Acquainting students with the latest methods of mapping landslides and associated natural hazards was the goal of an international field trip called “Geospatial technologies in hazard research and response”, which took place in Iceland in mid-August and was attended by students from Palacký University Olomouc, the University of Innsbruck, and the University of Iceland.
“The course in Iceland was very beneficial. What I appreciate most is that I could use my theoretical knowledge and verify it directly in the field, where we spent all our time, regardless of the weather. The great thing was that each day was designed differently and everything was smoothly connected. For example, we went on a day-long survey where we used geophysical methods. The path was not easy, we literally climbed almost to the top of the ridge, where we examined the presence of permafrost and the structure of the subsoil,” said Matěj Kašpar, a student of Regional Geography.
The field trip was focused on the surroundings of the city of Seyðisfjörður, which is in danger of landslides and avalanches every year. “The first two days were focused more on geological mapping and physical geography tools. We also focused on participatory mapping and methods of human/socio-economic geography,” added Jiří Pánek from the Department of Development and Environmental Studies, who coordinated the field trip at Palacký University.
Even before the field trip itself, Olomouc students took advantage of the unique opportunity to see an active volcano in the Fagradalsfjall area. “Best of all, it was a great group of people and the relationships with the teachers were very friendly. The collection of soft data was also interesting. Almost every Icelander cooperated with us and shared their experiences, which was great. I can certainly recommend a similar course,” added Kašpar.
The field trip was financed by the Aurora Alliance. The teaching staff included staff from the University of Iceland, Palacký University, and the Icelandic Meteorological Service.