Company Visit #7: FabLab

Today, 13 CMM Students went to visit the FabLab (short for Fabrication Laboratory) here in Ísafjörður thanks to Albertína Friðbjörg Elíasdóttir, one of the staff members. Albertína showed us around the lab, pointing out all the equipment and examples of some of the awesome stuff one can create! They have a 3D printer, lazer cutters and sketchers, and a large saw used to create big pieces of work. The equipment is all free to use, and if you’d like to create something, you simply pay for the materials used.

The FabLab uses all free software, like Google SketchUp for their 3D printer. If you’d like to learn how to use the equipment, Inkscape has great online tutorials to encourage the self-learning philosophy of FabLab.

For more information on FabLab, you can visit the Wiki page or Nýsköpunarmiðstöð Íslands. (chelsea boaler)

Company Visit #6: Kampi Ehf.

Kampi ehf is a local company we students regularly come across when passing by the company’s docking freezing trawler ‘Ísbjörn ÍS-304’. And then there is this curious question of how the main ingredient of a tasty prawn cocktail ends up being the way we find it: cooked, peeled and fresh.
We decided to find out more about the trawler and the process of undressing a prawn and arranged a company visit with Salmar Jóhansson, the Quality Manager of Kampi ehf. This started by Salmar giving a lecture to us at the Uni Center, introducing into the company’s history and technology and explaining health and safety issues in preparation for our site visit.
Prawns were first caught in Iceland around 1930 and Ísafjörður was the first town to start processing prawns in Iceland. Its main representative in that respect nowadays is Kampi ehf, an experienced and leading prawn factory and prawn processing specialist. Besides catches from the Ísbjörn ÍS-304 the factory receives further input from Gunnbjörn IS and Valbjörn IS. Those two trawlers belong to Birnir ehf, the biggest shareholder of Kampi, who catches fresh prawns for Kampi from February to end of October each year.
Kampi produces high quality products with maximum supervision from the quality management team, its customers own auditing team and independent trusted sources – which we could witness on site. Besides, Kampi is an environmentally aware producer. Two examples for this are the company’s recent switch from oil to electricity (remember the Icelandic context!) and the processing of shell waste into prawn meal.

Takk fyrir, Salmar Jóhansson, for having provided us with this exciting opportunity! (katrin krzewina)

International Buffet – Alþjóðlegt hlaðborð

This past Saturday, November 10th 2012, the students hosted an international dinner night: food and music from all over the globe, representing the 12 nations from which the 2012/13 CMM students come. The event was held at Kaffi Ísol and was a huge success thanks to the support of owner Auður Ósk Aradóttir, translation services from Albertína Friðbjörg Elíasdóttir (University Writing Center), and seafood donations from Fiskbúð Sjávarfangs. This event provided the opportunity for CMM students to not only work and organize amongst themselves, but also to become immersed in the local community, sharing our stories and interests as students in Ísafjörður. I was completely overwhelmed with everyone’s hard work and generosity; students and locals alike! The positive outcomes of this event have provided us with opportunities to host future community events; so, stay tuned!

Meanwhile,  check out BB’s coverage on the event! My rough English translation…
A crowd at international buffet: Students who study at the University Center cooked food from their home countries last Saturday and invited the townspeople to feast at Kaffi Ísol. Residents crowded the buffet and were very well received, as chefs work to make the evening a success. The hall was decorated with flags and maps and options were extremely varied, colorful, and delicious.” (chelsea boaler)

Methodology Presentations

The CMM students presented their week-long methodology research for Albertína Friðbjörg Elíasdóttir’s class. After going out into the community and speaking with locals regarding various coastal topics, students came back and discussed issues from environmental reporting in the BB, to sustainable fisheries, to overall town goals and vision. Guests included: Daníel Jakobsson, Mayor of Ísafjörður; Gísli Halldór Halldórsson, town councillour, Menntaskóli worker and former CMM student; Þorleifur Ágústsson, PhD in animal physiology and Menntaskóli teacher, and; Kristján Viggósson, Menntaskóli English teacher.

Class presentations are always open to the community! If you are interested in knowing what the CMM students are up to, please do not hesitate to contact the University Center. (chelsea boaler)

Student Collaboration

The CMM students visited the local students at Menntaskólinn Ísafirði, Thursday November 8th 2012. The visit was our first of many, where we introduced ourselves, the countries and cultures we represent, and how we ended up in Ísafjörður. This was a great way to connect our home regions with Iceland, though we, as CMM students, also learned a lot about our peers (and in some cases, our own countries)! We had a great time, and hope to continue our involvement with the Menntaskólinn Ísafirði academically, socially, and culturally. (chelsea boaler)

Company Visit #5: Fiskbúð Sjávarfangs – Local Fish Shop

As students of coastal and marine management we are, of course, very interested in gaining hands-on experience at every possible level. Hence, a visit to the local Fish-Shop has been one favorite on our agenda.

Eventually, mid-October the owner of the main local Fish-Shop “Fiskbúð Sjávarfangs“, Kári Jóhansson, invited us to take a look at the facilities as well as how fish is prepared for sales.

We were impressed by learning how today’s IT helps to instantaneously monitor fishing efforts as well as buying and selling fish within seconds over the internet. After introducing us to the main local types of fish Kári went on showing how each fish is prepared for sale. The fileting skills required for that made quite an impression on us. Perhaps one of the most interesting findings was to learn that literally every part of a fish gets used.

Takk fyrir, Kári Jóhansson! (katrin krzewina)

South-Westfjords Trip Day 2 (Company Visits #2 #3 & #4 Included)

Monday, 24th September 2012, started with a very-scary for some and wonderful-in-the-sky event for others in our group: a visit to the Látrabjarg bird cliffs. We learned all about the plans and initiatives for turning the area into a national park.

Our first company visit of the day was to Mátis, where we met with Project Manager Lilja Magnúsdóttir. This branch of Mátis is involved in value chain and processing of aquaculture. Overall, the company is involved in many sectors, including genetics, biotechnology, and consumer analysis and consulting.
(Thanks Rob Salisbury for providing this missing information!)

This was followed by a visit to the Mayor of Patreksfjörður, Ms Ásthildar Sturludóttur. In consequence of her discussions at least a couple of students now contemplate moving to Patreksfjörður for life.

Next was our third company visit to Íslenska Kalkþörungafélagið ehf. (Ískalk) in Bildudal, a calcareous algae processing plant. After a thorough introduction into the plant’s set-up, development and current economic standing we were allowed a hands-on experience of facilities and technology. We also gained insights into the Icelandic concept of health and safety at work.

Our final stop was company visit #4 at Fjarðarlax in Fossfjörður where aquaculture farmer Jón Örn Pálsson introduced to us the technology and processes of his aquaculture operation.

South-Westfjords Trip Day 1 (Company Visit #1 Included)

With a great interest in learning as much as possible about the regional heritage as well as coastal and marine management, we set off for a tour around the South-Westfjords on 23rd September 2012. The first stop was at the Hrafnseyri-Museum, the birth-place of “President” Jón Sigurðsson where we enjoyed a picturesque introduction into Iceland’s history.

This was later followed by our first company visit: Mjólká is the regional hydro energy plant and situated very closely to the impressive waterfall Dynjandi (aka Fjallfoss) – a chance we used for an impressive group photo. (katrin krzewina)

Sheep Round-up

On Saturday, 15th September 2012, students participated in a sheep round-up in Ingjaldssandur. This is an annual highlight at the end of autumn where farmers, local volunteers and mad students come together to help bring the sheep down from the mountains into farm valleys. It, usually, takes about one day, however, our student expertise helped to cut that down to a bit more than a couple of hours this year.
It has been an exceptionally wet experience (I never believed how much water one boot can hold), however, we were all very happy afterwards (though I have doubts regarding the sheep). Thank you so much for the experience and also the reward (hot soup, salad, cheese sandwiches, tea and coffee) provided afterwards, Betty! (katrin krzewina)