Welcome to the USM Honors Blog!
Here you will find an array of resources: student articles, general information about Iceland and the greater North Atlantic, announcements, upcoming events, program updates, and even some giveaways! Continue reading “Welcome!”
The story of climate change is being told by scientists, filmmakers, policy-makers, believers and deniers. While the entire world will be affected by climate change, the North Atlantic will face it’s own set of unique challenges. The aim of this course is to use a transdisciplinary lens to study climate change in the North Atlantic, connecting science, communication, and the lived experience. Students in this course will study the scientific concepts behind climate change, media framing of climate change, and using the personal narrative to tell the story of climate change.
Taught by: Drs. Lucille Benedict, Dan Panici, and Paula Gerstenblatt
More details coming soon!
Check out our other section of HON195!
Iceland and Maine share many geographic, religious, economic, and social conditions and concepts–despite the much longer written history and literature of Iceland. A fruitful comparison can be made by studying issues across two periods of Iceland and across the relatively shorter history of Europeans in Maine and Northern New England.
This Honors Travel course gives students an ideal opportunity to experience firsthand the geographic substrata of the similarities and differences between these two northern place-bound, and yet seafaring, cultures, whose main sources of sustenance are agricultural, oceanic, trade, and now tourism. This course allows students to dig into the mythological, historical roots of many issues that concern us today. As witnessed by the quotations and adages that come to the lips of both Icelanders and Mainers, our history, literature and religious underpinnings still influence current policy and understandings.
Taught by: Drs. Assunta Kent and Mark Mullane
Learn more: usmhonorsabroad.wordpress.com/meet-the-team
More details coming soon!
Check out our other HON195 section!
Welcome, incoming Honors Freshmen and greetings to our blog readers! We have some exciting news: we will soon be announcing our 2018 short term travel class topics and details. Check back soon to learn more about the class and application process.
In the meantime, be sure to check out some of our student posts from June 2017 to see some photos and first hand student accounts of our adventures in Iceland.
HON195 Student Post: Jordan Fisher, Nursing Major; Honors Minor
Career Goal: Psychiatric Nurse
A Journey to the North of Iceland
Good day everyone, nursing student Jordan Fisher here with your latest update on our amazing trip to Iceland!
I rolled out of bed quickly this morning, landing face first in the pile of clothes that—let’s admit—I was never going to put away, cursing to myself as I realized I should have packed my overnight bag the night before. My classmates were running around like maniacs, picking up a raincoat here, shoving a hairbrush into a backpack there, and trying to squeeze in a proper brushing of the teeth before our overnight journey to Northern Iceland. This morning rush has come to be our normal routine here in Iceland. If I have learned one thing on this trip so far, it’s that you have got to move fast to get a good seat on the bus. Continue reading “A Journey to the North of Iceland”
HON195 Student Post: Aedin McDaniel, General Biology Major; Honors Minor
Career Goal: Veterinarian
Water You Doing, Puffin Your Chest Out Like That
Oh, the adventures we have had in Iceland! Today was especially interesting—but only really after 12 o’clock. Continue reading “Water You Doing, Puffin Your Chest Out Like That”
HON195 Student Post: Katie Tewksbury, Linguistics Major; Honors Minor, ASL Minor
Career Goals: Speech Pathologist
A Day in the City of Reykjavik at the Local Flea Market
Giggles leaped from booth to booth as children played tag– ducking under booths and racing through the aisles of the Kolaportid Flea Market in Reykjavik, Iceland. The nostalgic atmosphere reminded me of when I used to accompany my parents to the flea market back home in Rhode Island. Our morning bus ride into down town Reykjavik was filled with exciting whispers and eagerness about what the flea market experience would be like. People shouted from one end of the bus to the other “I can finally get my family all their gifts today”, “I can’t wait to try fermented shark!” (yes really), and many other desires for today’s adventure. This chain reaction of commotion filled the van with an exciting energy that made for a promising start to our day. Continue reading “A Day in the City of Reykjavik at the Local Flea Market”
HON195 Student Post: Jacqueline Langevin, Psychology major; Honors Minor
Career Aspirations: Continue education towards PhD
A Day in the Capital: Wandering Laugavegur
First of all the weather was beautiful. I start out with this because it is a very common conversation starter amongst the Icelandic. I opened my window and the sunlight shone in, leaving gold reflections off of lava I collected earlier in the week sitting on the window still. My day was off to a great start the second I woke up: this morning, we were finally given a chance to sleep in. I quickly got dressed and packed my backpack with the essentials: wallet, sweater, bathing suit. Mind you, I was already wearing a few layers under my raincoat. The bathing suit is an essential item to always carry around in Iceland: you never know when you will find a hot spring or stumble upon a pool. Although the agenda for the day was wandering around the city of Reykjavik I didn’t want to risk not having my bathing suit handy. Continue reading “A Day in the Capital: Wandering Laugavegur”
HON195 Student Post: Sacha Kiesman, Political Science Major; Honors Minor
A Walk to Clear the Mind; Reykjavík Edition
June 24th – Today was our free day in Reykjavík. We all begin our day watching a 360 degree video of the natural features from all across Iceland. The video is projected on the walls and ceiling of a small room in the Harpa center. Beautiful images of fire and ice surrounded me but they aren’t distracting enough so my mind wanders, and I begin to think about my future, a topic that has been on my mind a lot lately. Becoming a lawyer would leave my life void of images and visuals like these. My job would primarily be words and texts. The tape deck of possible careers and majors in my head starts flipping again, a thought process that has been stealing away my energy for over a year. I leave with wet cheeks but am practiced at pushing aside these thoughts for later. Continue reading “A Walk to Clear the Mind; Reykjavík Edition”
HON195 Student Post: Emma Cost, Environmental Planning and Policy Major; Honors Minor
The Race Between Continents
My day started with my friend Katie anxiously shaking me awake. “Emma, there’s Belgian waffles for breakfast again!” I already knew this was the start to a great day in Iceland. I ran to breakfast, late per usual, and quickly devoured waffles.
Today’s agenda was focused more on the fishing industry of Iceland and less on tourist hot spots. Yet Einar, our wonderful tour guide, always has tricks up his sleeve! As we were riding on the bus, Einar pointed out the bridge up the road revealing it was the continental rift. Our sleepy eyes immediately opened wide and suddenly there was more energy on the bus. Continue reading “The Race Between Continents”
HON195 Student Post: Benjamin Currie, Finance Major; Honors Minor
Career Aspirations: To work in the outdoor industry
Tectonically Speaking, Iceland is Awesome
During the summer, there are very few attractions in Iceland that are not extremely crowded with tourists. This morning, however, we drove to Reykjanes and our tour bus pulled into a hidden parking lot. There were no other cars around. Only a few short feet from the car was a small foot bridge that crossed both the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates. In geology, the theory of tectonic plates says there are nine massive plates that structure the entire earth. Two of these plates run smack against each other in the Reykjanes peninsula. As I stood on the bridge straddling North America and Europe, I was able to admire the wonderful view of the ocean and miles of rugged terrain. On each end of the bridge were small paths that led down to the black sand that’s been trapped between the two rock plates. As we stood in the sand, a starting and finish line were drawn for us to have a race between the plates. The race started in North America and ended in Europe a few moments later, tectonically speaking. After spending about thirty minutes in this strange land that connects two massive continents and plates, we boarded the bus to head to Gunnuhver. Continue reading “Tectonically Speaking, Iceland is Awesome”