FSC Fieldwork Locations

You can choose from a range of fieldwork courses based in four locations in Iceland. Each site has been specifically chosen for its suitability for appropriate fieldwork and each offers support from or exposure to ongoing research and projects which help to give students an understanding of the practical, real-life applications of fieldwork.

The sites are all located in the south-west of Iceland close to some of the most visited sites within our current itineraries, meaning you can easily include a visit to them within your chosen itinerary.

Horticultural University of Iceland, Hveragerdi

Based on the hill behind Hveragerdi within a geothermal area creating following an earthquake in 2008, the Horticultural University of Iceland conducts education and research in the field of agricultural and environmental sciences. The site has a number of established plant communities and varieties of species brought on in the warm geothermally heated greenhouses. The site gives a unique opportunity to investigate the impacts of the geothermal activity on the local ecosystems and within Iceland’s agricultural greenhouse practices through investigations which also support the work of the University.    

Hveragerdi Geothermal Park, Hveragerdi

Located in the centre of Hveragerdi town, the Geothermal Park is a naturally occurring area of intense geothermal activity, where the ground steams with hot springs and solfataras (boiling mud pools). Students get to experience and taste eggs being boiled in a hot spring and rye bread baked overnight in the hot steam.
There are a number of geographical fieldwork links to hazards, energy and ecosystems that can be investigated in and around the geothermal areas of the town. For biologists there is useful information on the hot spring spider and fly, which are able to withstand very high temperatures in the geothermal springs, whilst students can undertake sampling work to measure how abiotic and biotic factors of geothermally heated water change with distance from a geothermal outwash source.

Reykjanes peninsula

The Reykjanes peninsula lies south-west of Reykjavik and is characterised by expansive lava fields and dramatic coastlines. The peninsula is the only place in the world where the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the plate boundary between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates, is visible above sea-level.The coastline is home to numerous fishing villages, where dried salted cod was a historically important industry, and a wide range of bird species, both of which are supported by rich and varied marine ecosystems. Students can visit a stretch of coast to undertake an investigation into the difference in abundance and distribution of marine organisms with vertical height on the rocky shore.
You might also choose to visit the nearby Sudurnes Science and Learning Centre. Focussing on natural sciences and incorporating the Southwest Iceland Nature Research Institute and The University of Iceland’s Research Centre in Sudurnes, it has a strong focus on natural sciences and teaching, with specific ongoing projects investigating ecological research, ecotoxicology and prevention and cure of diseases attracting scientists from across the globe.
Here there are opportunities to learn more about the research work undertaken and its relevance in the real world, as well as conducting laboratory work to examine samples.

Reykjavik

Reykjavik is the capital city of Iceland. With a population of 120,000 it is the heart of Iceland's cultural, economic and political activity. It is one of the cleanest, greenest and safest cities in the world with a vibrant, modern and innovative approach to living at a latitude of 64°08' N.
Opportunities for fieldwork are based around urban climate and sustainable urban development, investigating how urban development affects the local microclimate and examining how geothermal and other renewable sources of energy help satisfy the city’s energy demands.
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