Field visit to southeast of Iceland - Gender, Environment & Climate Change

Fellows at the glacier Fláajökull in Vatnajökull national park
Fellows at the glacier Fláajökull in Vatnajökull national park

During the first week of May, as a part of the module Gender, Environment, and Climate Change, the UNU-GEST fellows participated in the annual field visit to the southeast of Iceland. The module is an introduction to the relationship between gender and environment and climate change. The objective of the field visit was for the fellows to observe first-hand the effects of climate change in Iceland, as the Vatnajökull glacier retreats. During the drive to the village Höfn, the fellows visited multiple attractions such as the waterfalls Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss and the black beach in Reynisfjara. They also hiked up to the waterfall Svartifoss, which is located in Skaftafell, a part of Vatnajökull National Park.




In Höfn, the fellows attended presentations at Nýheimar knowledge centre by Kristín Hermannsdóttir, a meteorologist and the director of the South East Iceland Nature Research Center; glaciologist Snævarr Guðmundsson; and Hulda Laxdal Hauksdóttir, project manager for ADVENT. They furthermore visited the Vatnajökull visitor centre in Höfn, where Steinunn Hödd Harðardóttir, assistant park manager, shared with the fellows how the Vatnajökull National Park contributes to knowledge sharing of the effects of climate change.  

On the second day in Höfn and surrounding areas, the fellows hiked with Sigurður Ragnarsson, a geologist and mountain/ glacier guide from the area, to the glaciers Fláajökull and Heinabergsjökull. Both of these glaciers are retreating very fast. The fellows also visited the farm Hoffell, located by glacier Hoffellsjökull, where they were introduced to the history and nature of the area.  

On the last day, the field visit was concluded by visiting the Glacier Lagoon, Jökulsárlón, by the fastest retreating glacier outlet in Iceland, Breiðamerkurjökull, before heading back to the city.