Water, Ice and the Origin of Life in the Universe
Third Nordic-Hawaii Summer School
Iceland, 1 - 13 July 2015


General information

The programme of the summer course can be downloaded as an .xls file here.

The summer school will consist of 3 parts, the first and the third part will take place in Reykjavik, the second part (which includes field work and excursions) will be based at Hvolsvöllur in Southern Iceland, close to the field sites. The programme includes:

  • Lectures by internationally leading scientists covering a broad range of astrobiology
  • Excursions to geologically & biologically interesting sites (lava caves, new lava fields, solfatares, geysers, formations from hyaloclastic eruptions, etc.)
  • In-situ life detection investigation of volcanic rock and glacier colonization
  • 2 Poster sessions for students and early career scientists
  • Participant-led discussions about forefront-topics
Iceland is a uniquely suitable venue for the summer school, offering both easily accessible lava fields and glaciers in close proximity and an analog environment for NASA planetary exploration studies. The newly lava-covered areas stemming from the Eyjafjallajökull and Fimmvörduhals volcanic eruptions provides a unique opportunity for the envisaged field work.

The programme of the summer course can be downloaded as a .xls file here.

Poster sessions

The poster sessions will be held on Wednesday, 1 July 2015 and Thursday 2 July 2015 19:00-21:00 at the Gullteigur room on the ground floor. A buffet dinner will be served then. Posters can be put up from Wednesday 1 July lunchtime on. Please remove the posters on 3 July in the morning at the latest. The poster sessions are aiming to allow participants to present their work, so even posters a bit remote from the course subjects are welcome. Poster boards are white and have a width of 95 cm as well as a heigth of 1.50m. So DIN A0 works, but only in portrait .

Participants will be allowed a 4 minutes presentation for their posters (no discussion). The presentation will take place in the Háteigur room (the same as the lectures). Powerpoint slides can be used. For a smooth run of these poster talks, they are asked to bring their talks on a memory stick or CD-ROM.

There might be a possibility toget the posters printed in Iceland, so that you do not have to carry them with you. A company called Syningakerfi, which is located very close to the venue (across the street) will be able to provide this service. Please contact them if you want to use this possibility. The conference organisers cannot, however, give any guarantee for timely printing of the posters.


On several days we will have excursions to glaciers, Mars-like landscapes, lava fields etc. To take part in these excursions, you should be of reasonable health. Please inform us if that is not the case. Also, drop us a line, if you are exceptionally tall or short or have a very small/large shoe size. We would also stress that part of the summer school has expedition character and we have to have packed lunches some times. So, if you have many and very difficult requirements and/or are an extremely picky eater, this summer school might maybe not be the right thing to you.

Important: Please read the instruction about clothing and equipment under the Practical Infos
webpage carefully. For smooth running of the course and safety of all participants course organisers reserve the right to exclude participants from excursions if their equipment or state is deemed insuffient to take part.

Sampling at lava field Glacier excursion Sampling at hot springs