Iceland's Environment and Natural Resources

CMM28A Elective 2 ECTS
Period -
Instructor Dagný Arnarsdóttir


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. Those are, among others, the country’s diverse geology and homogenous demography, which are not easily comparable to neighbouring nations. The module aims to explore Iceland’s international image concerning environment and natural resources; how the country’s nature may be linked to the self-image of the modern Icelander; nature as a source of nationalism; and how this has manifested in recent debates in the media regarding utilization vs. conservation of renewable energy resources.

Learning outcomes

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

  • discuss and reflect upon selected topics provided in class and study materials



Dagný Arnarsdóttir holds a master's degree from the Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) program at the University of Iceland (UI). In her's master's thesis, Dagný studied the Corporate Social Responsibility discourse in Iceland and based her methodology on similar reseaches on climate change discourses in neighbouring countries. Paralell with her masters studies 2006-2009, Dagný worked as a freelance assistant for Iceland's Specialist Committee for the Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, did an internship for the Environmental Agency of Iceland where she proposed a national sustainability indicator set, worked project based for the Icelandic Association of Environmental Scienctits (FUMÍ), taught ethics at Reykjavík's Adult Education Center and, for two years, was the coordinator for the ENR masters program at UI. Dagný was the program director of the CMM masters program from 2009 to 2016. She currently works as Head of Division, Tourism and Natural Heritage at Ministry for the Environment and Natural Resources.