Continuing Education

Glaciers, Volcanoes and the Sea: A Scientific Tour of Iceland

Join UW-Whitewater as we explore the science behind Iceland’s geology and landscape.

Join UW-Whitewater’s resident geology expert for a hands-on working tour of Iceland, a country surrounded by oceans, built upon active volcanos, and buried under glaciers. Visit geothermal pools and geysers, archeological digs, glaciers, and sea coasts. Participate in research experiments, learn how they are being conducted, and even lend a hand gathering data in this guided tour of Iceland’s hot (and cold) spots! 

Date:  Friday, July 17 - Friday, July 24, 2020 

Limited to the first 12 registrants.

Register Online Register Today!

Registrations accepted online until 2/1/20.  


$3,150/person (double occupancy)

$1,000 deposit due to reserve spot by February 1, 2020.

Remaining due March 25, 2020

CEU: $15

Pay by Check Discount:

Registrants can receive a $100 discount off their fee by paying by check.  Make sure to check "I will be paying by check" discount in the registration.  Discounts cannot be applied after you register and pay.  You will be charged $100 if you pay by credit card.

What is Included in the Cost?

Consider this trip a tour activity once you arrive in Iceland. Your local tour director and UW-Whitewater faculty will pick you up at the Keflavík International Airport on July 17, 2020 and will return you to the same on July 24, 2020. They will be with you on the first day and each day of your journey. Price includes all of your transportation, accommodations, and group meals between the time we pick you up and drop you off.

Your airfare to Iceland and any self-guided activities are not included.

During the trip, there will be unscheduled time to allow you to explore various points of interest independently. Whatever you do on these self-guided excursions is at your own additional expense.

Because we are not offering group air travel, we encourage you to begin your trip prior to tour start, or to extend your stay in Iceland after the 24th. Consider this tour your starting point for a grand tour of Iceland.

Accommodations will typically include 3 or 4 adults to a room with shared bathrooms. Meals are served family style. Most lunches will be packed and carried to site. Please note: vegetables are very expensive in Iceland as all but cucumbers and tomatoes are imported. If you have dietary restrictions or special needs, please share those with us at registration.

  • 7 nights accommodations
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 5 lunches
  • 6 dinners
  • 5 days of guided educational tours and experiments
  • Private motor coach
  • 3 individual exploration/excursion opportunities

Included highlights:

  • Reykjavik
  • The Golden Circle
  • Great Geyser geothermal area
  • Thingvellir National Park
  • Gullfoss (Golden Waterfall)
  • Vatnajökull National Park
  • Eyjafjallajökull volcano
  • Seljalandsfoss
  • The Reykjanes Peninsula
  • Lake Thingvellir
  • Sólheimajökull Glacier
  • Jökulsár Glacier Lagoon
  • Reynisfjara


All registrant accounts must be paid in full by March 25, 2020.  Registrants with outstanding balances after payment is due in full are subject to being removed from the event roster without refund. Please contact Continuing Education Services at prior to this deadline if extenuating circumstances prevent you from completing a payment.

In the event of a cancellation, Continuing Education Services should be notified no later than March 25, 2020 in order to receive a refund, less the $1,000 non-refundable deposit.  NO REFUNDS will be given for withdrawal due to late arrivals, early departures or no show.

All cancellation requests must be submitted to; provide registrant's name and event title. Refunds will be returned to name and address of payer.

We reserve the right to cancel any event due to low enrollment; in such a case, all fees paid will be refunded by check.

Received a Sponsorship or Discount?

For those participants who will be receiving a sponsorship to attend this event: Register and use the promo code your sponsor gave you. The sponsorship will be deducted from your invoice.  Any remaining balance remains the participant's responsibility. Any cancellations will result in the sponsorship funds being returned to the supporting organization.

Any qualifying discounts given by the event will not be applied after you have paid in full. Be sure to use the promo code at check out to receive your discount. You will be charged if you do not qualify for requested discount at the start of event.

A processing fee will be assessed if a refund is issued due to overpayment on your account.

Questions, received an award/scholarship without a promo code or want to use two promo codes? Please call Continuing Education Services at 262-472-3165 or email

Want to Sponsor a Registrant?

You can sponsor a registrant and cover all or partial fees. We have received requests in the past from schools, companies and organizations that would like to send their chosen registrant to a specific event. If you would like to sponsor a registrant, you can request a promo code that you may give to your chosen registrant. Click here for more details.

Register Online

To reserve your spot you must register online using the above "Register Online" link. You will be asked the following questions:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Address
  • Phone
  • Roommate Requests
  • Health and dietray information
  • Special Needs/Comments
  • Payment Type: Pay later (by check) or credit card
  • Discount of $100 if you will be paying by check
  • Flight information to and from Iceland
  • Yes Only Option: You understand that you must check-in at Keflavik International Airport with UW-Whitewater Faculty member as designated location.

Confirmation Emails

Once you register a confirmation email will be sent to your email account. Contact if you do not receive this confirmation email. Historically email accounts used from and are blocked from receiving notifications from us or may end up in your spam folder. You are able to register using these accounts; however, you will not receive emails from us. Please make sure you have a working email address on file with us to be able to receive important announcements and updates about this event.


Your local tour director and UW-Whitewater faculty will pick you up at the Keflavík International Airport on July 17, 2020.  Provide your flight information in registration or email if changes are made.

Airport/Flight Information

Registrant will need to arrive at Keflavik International Airport.  Will be picked up by Tour guide. 

Activity Level:

Moderate physical activity on uneven ground. All activities are “go at your own pace” and optional.  Accommodations will be made to itinerary as necessary.  Expect total hiking/waking of several miles a day, but not all at once.


Average July temperature in Iceland should vary between 51 and 62 degrees Fahrenheit. Weather patterns vary widely during the day. Expect to travel with your coat at all times. Wind is a relative constant from mild gusts to blowing gales. During your visit, Iceland will be experiencing Midnight Sun with only a few hours of darkness a night.


Iceland is widely reputed to be one of the safest countries in the world for travel. Crime rate is low. Medical care is excellent. However, weather conditions and natural hazards caused by weather can happen at a moment’s notice.


English is taught as a second language in Iceland with most Icelanders considered fluent.

Money and Iceland:

The currency in Iceland is the Icelandic krona; however, most businesses accept US dollars. Most natives and tourists alike simply use credit and debit cards. Don’t worry about carrying cash for gratuities at meals, transport, and taverns: tipping, while welcome, is not required.

What to pack/not provided:

Strongly Recommended gear list
  • Day backpack/bag for carrying your water, lunch, rainjacket…etc.
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen ± lip balm (SPF 30+)
  • Water bottle, at least 1, but 2 would be better
  • Flashlight(s): LED Headlamp/compact flashlight (preferably both) and required batteries
  • As a general rule, plan on layering – conditions change rapidly so it is best to be able to adjust over the course of the day. A good strategy is a warm underlayer (e.g. sweater) with a waterproof/windproof overlayer. With this concept in mind bring the following: 
    • Sun hat(baseball cap or wide rim)
    • Warm hat with ear protection, scarf, and gloves/mitts
    • Waterproof/windproof jacket and pants (i.e. Raingear – It will rain & possibly snow!). Water resistant will not work and lightweight ‘breathable’ rainwear tends to rapidly saturate and fail
    • Fleece ± warm jacket (jackets with artificial insulation are preferable to down since down permanently loses most of its ability to insulate after it gets wet (remember the item immediately above about the rain) 
    • Quick-dry walking shirt/pants (shorts will be unnecessary)
    • Warm undergarments including long underwear, undershirts, & thermal socks
  • Flip flops/sandals/indoor shoes for use while in the base camp (outdoor boots/shoes should be removed at the door)
  • Comfortable hiking shoes/hiking boots/walking shoes, preferably waterproof.
  • Swimwear (for use in public swimming pools or hot springs) and sleepwear
  • Medications/personal first aid kit and personal toiletries
  • Passport and photocopy of Passport
  • Visa entry details/confirmation hardcopy (Canadian and US citizens do not currently need a Visa to enter Iceland; however, other nationalities please check your visa requirements)
  • Power adaptor and possibly a converter (step-down transformer) for the Icelandic power grid. Electricity in Iceland is 220v and uses the Europlug/Schuko-Plug (CEE types) which has 2 round prongs (check online). Most modern personal electronics will accept both 110v and 220v and will only require a plug adapter. Some older, smaller appliances, as well as most portable hair dryers, cannot handle the 220v system and will require a voltage converter. Check on the power cord.

Optional items

    • Camera and charger (± extra memory cards, spare batteries and waterproof case). Please bring a compatible charger (see above)
    • Mobile phone and charger (most of Iceland has cell-phone coverage except for a few interior areas).
    • Pocket knife/Leatherman
    • Ear plugs (if you are a light sleeper they will come in handy) and eye mask (if you are sensitive to light since it does not get completely dark in Iceland during the summer)
    • Binoculars
    • Cards/games/books/journal, tablets, iPod
    • GPS (± batteries or charging cables)
    • Collapsible/Telescoping Trekking Poles (If you have joint issues these are invaluable)
    • Gaiters (keeps the lower legs warm & dry)


    For additional questions, please contact Juk Bhattacharyya at


    Day One

    Visit the Reykjanes Geopark info Centre in Keflavík

    Explore the Reykjanes peninsula, visit the geothermal power plant out on the tip of Reykjanes (where the mid-Atlantic ridge comes ashore)

    Visit Gunnuhver and Seltún (and/or other) geothermal area, take water samples and measure temperature

    Visit lava fields from the 12th century

    Day Two

    Explore the South Coast of Iceland

    • Visit the black sand beaches of Iceland’s South Coast

    • Visit Eyjafjallojull Volcano, and learn about volcanism and volcano monitoring

    • Visit Solheimajokull glacier

    • Visit the Skogafoss waterfall

    Overnight stay at Hvolsvöllur

    Day Three

    Visit Lava Centre

    Visit Saga Centre

    Visit Reynisfjara Beach and columnar basalts

    Visit an underground cave

    Overnight at Hvolsvollur

    Day Four

    Visit National (and UN) soil conservation Centre at Gunnarsholt and see how they are combatting volcanic soil erosion

    Return to Reykjavík from Hvolsvollur

    Overnight at Reykjavík

    Day Five

    Explore the “Golden Circle”

    Visit Thingvellir National Park, the Gulfoss Waterfall, and the Great Geysir

    Visit Hellisheidi Geothermal Power Plant

    Overnight at Reykjavik

    Day Six

    Visit Kleifarvatn, Seltún, Eldborg crater

    Explore Hveragerði Geothermal field and visit University of Iceland Department of Greenhouse Research and Development.

    Visit geothermal bathing pools in Hveragerði

    Overnight at Reykjavik

    Day Seven

    Explore cultural attractions in Reykjavik and surrounding areas

    Day Eight

    Visit the Univ of Iceland's Nature research Centre in Sandgerði

    Visit the Blue Lagoon

    *All times are subject to change.

    Event Staff

    Parjukti Bhattacharyya

    Juk Bhattacharyya

    Prajukti (juk) Bhattacharyya ( is a Professor in the Department of Geography, Geology, and Environmental Science at University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She received her PhD from the University of Minnesota in 2000. Her background is in “Hard Rock Geology” and Geoscience Education. She teaches courses on volcanoes, structural geology, rocks and minerals, plate tectonics, and environmental geology. Her research interests range from geochemical analyses of igneous and metamorphic rocks to volcanic activities. She is also involved in STEM education research, especially in ways to help students learn, and assessment of student learning.

    "I am so excited to be part of this edu-travel platform with the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, This trip was originally created as part of an interdisciplinary travel-study course for all University students, titled “Geology and Physics of Iceland” jointly taught by geology and physics faculty. Now we are opening it up for all to enjoy. Education is a lifelong joy and commitment, and travel to scientifically and culturally unique locations like Iceland can be such a life-enriching process. I highly encourage everyone to consider something a little outside of their normal summer experience and add a trip to Iceland to their must-do for 2020.”

    Special Notice

    The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is committed to equal opportunity in its educational programs, activities and employment policies, for all persons, regardless of race, color, gender, creed, religion, age, ancestry, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation, marital status, Vietnam-era veteran status, parental status and pregnancy.

    If you have any disabling condition that requires special accommodations or attention, please advise us well in advance. We will make every effort to accommodate your special needs.

    By registering for this event you understand that the University may take photographs and or videos of event participants and activities. You will be required to agree at the time of registration that the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater shall be the owner of and may use such photographs and or videos relating to the promotion of future events.  You will relinquish all rights that you may claim in relation to use of said photographs and/or videos.  Any media shared with the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on social media or use of its hashtags grants the University use to media for any purpose.