Author Archives: gaia

David Suzuki and Screening of Force of Nature Saturday Oct. 1st

As part of this year’s Reykjavik International Film Festival (RIFF), world-renowned documentary film maker, TV program director and environmentalist Dr David Suzuki will hold a seminar entitled “What Can We Do?” on Saturday October 1st at 16:00 in Háskólatorg 105.

Before the panel, a special screening of Force of Nature will be presented (same location) at 14:00 (entry is 1500 ISK).

Dr Suzuki will address the question why the general public and authorities are so reluctant to respond and take proper environmental action, in spite of ample evidence of the urgency to do so.

Dr. Brynhildur Davidsdottir will open the discussion following Dr. Suzuki’s lecture.

Dr. Gudrun Petursdottir, Director of the Institute for Sustainability Studies, will chair the seminar.
The seminar is hosted by RIFF, the Institute of International Affairs, and the Institute for Sustainability Studies, which celebrates its 5th anniversary this year.

The seminar is open to all and will take place at the University of Iceland, lecture hall HT 105 in the University Square.

Kristín Vala Ragnarsdóttir wins award for work on sustainability

Kristín Vala Ragnarsdóttir, Dean of the School of Engineering and Natural Sciences at the University of Iceland, has won the Balaton Group Member of the Year award for her work on sustainability.

The International Network of Resource Information Centers, more commonly known as “The Balaton Group,” is an international network of researchers and practitioners in fields related to systems and sustainability.

To read more about the Balaton Group, visit their webpage.

GAIA General Meeting & Pub Quiz Sept. 23rd 8pm at Prikið

GAIA’s general meeting will be held Friday 23rd at 20:00 at the ground floor of Prikið (Bankastræti 12) in downtown Reykjavik. During the meeting we’ll have great offers at the bar and after the meeting itself we’ll have a pub quiz and continue partying into the night. An event has been created on Facebook.

The agenda of the meeting:
Election of the chairman of the meeting and its secretary
Semester report of the president
Semester report of the treasurer
Discussion of suggestions tended to the organization

The board of GAIA proposes the following change to Article 5 in the Laws of GAIA. That “With the exception of the president“ in line six will be removed.

Article 5 today:
The governing body shall consist of 5 persons, the president and four board members, who shall be elected in the Fall bi-annual meeting and serve for a term of one year. The president shall be elected first separately.
At the first board meeting of the governing body it shall elect the secretary and the treasurer from the four board members by simple majority vote. The secretary shall also function as the vice-president. With the exception of the president, if a board member seat becomes empty between Fall bi-annual meetings a new board member will be elected at the Spring bi-annual meeting.
In addition to the governing body two substitutes shall be elected in both Fall and Spring bi-annual meetings for a term of one semester.

Al Gore’s 24 Hours of Reality Project Comes to Iceland

The 24 Hours of Reality Project, a screening of Al Gore’s new multimedia show on the impacts of climate change delivered in 24 countries, in 24 hours, in 24 timezones, comes to Húsavik, Iceland tomorrow. A viewing party will be held from 7pm at the Nordic House in Reykjavik (the presentation from Húsavik will be given in Icelandic). Sigurður Eyberg, a graduate of the Environment and Natural Resources Program, will present and Brynhildur Davíðsdóttir will take part in the panel discussion.


The worldwide event will be streamed at:

To read more about the event visit the webpage of the Gardalsholm Project, an institution focusing on discussion and research on the environment, and the webpage of The Climate Reality Project.

Reykjavik Real Food Festival September 14-18

The first Reykjavik Real Food Festival celebrating Icelandic food and food culture starts today, September 14, and runs through September 18. See below for highlights.

Some highlights of the festival program include:

-Special menus at restaurants around town.

A screening of the movie FRESH at Bíó Paradís on September 15 at 20:00.

-A bbq at Hressó on September 16 at 18:00.

-A food market held in the garden of Hressó in downtown Reykjaik on Saturday September 17th from 12-16.

-An invitation to take part in a sheep round-up at a farm near Reykajvik.

For the full program visit the official site of the Reykjavik Real Food Festival.

Photo credit: Specialty Studios/Ripple Effect

Environment-themed films at this year’s Reykjavík International Film Festival

This year’s program includes a number of environment-themed documentaries.

Films at this year’s festival include Tipping Point, about the health and environmental impacts of water pollution from oil sands on one community in Alberta, Canada; There was Once an Island, which documents the impacts of rising waters on a community on a low-lying atoll in the South Western Pacific; The Pipe, the story of the discovery of gas off a remote coastal village in Ireland and the resulting divisions in the community; Submission, about the chemical industry and its health impacts; Urban Roots, which tells of an urban environmental movement in Detroit; Eco Pirate, the Story of Paul Watson and many more!

The festival runs Sep.22-Oct 2. For more info visit the documentary section at RIFF.

Second hand textbook sale on Sep. 5th!

Gaia is holding a second hand textbook sale on Monday the 5th of September at 14.50 in room V-155 (right after seminar 1 class).

So, if you‘re a senior student in the program and want to sell some of your old books just bring them to V-155 at 14.50 on Monday and if you‘re a new student wanting to buy some books for a better price just show up on Monday with some cash, as you won‘t be able to pay with card (however there is a cash machine in VR-II).

This is of course a win-win scenario as senior students get some extra cash and new students get cheaper books!

Icelandic Ocean Circulation System Discovered

Icelandic scientists have discovered a new overturning site, where cold, dense, deep water is formed and transported through a separate route towards the Denmark Strait and further south into the Atlantic Ocean.

Graphic by Jack Cook, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

This process is essential for the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, or AMOC, one of the ‘engines’ of our ocean’s thermohaline circulation, which in the Atlantic is best known for one of its components: the Gulf Stream, which transports warm surface waters from the Gulf of Mexico all the way towards the Norwegian coast and the southern fringes of the Arctic Ocean.

This warm water cools down, whereby its weight increases and it sinks. It is then carried back south into the Atlantic, over the ocean floor.

There are concerns about instability, notably a risk of a weakening trend in AMOC, which could affect the entire thermohaline circulation and for instance slow down [or theoretically stop] the Gulf Stream. When this happens large parts of the oceans could be starved from ocean floor nutrients, threatening the base of the marine food chain.

Read the full article at Bits of Science and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.