. The lectures take place in the cafeteria of the University Centre and is open to all.

Psychological first aid

Bryndís Friðgeirsdóttir the district commissary for the Red Cross in the Westfjords will discuss psychological first aid. Further information available in Icelandic.

Field trip by sailboat

Students and teachers about to set sails. Photo: Halldór Sveinbjörnsson
Students and teachers about to set sails. Photo: Halldór Sveinbjörnsson
The first field trip of the semester, in the course Integrated coastal and marine management, was a bit unusual since the vehicle of transportation was not a bus, but instead the 60 feet sailboat Aurora. This gave students and teachers a unique opportunity to experience the magnificent landscape of the Westfjorsd from the viewpoint of the sea.

[mynd 3 h]The group spent three days on the boat, sailed around the large Ísafjarðardjúp fjord and to the uninhabited Jökulfirðir fjords on the northern most part of the Westfjord peninsula.

Aquaculture research in Ísafjörður

This week's Lunch lecture, Friday 10th of October, will be an introduction to Aquaculture research conducted by Matís - Icelandic food research in Ísafjörður. Dr. Þorleifur Ágústsson will discuss the main research focus of the Matís branch in Ísafjörður that mainly concentrates on biological and technical solutions for aquaculture. The lecture is in Icelandic and starts at 12.10 and is open to everyone. Further information is available in Icelandic.

U.S. presidential elections

The Lunch lecture this Friday at the University Centre of the Westfjords will focus on the subject of the 2008 U.S. presidential elections. Mr. Jon Moody, Regional Security Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Reykjavík will talk about the two presidential candidates and the elections in general. The lecture starts at 12.10 and is open to everyone.

Jon Moody of Oklahoma is a career member of the United States Foreign Service at the U.S. Embassy in Reykjavik. From 2007 to 2008 he served at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan. Mr. Moody's previous assignments have been Regional Security Officer, U.S. Consulate Lahore, Pakistan (2006-2007), Assistant Regional Security Officer, U.S. Embassy Monrovia, Liberia (2004-2006), Diplomatic Security's Criminal Investigative Liaison Branch in Washington, DC (2003-2004). Mr. Moody was sworn as a Special Agent of the Diplomatic Security Service in February 2003. Before joining the Foreign Service, he worked as a security specialist for the Diplomatic Security Service and the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Mr. Moody is a four-time recipient of the Department of State Meritorious Honor Award. He has a Bachelor's Degree in German Area Studies from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

Lunch lecture on the martial art of the Vikings

In the first Lunch lecture of the semester, Dr. William Short will discuss the weapons and fighting techniques of the Viking age.

 

In this presentation, William will talk about the sources of information available for researching medieval martial arts. Next, he will discuss the weapons of the Viking age. Last, he will describe the results of his research, and talk about how the weapons were used by ordinary men, as a part of their everyday lives in the Viking age.

 

The results of the research are surprising. The Viking people created an effective martial arts system. Their fighting techniques were not crude or simple, but instead were subtle, elegant, and sophisticated.

 

Dr. William Short received a Doctor of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980. In recent years, he has been affiliated with the Higgins Armory Museum, a museum of arms and armor in the United States.

At the museum, staff members have been researching the martial arts of the European middle ages. Because of his interest in the Sagas of Icelanders and other medieval Icelandic literature, William has been researching the weapons and the fighting techniques of the Viking age, and he regularly demonstrates these techniques to museum visitors. He has written a book about his research, Viking Weapons and Combat Techniques, which will be published by Westholme Publishing in November, 2008.

 

The Lunch lectures are an informal venue for presenting research that is ongoing or completed. The presentations take around 20-30 minutes and after that discussions are welcome. The lectures take place in the cafeteria of the University Centre and is open to all.

 

More information:
Higgins Armory Museum
http://www.higgins.org/
Westholme Publishing
http://www.westholmepublishing.com/
Viking Weapons and Combat Techniques
http://www.westholmepublishing.com/vikingweapons.html

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