Iceland Field Trip with Dr. Matyjasik

Iceland Geology Study Abroad 

Program Director, Marek Matyjasik, is a Geosciences Professor. He has been with Weber State University since 1997.  He has extensive experience in travelling abroad.  

Selection Criteria
Student participants can be of any age group from campus or the community.  Preference will be given to WSU Geosciences students who register for Geo 4950 course. Participants will be made aware that the trip will include demanding hiking and driving off road. The required size of group is 7 including instructor.

Housing and Food Arrangements
Accommodations will be in hostels and camping grounds in Iceland. Participants will participate in food shopping and preparing breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Whenever possible we will be dining in restaurants. Tents and sleeping bags, as well as equipment appropriate for extensive hiking, are required. The average high temperature in August is 58 degrees, the average low is 47 degrees.

Provisional Travel Itinerary for Iceland Geology 2010

August 9, 2010
Depart from Salt Lake City

August 10
Arrive at Reykjavik Airport (south end of the island). After clearing customs, transfer to hostel in Reykjavik, rent two SUVs. After checking in at hotel, rest of August 10  to visit sites in Reykjavik.

August 11
Meet a group of students and faculty from Poland, visit Grindavik bridge over the divergent plate boundary rift and Blue Lagoon

August 12
Peninsula (south-west of the island), basaltic cliffs, and hike to the top of the volcano (if weather permits)

August 13
Drive to Myvatn (north end of the island), stopping by Godaffoss

August 14-15
Camping near Myvatn Lake in Reykiahlid, visiting Krafla, geothermal powerplant, thermal pools, visit to a cave with hot springs, visiting pseudovolcanoes near Myvatn, Dunnaborgir labyrinths, gravel craters.

August 16
Dettifoss, waterfalls, driving interior roads F88 and F910

August 17-18  
Landmanalaugar, the Rainbow Mountains, lava fields, obsidians, Hekla Volcano

August 19-20 
Lakagigar, volcanic cones cut across by the rift, glaciers, Skaftafel, return to Reykjavik

August 21
Depart to Reykjavik and return to Salt Lake City

Marketing and Promotion Plans

Informational meetings are planned in which participants will learn details of the trip. Flyers will be placed around campus. Additional promotion will occur in appropriate classes on the WSU campus. We will also have Continuing Education post the information on the Study Abroad website.

Risk Management Plan

It is not anticipated that any particular risk management issues are involved (any more so than any travel, field trip or study abroad program). The trip will follow risk management procedures as outlined in the WSU PPM. Participants will be given information on how to remain safe during travel, such as traveling in groups, etc.

According to the U.S. Department of State, Iceland has a relatively low crime rate, but minor assaults, automobile break-ins, and other street crimes do occur, especially in the capital city of Reykjavik.  Pick-pocketing has increased in the last few years, usually attributed to an organized group looking for easy targets.  Tourists should be aware that downtown Reykjavik can become especially disorderly in the early morning hours on weekends.  Violent crime is rare, but does occur occasionally. There have been no terrorist attacks and very few criminal attacks affecting Americans in Iceland. Iceland is a party to the Schengen agreement.  

As such, U.S. citizens may enter Iceland for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa.  The passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay However, like other countries in the Schengen area, which features freedom of movement between its members, there exists the possibility of suspected terrorists or other criminals entering/exiting the country with anonymity.  Americans are reminded to remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and to exercise caution.

Emergency Plan

Telephone communication will be maintained. Students will have the telephone number of each place we will be staying and there will be a central person in the U.S. who will coordinate messages. Emergency contact through Continuing Education will be Craig LaRocco at (801) 626-8740 or (801) 781-0944. There are nearby hospitals and medical clinics in the locations we’ll visit. We will contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate should the need arise.