Black carbon, dust and plastic particles in snow and ice
This student opportunity is a collaborative research project between the University of Iceland (UI), the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI), and Landsvirkjun (LV).
The overall aim of this research project is to study the distribution and concentration of black carbon (BC), organic carbon (OC), dust and plastic particles in snow and ice on Icelandic glaciers. This will allow for better modeling of potential impact of those pollutants on glaciers and knowledge about their sources.
This MS project is funded for 4-5 months as a summer employee at Landsvirkjun. This grant is most suitable for students that are finishing their required course work at the University of Iceland and need a project. New students can though apply and work on this project along with coursework.
New article looking at the impact of eruptions on “dust storm” frequency. Dust storm in parenthesis because one of the main questions was how long after an eruption ash storms were obvious. Turns out that with all the activity we have in Iceland the volcanic signal quickly fades into the general dust activity.
The Effects of Volcanic Eruptions on the Frequency of Particulate Matter Suspension Events in Iceland
Irma Khoirunissa defended her master’s project in Environment and Natural Resources, University of Iceland on 1 october 2018. Irma is in Indonesia, so the defense was via Skype.
The project was „AERMOD Modeling of Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) Concentration from Geothermal Power Plants in Ulubelu, Indonesia, and Hellisheidi-Nesjavellir, Iceland“. Irma did very well and her project was very good.
Irma’s supervising committee was me and Elín Björk Jónasdóttir (IMO).
Examiner was Einar Sveinbjörnsson, who we thank for his good work. He wrote a very nice post on facebook.
The article is based on the work done by EditaTverijonaite during her master’s, who is the first author. Supervisors and co-authers are Rannveig Ólafsdóttir and Throstur Thorsteinsson.
In countries facing rapid growth in nature-based tourism, increasing use of protected areas for recreational purposes creates a demand for improved infrastructure and accessibility. However, increased infrastructure, such as road improvements, is likely to alter the natural environment and visitors’ experience, and may ultimately change the type of tourism which operates in given areas. This study aims to assess how the accessibility of protected areas affects visitor perceptions, satisfaction, preferences, and subsequently visitor behaviour. Furthermore, it aims to compare perceived environmental impacts of visitors at sites with different levels of accessibility. To this end, an on-site visitor survey was conducted at five sites within protected areas in Iceland, each with different level of accessibility. The Purism Scale model was applied to categorize visitors based on their preferences. The results show that the majority of visitors at all five study sites fall into one of two categories – neutralists and urbanists – implying that the type of tourism operated in Iceland is changing as a result of continuous tourism development, and that improved accessibility to previously remote nature destinations accelerates these changes. Improved accessibility thus facilitates the use of protected areas, which leads to a higher level of perceived crowding. Tourists tend to spend less time in easily accessible areas and rarely choose such areas as the venue for an overnight stay. Moreover, improved accessibility increases the demand for the development of further infrastructure needed to cope with the environmental pressure from tourism. The processes relating to improved accessibility observed in this study emphasize the importance of preserving particular nature destinations in an undeveloped state in order to provide a wide range of recreational opportunities for local people as well as for foreign visitors.
Accessibility of a natural area is an important factor affecting tourism development and a critical management tool to control the area’s future state. The following management implications are drawn from this study:
Accessibility is one of the most critical variables in the planning of tourism development in nature destinations.
Improved accessibility to protected areas will increase the demand for further infrastructure development to meet the needs of a higher number of tourists visiting the area and to cope with their environmental pressure.
Improved accessibility leads to changes in visitor behaviour and subsequently the type of tourism operated in protected natural areas.
It is fundamental for planners and decision makers to recognize these processes in order to ensure the most sustainable and environmentally sound tourism development.
Accessibility improvements to protected natural areas should be planned in line with the goals of nature conservation and tourism development.