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Latest 2019 Iceland ECS Posts

March 22, 2019

Iceland ECS | Now We Are Wiser

We drove out of Vík, heading for one of Iceland’s most mysteriously beautiful features: the Diamond Beach. Littered with black volcanic rock and gleaming white icebergs, the shore’s contrast makes it magnificent. The icebergs, supplied by the nearby glacier Vatnjökull, break off and linger in a glacial lagoon before floating down what is supposedly the world’s shortest river. Then, they belong to the icy tides of the Atlantic.The strong rhythm of the waves as they carried the...
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March 15, 2019

Iceland ECS | Gems Hidden in the Ruff

Tomato plants gnarled with age twisted up into the lights, awash in warm yellow. I breathed the humid air and closed my eyes. This was not a feeling from Iceland. The notoriously sun-loving and warm weather hungry tomato plant wouldn’t survive more than a few days in Iceland’s freezing wind and rain. Yet here at the Friðheimar greenhouse, which utilized geothermal water, we sipped tomato soup that had been on the vine not four hours earlier.Iceland’s arctic climate makes it a challenging place...
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March 14, 2019

Iceland ECS | Seeing How Unique Iceland Is

Over the past few days, we have gained perspective on just how unique Iceland is. While a “crust anomaly” known as a magma plume under the island spawns violent volcanoes, it also creates bubbling geysers, naturally-heated saunas, and geothermally powered greenhouses. Cold, insistent wind from the Arctic barrages Icelanders, but it makes the country primed for wind energy. Glaciers transform the landscape and trigger earthquakes as they melt, but they supply runoff to raging rivers...
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March 10, 2019

Iceland ECS | Energy Forms Abound

Before we left for Iceland, we familiarized ourselves with the different sectors of the modern energy economy. For this process, we broke into groups and created companies in one of eight industries. Afterwards, we presented on everything from tidal energy to fossil fuels. We then had to present our case in front of a simulated city council for the bid to power the grid.After delivering closing statements for our lengthy debate Friday morning, we were off to Reykjavik. Upon landing 17 hours...
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March 10, 2019

Iceland ECS | Complex, Tangled Nature of the Energy World

We take for granted that our lights turn on, our cars start up, and our houses stay warm. We define development in units of power, ranking countries on wattage before wages. We dedicate our railways to ship coal to power plants, their plumes always looming on the horizon.On the Iceland ECS, we are exploring the centuries-old saga that is energy. From the first fires of the Vikings to the super heated steam of modern geothermal plants, Iceland has seen every age of energy. To break ground on...
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February 12, 2019

Iceland ECS | Course Description

Iceland | Earth and Energy Essential question: What are the economic, environmental, and societal implications of using anddeveloping various energy sources?Course description: This course examines conventional and developing energy sources and the role thatlocal or regional geology plays in a society’s choice of energy production. Students develop the tools toevaluate a society’s energy choices while considering the cascading economic, environmental, andsocietal ramifications of such...
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More recent posts

Iceland ECS March 15, 2019

Iceland ECS | Gems Hidden in the Ruff

Tomato plants gnarled with age twisted up into the lights, awash in warm yellow. I breathed the humid air and closed my eyes. This was not a feeling from Iceland. The notoriously sun-loving and warm weather hungry tomato plant wouldn’t survive more than a few days in Iceland’s freezing wind and...
» read more
Iceland ECS March 14, 2019

Iceland ECS | Seeing How Unique Iceland Is

Over the past few days, we have gained perspective on just how unique Iceland is. While a “crust anomaly” known as a magma plume under the island spawns violent volcanoes, it also creates bubbling geysers, naturally-heated saunas, and geothermally powered greenhouses. Cold, insistent...
» read more
Iceland ECS March 10, 2019

Iceland ECS | Energy Forms Abound

Before we left for Iceland, we familiarized ourselves with the different sectors of the modern energy economy. For this process, we broke into groups and created companies in one of eight industries. Afterwards, we presented on everything from tidal energy to fossil fuels. We then had to present...
» read more
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