Three interns at the ITRC

Anneke, Minke & Sascha overlooking Öxarfjörður, North Iceland
Anneke, Minke & Sascha overlooking Öxarfjörður, North Iceland

The Fall 2020, ITRC is hosting three interns. Minke Katie van Netten is a MA student at Uppsala University – Campus Gotland. Minke will be supervised by Íris H. Halldórsdóttir, ITRC, focusing on how tourism enterprises respond to crisis. 

Sascha Keurhorst and Anneke Holtman are students at the University of Applied Sciences Van Hall Larenstein. During their internship, they will study tourism in national parks with a focus on Jökulsárgljúfur (Vatnajökull National Park). Sascha and Anneke) are supervised by Guðrún Þóra Gunnarsdóttir, ITRC, and Guðmundur Ögmundsson, park ranger.




Here is more from the interns themselves:


Intern Minke (smaller pic!) and supervisor Íris (larger pic) on one of their frequent Zoom-meetingsMy name is Minke, I am a student from the Netherlands where I completed a Bachelor’s in Cultural Anthropology and Development Studies and a Master’s in Cultural Geography. These studies gave me interesting insights into people, their cultures and how they use and relate to their environment.

I found cultural heritage to be a recurring theme in these areas of study which made me curious about the workings of cultural heritage and a career in this sector. Searching for a program specifically dedicated to how cultural heritage is understood, used and managed, I enrolled in the Master Cultural Heritage and Sustainability at Uppsala University – Campus Gotland, Sweden.

This program addresses how cultural heritage can contribute to regional development. During this time, I met Thorny from the ITRC at Campus Gotland where she gave an interesting lecture on cruise ship tourism and sustainability issues in Iceland. This is when I knew I wanted to experience working with such complex themes in a research setting. For this internship period, my task will be to assist in a PhD project concerning the impact of COVID 19 on tourism businesses and how they are to be optimally facilitated in these uncertain times.

I am already enjoying my time here – both the internship and the stunning beauty of Akureyri – and am very much looking forward to spending the next few months here!


Sascha and Anneke

Interns Anneke (right) and Sascha (second from right) with the ITRC director Guðrún Þóra (left) and Guðmundur , park ranger in Vatnajökull National Park (second from left)We are Sascha (27) and Anneke (24), studying International Development Management at the University of Applied Sciences Van Hall Larenstein.

We are both majoring in different studies. Anneke is majoring in Rural Development and Innovation and Sascha is majoring in Sustainable Value Chains. Thus, we can combine our knowledge for this internship, which is very valuable!

After the minor Conservation Tourism at Wageningen University & Research, our fascination for tourism grew significantly. It has always been our dream to visit Iceland. Especially, since there is a lot of nature-based tourism. Therefore, we contacted RMF since it is a leading research institute in Iceland with also a lot of experience in guiding interns.

Our research will focus on tourism in National Park Jökulsárgljúfur. We are setting up a research project focusing on whether a shuttle bus service could be feasible in National Park Jökulsárgljúfur as a more sustainable solution to personal vehicles. Therefore we are staying a couple of days in the National Park to collect a lot of information about the area and the functioning of the park.

We are looking forward to spending our time here in Akureyri!