2023 Icelandic Field Stations

Our Core Team

Dylan Gauthier is an artist, curator, designer and educator whose practice investigates relationships between ecology, architecture, landscape, pedagogy, collaboration, and social change. Gauthier is a founder of the boatbuilding and publishing collective Mare Liberum (www.thefreeseas.org) and of the Sunview Luncheonette (www.thesunview.org), a co-op for art, politics, and poetics in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. His individual and collective projects have been exhibited at the Centre Pompidou-Musée national d’art moderne, The Parrish Art Museum, CCVA at Harvard University, 2016 Biennale de Paris, Center for Architecture, The International Studio and Curatorial Program-ISCP, EFA Project Space, Pioneer Works, Walker Art Center, the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, and at numerous other venues in the US and abroad. He holds an MFA in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College, CUNY in 2012.

Þorvarður (Thorri) Árnason is an interdisciplinary environmental humanist, landscape photographer and experimental filmmaker. He is the director of the University of Iceland’s Hornafjörður Research Center in Southeast Iceland. His scholarly work, including the Icelandic Landscape Project, mainly concerns landscape and wilderness, management of protected areas, and climate change. He has also worked extensively in applied projects, especially concerning sustainable rural development and sustainable tourism. His work has been published, screened and exhibited in various international contexts.

Frida Foberg (Program Manager, Field Stations) is a Swedish community-oriented artist, architect and educator based in New York. She holds an MA in Architecture from Aarhus School of Architecture. Her work unfolds the space that flows between individuals and their contexts. By working with spatial elements encouraging interaction and reflection, she poses questions that explore the notion of self and others. Frida has served as the associate director of the non profit arts and education organization Arts Letters & Numbers where she worked with UNICEF, China Academy of Fine Art, Cooper Union, Big Picture Learning, Art Council Korea, Education Reimagined, Iowa State University, National Coalition Building Institute, and Youth fx, to develop interdisciplinary programs, creating a platform to rethink and expand the field of architecture, education and social awareness. Frida works actively with communities and organizations, holding space for the multitude of voices and their interactions.

Dr. Megan Hicks is an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at Hunter College. She teaches courses on Archaeology of Colonialism, Urban Archaeology, Archaeology of Gender, and Methods in Archaeological Science to both undergraduate and graduate students. In addition to teaching, Dr. Hicks oversees various aspects of laboratory training, research and fieldwork coordination within the department, and works to provide training opportunities for students. Outside of Hunter College, Dr. Hicks served as the field director of excavation in Iceland, focusing on the 1100-year histories of farming, hunting, and harvesting in the Mývatn region. Her research focuses on the use of archaeological methods to understand long-term relationships among communities and their environments, with a special focus on how these relations were impacted by colonial market economies. Her goal is to help further the ways in which archaeological techniques can contribute to environmental stewardship and community sovereignty. Dr. Hicks’ research has been published in the Oxford University Press Handbook of Historical Ecology and Applied Archaeology. She obtained her PhD in anthropology and archaeology from the City University of New York Graduate Center.

Viðar Hreinsson grew up on a farm in Northern Iceland and completed a Mag. Art degree in literary studies at the University of Copenhagen in 1989. Former director of the Reykjavík Academy, he is an independent literary scholar and environmental activist currently based at the Stefansson Arctic Institute, the Reykjavik Academy and the Icelandic Museum of Natural History. Viðar has taught and lectured on Icelandic literary and cultural history at universities in Canada, the USA and Scandinavia and has published a number of scholarly papers. He is the General Editor of The Complete Sagas of Icelanders I-V (1997). His two-volume biography of Icelandic Canadian poet Stephan G. Stephansson, published in Iceland 2002 and 2003, appeared in English in one volume as Wakeful Nights (2012). Both versions received nominations and awards. His latest work is a 760 p. monograph, Jón lærði og náttúrur náttúrunnar (Jón the Learned and the Natures of Nature, 2016) on the 17th century conception of nature and the life of Jón Guðmundsson the Learned (1574-1658), a self-educated scholar, historian, poet, rebel, magician, healer and artist. It was nominated for the Icelandic Literary Award, and received the special award for academic work of outstanding quality from Hagþenkir, the Assocation of Icelandic Non-fiction Writers. Presently Viðar is working on various projects within environmental humanities and cultural sustainability, including the international transdisciplinary research project Reflections of Change: The Natural World in Literary and Historical Sources from Iceland ca. AD 800 to 1800 (2017-2020) funded by The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences.

Dr. Catherine Ingraham is President of the Board of the Wright-Ingraham Institute (WII) and a Full Professor in the Graduate Program of Architecture at Pratt Institute, a program which she chaired from 1999-2005. She also has been a Visiting Faculty member at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, since 2016. Ingraham earned her Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University and was an editor, with Michael Hays and Alicia Kennedy, of the critical journal Assemblage. Ingraham has lectured at multiple national and internationals schools of architecture and published widely in journals and book collections. Her books include Architecture, Animal, Human (Routledge Press, London 2006), Architecture and The Burdens of Linearity (Yale University Press, New Haven 1998). She is currently working on two books, Architecture, Property and the Pursuit of Happiness and Worlds Between. Ingraham has won numerous fellowships and awards, including the Canadian Center for Architecture Fellowship, Graham Foundation grants, and MacDowell residencies. Catherine leads the StudyTank program at the WII.

Dr. Árni Daníel Júlíusson is a historian affiliated with the Reykjavík Academy and, since 2017, with the University of Iceland. Dr. Daníel´s research interests lie in the complex interaction between the environment, human subsistence and the effects of social stratification. Among these effects can be counted social conflict and the activities of social movements. His field of research is pre-industrial peasant farming society, primarily in Iceland. Árni Daníel studied at the University of Iceland and, from 1988, contributed to a major publishing project, the Icelandic Historical Atlas (3 vols., 1989-1993). He then initiated his Ph.D. studies, graduating from the University of Copenhagen in 1997 with a Ph.D. thesis titled “Peasants in the time of the Plague”, which was an analysis of Icelandic peasant farmer society 1300-1700. From 1997 Árni Daníel was active in the establishment of the Reykjavík Academy, a collective of independent scholars of the arts and humanities in Reykjavík, and has been an active member ever since. In 2005 he began work with others on the Agricultural History of Iceland, which appeared in four vols. 2013. Árni Daníel wrote vols. 1 and 2. Árni Daníel is active in several research projects concerning environmental history, including the international transdisciplinary research project Reflections of Change: The Natural World in Literary and Historical Sources from Iceland ca. AD 800 to 1800 (2017-2020) funded by The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences. His latest publication is Miðaldir í skuggsjá Svarfaðardals, a book which deals with the medieval history of Svarfaðardalur with an interdisciplinary methodology, using archaeology, environmental history and conventional historical sources to paint a nuanced picture of the history of this region 800-1500 AD.

Astrid Ogilve is a Senior Scientist at the Stefansson Arctic Institute in Akureyri, Iceland and a Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR) at the University of Colorado in Boulder. She demonstrates excellence across her three focal areas of research, leadership and service and education. Her research interests include: Historical Climatology; Human Ecology of Arctic and Subarctic regions; environmental, social, and human history of countries bordering the North Atlantic regions, in particular Norway, Iceland, Greenland, Orkney and Labrador/Newfoundland; North Atlantic fisheries history; the Viking period; the analysis of primary historical texts (in English, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish and Danish); and Sustainability and Adaptability in the contemporary Arctic. Ogilve is one of the foremost climate historians, an internationally recognised leader in her field, the author of some 100 scientific papers and two edited books. As Principal Investigator (PI) she has led 9 interdisciplinary international research projects funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) of the USA and has been Co-PI on 3 other NSF projects. She has led projects funded by the Research Council of Iceland (RANNÍS), and been Co-PI on grants from a number of other funding bodies. She currently leads the project “Reflections of Change: The Natural World in Literary and Historical Sources from Iceland ca. AD 800 to 1800” funded by the Swedish Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (for the Advancement of the Humanities and the Social Sciences) and co-leads the Nordforsk-funded Centre of Excellence project “Arctic Climate Predictions: Pathways to Resilient, Sustainable Societies (ARCPATH)”. She is a Co-PI (PI Professor Leslie King) on the project “Northern Knowledge for Resilience, Sustainable Environments and Adaptation in Coastal Communities (NORSEACC)” funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHR). She is also a Co-PI on the recently-funded Belmont Forum project “Understanding Resilience and Long-Term Ecosystem Change in the High Arctic: Narrative-Based Analyses from Svalbard (SVALUR)”. She currently (June 2020) has four pending research grant applications. She has demonstrated international excellence in leadership through internal and external appointments, including serving as Associate Director of INSTAAR (with over 200 faculty), serving on the board of ARCUS (the Arctic Research Consortium of the US) during 2002-2008 and on the board of the European Science Foundation BOREAS programme (2007-2010). She is currently on the board of the Human Ecodynamics Research Centre at the City University of New York. During 2014 she was the Visiting Nansen Professor of Arctic Research at the University of Akureyri in Iceland. In addition, she has served on the editorial board of five international journals and is currently a Senior Boardmember on the “Journal of Arctic and Alpine Research.” 

Gísli Pálsson is a Icelandic Anthropologist, born in 1949 in Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland. He was a professor of anthropology at the University of Iceland until his retirement in 2019. He currently holds the Professor Emeritus title in the anthropology Department at the University of Iceland. Gísli has published works in the fields of Social Anthropology, Environmental Anthropology and Molecular Anthropology. Gísli’s main focus in anthropology has been involving Ethnography, and more specifically, in the field of Genomic Anthropology.

Dr. Ragnhildur Sigurðardóttir received B.S. degrees in biology and geology from University of Iceland (1991 and 1992), a masters of forest science degree from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (1995), and masters of philosophy and masters of science and doctorate degrees in ecology from Yale University (2000 and 2001). Raga is an expert on nature conservation issues in Iceland. Since year 2000, she has been working on different research projects and within the interface between academia, NGOs, management and policy. Since 2014 most of Raga´s research effort has been in historical ecology and sustainability studies of human and natural systems in Iceland over long time scales. Raga was a co-founder and manager of the Audlind Nature Heritage Fund in 2008, which has wetland protection and wetland reclamation as main objectives. She has been on steering and management committees for several international research projects funded by the European Commission. She was the chair of the Fulbright Alumni Association in Iceland from 2008-2015 and has been on the board of several different associations and NGOs. Apart from being an independent scholar, Raga has been a scientist at the Environmental Agency of Iceland, on the faculty of the Agricultural University in Iceland, project manager at the University Centre of South Iceland, and been a visiting scholar at University of Washington, Seattle. Raga was the chairman of the governmental scientific committee on genetically modified organisms, appointed by the environmental minister of Iceland from 2011-2013. Raga has co-edited two books in English, Forest and Society: Sustainability and Life Cycles of Forests in Human Landscapes, published by CAB International in 2007, and River of Life: Sustainable Practices of Native Americans and Indigenous Peoples, published by deGruyter in 2013. Raga has furthermore participated in writing Forest Certification: Roots, Issues, Challenges, and Benefits, published by CRC Press in 2000 and Sustainability Unpacked: Food, Energy and Water for Resilient Environments and Societies, published by Earthscan in 2010. Raga‘s current research projects are in conservation biology, policy, natural resource management ecosystem ecology and on the interaction of humans and nature and the sustainability of human land-uses on current and historical time scales, including Investigations of the Long Term Sustainability of Human Ecodynamic Systems in Northern Iceland (supported by the US National Science Foundation), and carbon turnover and nutrient cycling in Icelandic forest and highland ecosystems.

Sigurður Torfi Sigurðsson’s research focuses on Applied Traditional Ecological Knowledge, specifically as it relates to modern agriculture and rural social development. Sigurður holds a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Sciences and an MBA.

Skúli Skúlason is Professor Department of Aquaculture and Fish Biology, Hólar University, Iceland. Skúlason studies processes of diversification within species, with an integrated approach to ecology, evolution and development, and a focus on freshwater fishes. Related to this, he is interested in the philosophical basis of biology, especially theories about the organism-environment relationship, the concept of biological diversity, the sources of values in nature and environmental ethics. More specifically, Skúli’s research focuses on the importance of intraspecific resource polymorphism and speciation in freshwater fishes, with emphasis on Arctic charr (Salvelinus alpinus) and threespine stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus). He examines the dynamic nature of this diversity and in what way increased knowledge of this dynamism can orientate future research, as well as management and conservation, of aquatic biodiversity. This is relevant, considering the growing awareness of anthropogenic environmental effects such as overfishing and climatic change and the need to constructively develop sustainable approaches in this respect. He holds a MASTS Visiting Fellowship from the School of Biology, University of St Andrews, and teaches at Hólar University College, Iceland.

Guðrún Tryggvadóttir grew up in Svartárkot in the Bárðardalur walley. She graduated with a Bachelor of Education from the University of Akureyri. She runs a farm in Svartárkot together with her sister Sigurlína, their husbands and children. The farm has 360 sheep, 4 horses and 4 dogs. The sisters grew up learning to appreciate the wilderness and nature, fishing, hunting mink and working on the farm with their parents. From a young age they travelled the highlands and developed a great respect for the region. They are interested in folk tales, oral heritage and all sorts of stories from the area. Guðrún has participated in multinational cooperative projects such as the Northern Environmental Education Deveolopment project (NEED) founded by the Northern Periphery Programme (NPP) and PIPPI PÅ SLJØD, a cultural heritage programme in the Scandinavian countries, as well as some projects within a farmers´ association in the Nordic countries. Guðrún and Sigurlína have managed a wide range of cultural projects in the area. For many years they have managed diverse courses in the community. Currently Guðrún is the Chairman of the Farmers Association of Þingeyjarsýsla County (BSSÞ) and Vice Chairman of the Farmers Association of Iceland.

Auður Viðarsdóttir is a PhD candidate in the field of ethnology at the University of Iceland, conducting a qualitative inquiry into the eating habits of people in Iceland. The research is a part of a multi-disciplinary project titled “Sustainable healthy diets: Filling the gaps and paving the way for a sustainable future”. She is also a musician, currently performing under the stage name ‘rauður’, as well as a feminist activist and educator through initiatives such as Stelpur rokka! (Girls rock camp in Iceland) and Synth Babes (a feminist electronic music collective). She regularly teaches workshops on electronic music making and creative field recording to children and adults alike. She recently joined the Svartárkot Culture Nature programme to manage the website, social media and communication and develop further international collaborative projects.

Guðný Zoéga is a faculty member at Hólar University College, where she teaches rural tourism. Her research expertise is in bioarchaeology in Iceland, and she has published numerous articles and books on this subject.


Ari Bell (he/him, US)
Affiliation: University of Virginia
Research Areas: Landscape Architecture

Rebecca Hill (she/her, US)
Affiliation: Independent Scholar, Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center
Research Areas: Environmental Poetry, Refugees/Migration, Middle Ages

Simone Kaplan-Senchak (she/her, US)
Affiliation: CUNY Graduate Center
Research Areas: Environmental Humanities, Extractivism, Energy Politics, Norway, Landscape, Indigenous Nationalism

Jan Kreibich (he/him, Australia)
Affiliation: Centre for Ecosystem Science & Water Research Laboratory, University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney
Research Areas: Large-scale ecosystem restoration with focus on rivers and wetlands, integrating environmental and cultural values

Solveig Landa (she/her, Norway)
Affiliation: Tou Atelierhus (studio) and Tou Trykk (printmaking workshop) in Stavanger
Research Areas: Fine Art, printmaking and sculpture

Gina Lee (she/her, US)
Affiliation: University of Virginia
Research Areas: Landscape Architecture

Chloe Levine (she/her, US)
Affiliation: Lewis and Clark College
Research Areas: Biology/Environmental Studies

Nazrul Nazri (he/him, Ireland)
Affiliation: Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin
Research Areas: Environmental History, Cultural Heritage, Climate Adaptation, Traditional Water Management

Marilyn Berlin Snell (she/her, US)
Affiliation: Independent Journalist
Research Areas: Environment, Climate Change – equity, energy, and environmental issues in frontline communities of South Los Angeles

David Winter (he/him, Canada)
Affiliation: Brandon University, Canada
Research Areas: Medieval and Early Modern European History, the preternatural, Iceland

Daniel Wright (he/him, US)
Affiliation: University of Virginia
Research Areas: Landscape Architecture, Urban and Environmental Planning