My name is Kai Cromwell ’19 and I am a senior Geoscience and GIS (Geographic Information Science) major at Carthage. This summer I was presented with an opportunity to work with Global Treks and Adventures as a member of their scout team to northern and western Iceland!
Iceland has long been at the top of my bucket list, and when presented with the opportunity, I knew I could not pass it up. In simplest terms, Global Treks is interested in developing a guide for sustainable traveling, specific to the aforementioned regions of Iceland. Given my GIS background, my primary role is developing a trail map and displaying important data points through an online mapping software. Though I do not have the opportunity to spend the entire summer in Iceland, I have been responsible for pre-trip research which included literature and satellite image review.
This project is unique to Iceland as the local tourism industry has grown at an unprecedented rate, so much as 20 percent annually since 2010. My research has primarily focused on the growth of the industry and how to sustain both the economic prosperity and the environment. Our pre-trip research began about a month before our time in Iceland, but is now complete! I arrived at 6:30 a.m. local time (1:30 A.M. CST) on July 21 at Keflavik International Airport, on the southwest side of the island. I then traveled by myself along the southern coast of the island to Vik, Hof, and Höfn, with plenty of stops along the way.