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)