Six Brevard College students recently joined Brevard College Associate Professor of Geology Jim Reynolds on an 18-day, camping field trip throughout Iceland.
The July trip included recent BC graduate Hunter Boyd of Hickory, N.C.; senior Chelsea Shew of Hendersonville, N.C.; senior Billy Swords of Atlanta, Georgia; sophomore Mary Kathryn Webb of Tyler, Texas; sophomore Mark Migliore of Jacksonville, Florida; and incoming freshman Elena Reynolds of Webster, N.C.
Connestee Falls resident Lee McMinn also joined the group that included 14 other college students, faculty members and interested volcanophiles from around the world, including participants from Australia, Germany and Canada.
“Iceland was a nonstop adventure where I met people that I will never forget, experienced their amazing culture, and walked on geological features that have built Iceland into the active island it is today,” said Shew, a General Science major, who is also completing her teacher certification. “Every day was something new to be amazed about.”
Swords, a General Science major who is also working towards his teacher certification, was equally impressed with the island’s offerings especially its “wonderfully effective geothermal energy system, along with kind, strong and intelligent people.”
During the trip, the group visited a geothermal power plant near the capital, Reykjavík, as well the fjords of western and northwestern Iceland. They also traveled to Mývatn – in northeastern Iceland – where they explored volcanoes around the large lake, a large geothermal area, Krafla caldera and Dettifoss, Iceland’s largest waterfall.
While traveling to south Iceland, the group crossed the Sprengisandur – also known as the Central Iceland Desert – passing close to the Vatnajökull, the world’s third largest icecap. They also visited the hot springs and orange mountains of Landmannalaugar.
While based out of Kirkjubæjarklaustar, the group explored the rifts at Eldgjá and Lakagígar – where the two largest eruptions in recorded history took place. They also visited Jökulsárlón, a coastal lagoon that traps hundreds of icebergs that calved off of the Vatnajökull.
The final adventure was an overnight trip to the island of Heimaey – where, in 1973, the Eldfell volcano grew in the town and buried a neighborhood.
“I’m very fortunate to have the opportunities to take students to places like Iceland where they can get a sense of Earth in formation.” added Professor Reynolds. “The only disappointment was that Eyjafjallajökull stopped erupting by the time we arrived. We were able to go right to its base and collect some ash but it would have been icing on the cake to see an actual eruption.”
Reynolds, who has taught at Brevard College since 1999, leads international geological field trips on a regular basis. In the past, Brevard College students have traveled with him to Egypt, Italy, Greece, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil and Costa Rica. He is in the preliminary stages of organizing trips to Costa Rica and the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador for the upcoming year.
To read a travel log and view photos and videos from the group's adventure in Iceland, go to www.travelpod.com/travel-blog/magellanic/4/tpod.htmlRead the full article