Course Description: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 its 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.
HON195 students spent time in both Maine and Iceland for a comparative, hybrid-study abroad experience. While in Iceland, we toured with specialists from Geocamp, an Icelandic owned and operated educational project dedicated to teaching students about the geology (past, present, and future) of Iceland. Continue reading “HON195-001: Climate Change Stories”→
During the Fall 2017 Semester, USM Honors Freshmen enrolled in the HON-101: Icelandic Sagas and Skalds class and the associated COR101 lab experienced Icelandic (and the greater North Atlantic) culture, art, food, wildlife, and navigation right here in Maine. As part of the lab activities, students enjoyed Icelandic style cuisine, met the local artist and USM alum Justin Levesque, met some friendly Icelandic horses, and learned about early navigation. Here are some of those stories: Continue reading “2017 HON/COR101 Activities: Iceland and the Arctic in Maine”→
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: 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”→
HON195 Student Post: Autumn Wentworth, English Major; Honors Minor, Public and Professional Writing Minor
Career Aspirations: Editor
Innovative Thinking with a Creative Mind
On Thursday, June 15th, I traveled to the New England Ocean Cluster (NEOC) with my 14 classmates and four professors. After a day of touring the Portland Fish Exchange and exploring Portland, it was refreshing to sit around a large conference table and learn about Eimskip and how it is part of the Ocean Cluster House. Portland has just recently become the New England headquarters for Eimskip, an Icelandic transportation company. While it was originally located in Virginia, the company changed its location to Maine because the Icelandic employees felt more at home. I found this information very fascinating. I’d never been to Iceland before and, despite researching some cultural aspects, I still wasn’t sure what to expect. After hearing that the Eimskip employees were more comfortable in Maine, I hoped that this meant I would be comfortable there as well. As these thoughts were flying through my head, the woman at the head of the table, one of only three or four employees in her department, began by telling us why transportation matters.Continue reading “Innovative Thinking with a Creative Mind”→
HON195 Student Post: Molly LeComte, International Business Major; Honors Minor
Career Aspirations: In 5 Years I hope to be a Lawyer
Searching for the Future in the Past A Day Of Learning In Iceland
Today I traveled with my class to three distinctly different places, all to get a better understanding of the maritime fishing industry of Iceland. We started the morning at the Árbaer Open Air Museum in Reykjavik, a small re-creation of what life was like in Iceland during different periods of time. Houses from all over Iceland are occasionally moved to this historic farm for preservation. By walking from house to house, one is physically surrounded by Iceland’s past. These homes shine light on what life was like for fishermen and farmers throughout the decades. The houses were so well preserved that it felt as though at any moment the old residents would walk into the home and greet me with an Icelandic “grunt,” the universal greeting in this county. Continue reading “Searching for the Future in the Past: A Day Of Learning In Iceland”→
HON195 Student Post: Lexi Bartlett, Political Science Major, Economics Major; Honors Minor
Career Goals: Foreign service officer, ambassador
Water and Fire: A Day on the Westman Islands
Thirty minutes. Thirty terrifying, exhilarating minutes is how long it took for the Eimskip ferry to travel from Landeyjahofn, on the southeastern coast of Iceland to the Westman Islands. As we boarded the vessel, my stomach churned as the relentless wind and enormous waves rocked us back and forth–and we hadn’t even left the sheltered bay yet. There had been torrential downpouring and ghastly winds all morning, weather that made us question if the ferry would even make its scheduled run. The film Titanic somehow meandered its way into my thoughts. Was I making a mistake getting on this boat? The captain made an announcement that we were departing, first in Icelandic, and then in English, and off we went. Continue reading “Water and Fire: A Day on the Westman Islands”→
HON195 Student Post By: William Jack Hahn III, History Major; Honors Minor
Career Aspirations:I hope to become a teacher at the secondary level.
A Journey to Vestmannaeyjar
Vestmannaeyjar, or the Westman Islands, are a group of islands located off of the southern coast of Iceland. The island was named “Westman” because some of its first inhabitants were escaped slaves from Ireland, whom the Vikings referred to as “Westmen.” Today, the island has evolved into much more than a temporary refuge for slaves–it is an active fishing village and tourist attraction.Continue reading “A Journey to Vestmannaeyjar”→