Our Projects

Below is a selection of projects that UW staff, teachers and students are involved in outside of masters thesis research.

CliCNord (2021-2023)

Climate Change Resilience in Small Communities in the Nordic Countries (CliCNord) is funded by Nordforsk and examines how small rural communities understand their own situation in the face of climate change, how they handle adverse events and build capacity, and under what circumstances they need help from the established system and civil society organisations. Case studies explore different hazards affecting local communities across the Nordic countries as a direct consequence of climate change, including coastal flooding due to storm surge, cloudbursts, wildfires, temperature extremes, landslides, slush avalanches, flash floods, and storms. The UW partner is Matthias Kokorsch, who is leading the Icelandic case study focused on avalanches. See the CliCNord homepage for more information.


Living on the Edge (2022)

Living on the Edge is an NPA (Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme) pre-application award between North Atlantic museums and research institutions that aims to explore historical evidence of past marine regime shifts in order to better understand management strategies for the future. The UW partners are Dr. Catherine Chambers and Dr. Lara Hogg.


Fulbright student project „Seaweed aquaculture hatchery and farm development“ (2021-2022)

UW is a co-host, along with University of Iceland and the Djúpið Innovation Center, on Jillian Galloway’s Fulbright project exploring kelp hatchery techniques to support the developing kelp industry in the Westfjords. Jillian’s project is a good example of university collaboration with start-up companies, where the goals of generating new knowledge and innovation at the community level are first and foremost. In future, the partnership will foster continued development in the kelp aquaculture industry in Iceland, as there is fast-growing global interest in this sector due to its potential as a protein and essential vitamin source, a major CO2 drawdown mechanism, and a key feature of IMTAs which present new infrastructure opportunities in coastal ecosystems.

reMERci (2021-2023)

reMERci is funded by the Fondation de France is a collaboration between UW with Peter Weiss and the University of Bretagne Occidentale. The project aims to document and explore local perceptions and experiences with marine space in terms of how people form identities association with the seaspace, and what this means for adaptations to future challenges regarding developments in marine space.

Rekaviður A Call to Action (2020-2022)

The Rekaviður project was funded by the Rannís Climate Change Fund and focuses on the history, ecology and culture surrounding driftwood in Iceland. It is lead by the Kollektiv Lichtung in partnership with NES Artist Residency in Skagaströnd. UW partner Catherine Chambers served as an academic advisor to the project. The project produced a documentary about driftwood and the logical connections between driftwood and climate change. Check out the documentary, interviews, and other material produced on the Reykaviður main site.

Carbon (2021)

The „Carbon: art of science / science of art“ project, funded by the Westfjords Regional Development Agency and the Ísafjörður town council culture fund, was a joint effort by the Catherine Chambers at the University Centre and the ArtsIceland artist residency which aimed to explore the relationships between art and science. One scientist and one artist were paired together, where the artist create a piece inspired by the scientist’s field of expertise, thereby creating a “carbon copy.”

Sustainable Resilient Coasts (COAST) (2020-2023)

UW is a support partner on the COAST project funded by the European Northern Periphery and Arctic Program, with the project leads from the Agricultural University of Iceland and University of Iceland. In this capacity, UW hosts PhD student Maria Wilke from the Agricultural University of Iceland. Her role in the COAST project is to explore ways to support and empower remote coastal communities in environmental decision-making. Her research interests lie in environmental education and community engagement into marine management processes. The Westfjords are currently one of the chosen sites of coastal and marine planning by the National Planning Agency. She will engage with the municipalities and community members across the Westfjords to stimulate a wide-spread public participation and discussion of sustainable ocean use. For more information visit the COAST homepage.

Fostering Innovation Ecosystems in Rural Iceland (2021-2022)

Remote and rural communities in Iceland are more at risk of having their jobs eliminated due to the 4th industrial revolution compared to the capital area. At the same time, rural innovation ecosystems are less active according to available measures. This project, lead and hosted by Matthias Kokorsch examines how innovation ecosystems can be fostered in rural areas that leads to a more inclusive and resilient society, and develops practical and adaptable ways to boost innovation there. The project is carried out by researchers and entrepreneurs, including two UW students from the CRD program, who receive funding for their Master’s thesis.

SUSCULT (2020-2021)

The “Sustainable Cultivation of Seaweed” (SUSCULT) project, funded by the Nordic Council of Minsters, explored the potential of seaweed cultivation in the Nordic region based in literature research and by conducting small-scale tests. SUSCULT was led by the Finnish Environmental Institute and included partners from Denmark, Estonia, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. In each area, partners set out small-scale cultivation tests focused on the low-tech solution of putting out substrate (lines) to see what and how much seaweed would naturally settle. This is in contrast to what is generally done in seaweed cultivation, which is seeding the lines in a laboratory. The UW team of SUSCULT was lead by Dr. Catherine Chambers, research manager, and involved two UW students Kerstin Frank and Nick Hoad who worked as interns on the project, and UW Alum Justin Brown who worked as a research assistant in cooperation with Eldey Aqua, a local seaweed start-up company.