Degree students from Falmouth Marine School and Cornwall College Newquay have just returned from a very cold trip to Grundarfjörður and Reykjavik in Iceland.
The Marine Science students conducted ecology surveys, viewed whales, dolphins and orcas in their natural environment, visited Hvalfjordur, known as the birth place of aquaculture, and received several key note lectures from leading experts in their field.
Tutor Duncan Jones commented: “I visited Iceland last year and noticed that as a destination it covers a lot of what we teach on the course. Its fits in with marine spatial planning as the government is pushing for sustainable tourism and there is a big focus on how that is managed; the balance between humans and nature, something our students are only too familiar with. There are also similar species and the cold climate provides an interesting comparison point.”
Whilst in Iceland the students met with head guide and researcher of Laki Tours, Marie Mrusczok. She delivered a lecture based on her PHD of studying Orcas in the wild. Falmouth Marine School Student Charlie Murphy said: “The highlight of the trip for me was seeing a pod of 8 Orcas in their natural environment after hearing from a leading expert in orca behavior.”
Charlie Continued: “Duncan was the perfect tour guide, imparting his knowledge and utilising his contacts to provide us with an array of leading experts. We also had a free day and many of us went diving in Silfra which was unbelievable.”
Cornwall College Newquay student Claire Dixon: “Iceland was truly an amazing and unforgettable experience. Every day was an exciting learning experience and some of them were definitely life changing; seeing a different lifestyle and different wildlife was really awesome. Iceland was truly an amazing and unforgettable experience.”
Head of Falmouth Marine School Justin Olosunde commented: “These trips are an integral part of the courses at Falmouth Marine School and Cornwall College Newquay. As well as the course related educational value the students get a chance to see and experience a location where they might one day be working as well as becoming familiar with a new country and culture.”