WORK/PROJECT: SEEDS volunteers in this project will have the unique opportunity to work in 2 of the most amazing places in Iceland! Part of the time will be spent working at the largest National Park in Europe, the Vatnajökull National Park and the rest of the time at the Þórsmörk Nature Reserve!!
SEEDS Iceland will continue building the partnership with the Environmental agency of Iceland (Umhverfisstofnun) and the volunteers will support a research project on invasive species conducted by a team of scientist from the University of Iceland and the Soil Conservation Service of Iceland (Landgræðsla ríkisins); the research project focuses on the use, management and control of invasive species in Iceland with focus on the Lupine plant from Alaska.
Volunteers will additionally work with the leaders and trail teams of Umhverfisstofnun; work may be physically demanding and involve hikes to reach the sites. Well maintained paths enable people to visit these amazing areas without damaging them and this important work also helps to improve their safety. No previous experience needed as training will be provided by experienced leaders.
In the reserve of Þórsmörk volunteers will work with the administration of the reserve running the visitors' area, the mountain huts, the housing facilities and the surrounding areas in the vicinity.
Volunteers will support the rangers in all different types of activities in order to ensure the proper running of the visitors' area including the services in the accommodation huts, the camping site, the geothermal pool, the sauna, the canteen and reception building. Additional tasks may be related to maintenance and marking of walking paths and hiking trails, as of the mountain huts, painting and renovation works on the cabins, along with forestry works.
Tasks will be diverse, therefore flexibility and open-mind is expected from the volunteers. The work is to be planned with the rangers and SEEDS coordinator depending on the needs; volunteers may work on short shifts every day/night for a total of 35 hours/week.
ACCOMMODATION: Volunteers will sleep in tents. In the reserve of Þórsmörk, we will have access to one of the mountain huts and part of the group may stay indoors if wished. Food ingredients will be provided and a kitchen will be available, volunteers will share the duties of preparing and cooking meals. A warm sleeping bag is strongly recommended.
LOCATION: SEEDS volunteers will work in 2 of the most beautiful places in Iceland!! Part of the project will take place at the largest National Park in Europe, Vatnajökull N.P., stretching from the south coast to the north coast of the island; it is the largest protected wilderness in Europe. It covers around 15.000 km2 (15% of the surface of Iceland), including all of Vatnajökull glacier, the former Skaftafell N.P., Jokulsargljufur N.P. and surrounding area. Due to the size of Vatnajökull National Park it is established and operated under special law, it is an autonomous government agency that requires cooperation between nine municipalities.
The other part of the project will take place in Þórsmörk, in the south of Iceland, located between 3 glaciers in a place of surreal beauty and breathtaking landscapes. The only access to this wondrous place is by a powerful or altered jeep/truck to cross the treacherous rivers. It is one of the most beautiful places in Iceland, surrounded by natural boundaries like mountains, ice caps and Glacier Rivers & glacier lagoons, decorated with small birch woods and silver lined with humming brooks. Þórsmörk is famous for spectacular nature and very popular to visit and go hiking. The unique trails "Laugavegur" and "Fimmvörðuháls" start/end there; it is perfect for nature lovers.
LANGUAGE: English will be the official language in the camp; high proficiency is not a requirement.
TERMINAL: International Airport: Keflavík (Reykjavík), KEF. Closest bus stop is at Skaftafell. SEEDS organises the "minibus option", a shared transport from Reykjavík to the workcamps and vice versa, which apart from being cheaper and more convenient, allows volunteers to meet fellow campers and have a relaxed trip to the project, while stopping on the way for interesting sites.
SPECIAL REMARKS / EXTRAS: Participation fee EUR 150,- (Euros). Remote, isolated places of extreme beauty! Please bring your swimwear to enjoy the geothermal pool and the sauna!