Category Archives: Further Information

Further Information about the Events and Seminars we host

Iceland should be the forerunner of environmentalism in the world

The American architect and designer William McDonough gave a lecture last Tuesday (March 19) at the Green Days in the University of Iceland through remote assistance live from San Francisco.  McDonough, who is truly a star of the sustainability sciences, discussed his Cradle to Cradle concept with students and teachers and his new book the Upcycle. According to his concept, manufacturers and companies should change their industrial processes and choice of materials and eliminate the use of harmful substances in their manufacturing and products. It is therefore possible to manufacture products that have a positive effect on the environment when their lifetime is over instead of producing waste that ends up in landfills.

McDonough discussed also Iceland‘s unique opportunities in the field of environmental issues and environmentally-friendly design. He recommends that Iceland should be the first country to eliminate the use of fossil fuels, due to active research on hydrogen fuels. He urged attendees to be creative in their thinking and emphasized that any future decisions made should be based on careful and well-founded reasoning. McDonough wants Iceland to be a global leader in environmental issues and suggested that Iceland could become the first country in the world to eliminate the use of fossil fuels. He believes that Iceland is in a unique position to do so because of its renewable natural resources, the technological achievements in the world and the fact that Iceland has a small population.  Due to these factors, Iceland has the potential to be a forerunner for those nations that want to change the way they use their natural resources, treat the natural environment and return it to future generations.

In his lecture McDonough also said that he has been coming to Iceland every year for the last 42 years to go fishing. He was 20 years old the first time he came to Iceland and was working at the time as chauffeur for the jazz and swing musician Benny Goodman. Since then he has been coming every year and is a great admirer of Icelandic nature and culture. The lecture was recorded and will be available on the internet in the next few days.

Green days at the University of Iceland will continue throughout the week and they will be finishing with a concert at the Student Bar with the bands Boogie Trouble, 1860 and Kanilsnældur.

Admittance to all the events during Green Days is free and everybody is welcome. The full schedule for Green Days can be found on the webpage of Gaia the student organization for the master‘s programme in Environment and Natural Resources. Gaia is the organizer of Green Days event each year.

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.

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.

Films about Genetic Engineering at Bíó Paradís Cinema August 27th & 28th

To coincide with Vandana Shiva’s visit to Iceland, Bíó Paradís is screening the following documentaries on the issue of genetic engineering this weekend.

Life Running Out of Control

Saturday 27th August 20:00

Thorough examination of the issues surrounding the genetic manipulation of plants, animals and human beings.” Bullfrog Films.

Scientists Under Attack

Sunday 28th August 20:00

“A documentary thriller about how Agro-Chemical multinational corporations victimize international scientists to prevent them from publishing their scary findings.” IMbD.

For more information (in Icelandic) visit the webpage of Bíó Paradís.

Icelandic Society of Environmental Scientists Celebration Saturday August 27 8.30pm

The Icelandic Society of Environmental Scientists (FUMÍ) invites current and prospective members to a late-summer celebration in the diver’s hut (blue house) next to Nauthólsvík beach.

Date and time: Saturday August 27, from 8.30pm to 11.30pm.

Welcome to bring a non-environmental friend

Refreshments sold, 2 cans (baked beans of course) for 500 ISK (bring cash, no cards)

Own refreshments also welcome

Indian theme!

Map of the location

Science Trip to SORPA April 15th – Meet @ Háma 3:15pm

This Friday (the 15th) Sorpa, Reykavík’s leading waste management and recycling company is inviting GAIA for a visit. We’ll be going to two of their main landfill sites Gufunes and Álfsnes where they’ll tell us about their operations and show us their methane production. We believe this will be very interesting and informing so we urge you to come along.

As the trip is taking place some way out of the city we’ve arranged a bus to take us there. We must stress that you have to be on the bus to be allowed into the Sorpa sites so you can’t come in your own car, you have to be on the bus.

The bus is leaving from Uni at 15.30 on Friday and so we’re meeting up in Háma at 15.15. From Uni the bus will take us to Sorpa and after the science trip it’ll drive us downtown where we’ll have an offer at some lovely downtown pub.

If you want to join us to this very interesting and exciting science trip you need to sign up before 12.00 on Thursday the 14th by sending an e-mail to Visit GAIA on Facebook for more about the event.

Read about Sorpa here.

Nordic Climate and Sustainability Workshop Finland

ENR students are encouraged to apply to attend this workshop. Application deadline is April 30th!


Open Call for Nordic Master & PhD students: Workshop on Sustainable Communities

Nordic Climate Festival @Aalto

Aalto University in Espoo, Finland, 30.8.-2.9.2011

Photo: Nordic Climate Festival

Aalto University will host a 4-day youth event on climate change and sustainability issues, Nordic Climate Festival @Aalto, on 30.8.-2.9.2011. It is one of the main events of Finnish presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2011. Nordic Climate Festival @ Aalto will be coordinated with the Nordic climate day on 11.11.2011.

We now invite all master- and PhD level students studying in Nordic universities to apply for our workshop, Shortcuts to sustainable Nordic communities! The workshop focuses on finding novel approaches in promoting sustainable solutions to climate change mitigation and adaptation challenges in the Nordic countries.

Our workshop consists of 7 tracks, ranging from sustainable urban planning and energy efficient construction practices to sustainable design. Aim of the workshop is for the students to introduce existing Nordic sustainability initiatives and to develop them further, to form a ‘roadmap’ to sustainable Nordic future.

For more information on the event, please visit

A total of 90 students from all Nordic countries will be chosen to the workshop, based on a letter of interest. All travel and accommodation costs will be provided for the participants. The workshop tracks will be hosted by top researchers of Aalto University and will be conducted in Nordic co-operation. Working language of the workshop is English.

Outcome of the workshop will be an e-publication, to be published on Nordic climate day on 11.11.2011.Please consult your home university on the possibility of earning ETCS credits for joining the workshop and contributing to the final publication. We also encourage participants to visit local schools on the Climate day to tell about their experiences in the Climate festival and about the workshop results.

Apply online now! Deadline for applications is 30th of April!

On behalf of the organizing committee

Simo Haanpää

Ulla Heinonen

Maleena Muhonen

Nordic Climate Festival @Aalto coordinators