Icelandic Society and Environment

CMM28 Elective 2 ECTS
Period 1 week 24.08.2020 - 28.08.2020
Instructor Albertína Friðbjörg Elíasdóttir


The course explores the context of society, politics, history, economy, environment and natural resources in Iceland with regard to both land and sea. As a developed, resource rich, remote and sparsely populated island in the N-Atlantic Ocean, Iceland has distinct aspects. For example, the country’s diverse geology and homogenous demography, which are not easily comparable to neighbouring nations. Emphasis is placed on exploring Iceland’s international image with regard to the environment and natural resources. This includes 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 regarding utilization vs. conservation of natural resources.


On completion of the course, a student:

  • has acquired general knowledge on Icelandic society and environment.
  • can identify how Icelandic culture and history are linked to Iceland’s international image regarding environmental issues.
  • can evaluate current topics related to Icelandic society and environment in an interdisciplinary context.
  • can construct and communicate a well-supported argument using information from course lectures, reading material, and own perspective.


Albertína Friðbjörg Elíasdóttir earned her MSc in Geography from the University of Iceland, Reykjavík doing a 90 ECTS research thesis on Place Attachment and Place Identity in Ísafjörður. She did a BA degree in Sociology from the University of Iceland where she finished 7 different methodology and research courses focusing on both qualitative and quantitative methods. Albertína previously worked for the University of Iceland Research Centre in Bolungarvík for two years as a researcher in tourism, as well as a project manager at the University Centre of the Westfjords, and a project manager for FabLab in Ísafjörður (run by the Innovation Centre Iceland).