The International Field Studies Program in the Biological Sciences is offering two courses on the study of the biology of Iceland for the summer of 2013. One course meets general education requirements and is intended specifically for non-science majors. The second course targets biology and other science majors. Both courses are taught at Hólar University College in Iceland where students will be able to study the life of the island in its natural setting. Hólar is in north Iceland in the Hjaltadalur valley of the Skagafjörður district. The area is renowned for breeding and training the famous Icelandic horse. The University is near the city of Sauðárkrókur, the second-largest town on the north coast of Iceland. The setting at Hólar University College provides a unique opportunity for students to study the biology of Arctic life within a few miles of the Arctic Circle while enjoying a mild climate.
CLASS: Students in each class will receive three course credits. The programs are directed by Dr. Bjarni K. Kristjánsson of the Department of Aquaculture and Fish Biology at Hólar University College and Dr. E. Eugene Williams of the Department of Biological Sciences at Salisbury University. The courses are taught by Kristjánsson, Williams and other faculty in the Department of Aquaculture and Fish Biology at Hólar University College.
This cross-disciplinary course examines the evolution and the origins, maintenance, management and conservation of the unique biological diversity of Iceland. The course is taught in Iceland and is designed specifically for non-science majors seeking to survey a broad base of study topics encompassing the biological sciences, environmental studies, resource management, biodiversity conservation, and environmental policy. The course location gives students the opportunity to explore these topics in an international environment where biodiversity issues have wide ranging impacts. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. Meets General Education IVB requirement as a non-laboratory science course.
HOST INSTITUTION: Hólar University College traces its roots to an agricultural school that was established at Hólar in 1882. Over the years, the agricultural school developed into a modern university and became specialized to suit the needs of the region. Today, Hólar University College is a scientific educational and research institution offering degrees in aquaculture and fish biology, equestrian studies (horsemanship as well as horse breeding), and rural tourism studies.
EXCURSIONS: In addition to studying the biology of Icelandic animals, a significant portion of the program focuses on Icelandic culture. Three hours each week are devoted to studying the language of the Vikings, Old Norse, now called Icelandic. Group trips to see the work of local artists displayed in Skagafjörður Library and Archives, in the Safnahús in Sauðárkrókur, and to the Glaumbær Folk Museum (with an 18th century turf-house farm) are planned. Trips to Mývatn, Thingvallavatn, Thingvellir, Hvalfjörður, and the city of Blönduós are planned. We also plan to spend two full Saturday and Saturday nights in Reykjavik to explore the world’s most northern capital city. Students may also enjoy horseback riding, river rafting, and many hiking trails close to the University.
HOUSING: Students live in the dormitories at Hólar University College and eat in the University cafeteria. You will live like an Icelandic student!
COSTS: Estimated costs are $3500. Final costs will be determined in spring 2013. The price will include all tuition, round-trip airfare, room and most board in Iceland, all travel within Iceland, and international health insurance. Costs not included in the program fee are passport fees, costs for personal items purchased in Iceland, and some miscellaneous expenses. US citizens do not need visas to visit Iceland.