Reykjavik and South Iceland

Research Expedition, Summer 2019

 Research in Reykjavik & southern Iceland

This summer’s research expeditions in Iceland will focus on conducting cultural and environmental field research for our upcoming “Anthology of Iceland” publication and our “Hiking Trails of Iceland” publication. Researchers will travel to Iceland for 8 days of field research and then spend 2-3 months, before and after the field research, synthesizing the information to be included in the books we will be publishing. The ultimate goal of these publications is to provide travelers with insight into the majestic world they will be traveling through. This will include information on the island's geography, geology, wildlife, plants, marine life, natural resources, hiking trails, economy, historic and current culture, as well as tourism and its impacts. 

This internship provides you the opportunity to complete pre-trip investigative research, conduct action research for one week in Iceland and spend 2-3 months wrapping up your research from your home or university during the remaining summer or fall semester. Field research in Iceland will be 8 days during June, July, or August, 2019, depending on which team you are selected for.  

Research Objective #1: “Hiking Trails and Field Guide of Iceland” Publication

Explore and document numerous hiking trails in the Reykjavik and southern region of Iceland in order to collect environmental and cultural information to develop a digital trail guide with interactive maps. This will include creating an online interactive geospatial story map in order to convey additional information such as video from our drones. The primary research will focus on the numerous day hikes within driving distance of Reykjavik and include naturalist and cultural information to help people understand the world they are traveling through. We are looking for researchers to help us collect information on: GIS Mapping, common plants and wildlife encountered on the trails, habitats and ecosystems, geography, geology, tourism impacts, Icelandic culture, myths and legends, cultural norms, travel and trail logistics, trail descriptions, photography, video production, travel blogging, WebApp building, and other relevant information.

Research Objective #2: Cultural focus-“Anthology of Iceland” Publication

The researchers on the cultural teams will be working towards developing an anthology of Icelandic culture specific to the Reykjavik and southern region of Iceland. Research the historical and modern culture of Iceland. This will include topics such as gender roles, family dynamics, immigration, police culture, crime, cultural norms, racism, tourism impacts, sustainability, natural resources, environmental topics, photography, and other creative writing pieces. 


What you will gain from this internship

1. You become a contributor in a Global Treks publication (Print or online interactive material).

2. Gain experience designing, researching, collecting, and synthesizing data.

3. Experience traveling abroad and immersing yourself in another culture. 

4. The opportunity to participate in and complete a collaborative project with fellow researchers.

5. Build an impressive resume with job experience that will set you apart from other candidates.

What you can expect

We work with each intern/researcher to set up an individualized topic of research. Working weekly with your Research Director, interns spend 10-15 hours per week for the first couple of weeks working remotely from home or school researching your assigned topic. Interns then spend 1 week conducting action research in Iceland. It is during this time interns investigate their research topic and document the findings gathered through surveys, observations, interviews, literature reviews, and photographs to include in the publication. Each research team is made up of 8-10 researchers and 2 lead researchers/instructors. Interns spend approximately 10 hours per week for the 2 months following the field research, working with their research director to develop their contribution to the book. Our office team and editors provide assistance and feedback on each intern’s chapter content and grammar. Once the book is published, contributing researchers names will appear on the inside front cover as well as in the back of the book with the team’s biographies and head shots.

The interview process

These internships are competitive (over 400 applicants during the first 3 months of our 2018 spring hiring season) and we encourage applicants to be yourself while also putting effort into their application. The online application is a series of short answer questions designed for Global Treks to get to know the candidate, their background, and their personality. Our teams are small, intimate, and efficient and we look for positive and dynamic people to help us make the best publication possible. Once your application is submitted, selected candidates will be contacted for a phone interview. Upon completion of the interview, our selection committee meets once a week to determine the best candidates for each team. If a candidate is offered an internship we provide access to the team’s private expedition page with all of the information needed for the travel and research. Our team will also develop a personalized research plan for each intern researcher. We are also more than happy to help organize internship credit through the interns university.




Check out a past interns video on his research expedition to Iceland in 2017.

THE research base

The teams will share a research base located in a house in Reykjavik or in nearby coastal villages if exploring resources outside of a days drive. Four bedrooms and three bathrooms will be shared (2-4 researchers per bedroom): women, men, and guides will be in separate bedrooms. There will be a mix of shared queen beds and single beds. Two vehicles will be used for group transport for hikes and/or meetings. 

Position Details

-We are looking for students in all professions and majors. Focus areas include creative writing, investigative journalism, anthropology, wildlife, plants, marine life, natural history, tourism, geology, geography, GIS, App development, as well as students interested in the making of a documentary of the expedition. 

- Action Research in Iceland (8 days of field research in June, July, or August during the summer 2019.)

- Mobile Research from any location (3 months/10-15 hours per week during Summer, 2019)

-Are you a student and interested in earning college credit? We will work with your university to ensure that you receive 3-6 credits for your contribution to the cultural and field guide. Credits can be applied to summer or fall semester. 

-100% of book proceeds go into a scholarship fund to aid future interns to participate in publication research. 


1. Develop and publish a hiking guide, online interactive resource and an Anthology of Iceland. 

2. Conduct research on the local culture, hiking trails and the natural environment. 

3. Develop maps, species profiles, narratives of the culture, trails descriptions, descriptions of what people can expect to encounter in the natural environment, as well as any important historical and cultural sites. 

4. Collect high quality photographs to include in the publications and mini-documentary of the expedition. 


travel Costs: $2,400

Whats covered: The travel fee covers lodging, supplies, food, local transportation, and access to educational, natural history, and cultural centers. Basically, once we pick you up at the airport in Iceland you would not have to spend a penny unless you would like to purchase souvenirs.

Whats not covered: Airfare transportation to Iceland not included. We are more than happy to help you book your flight. Flights typically start at $350 depending on your location. We will meet you at the Keflavik airport (airport code KEF) with our company shirts on and a sign that says Global Treks.

*We are happy to assist with scholarship applications and working with your university in order to receive credit.

Hornstrandir 1.jpg

Iceland Expedition Activity Descriptions

Expeditions with Global Treks are unlike any other field research experience on earth. The research we conduct is hands-on, relevant, and applicable to each intern’s academic and career goals. The places we explore are far beyond the realms of a standard classroom. But, what’s it like to live the experience? 

After arriving at the airport and meeting with your team, today is spent acclimating to your new home abroad.  Orientation is provided to your research base and surrounding area. The team spends time getting to know one another and the week’s agenda is outlined in detail.

Research days are absolutely PACKED to the max. Interns work collaboratively as they visit various locations around the country collecting data. Specific data collection techniques match each specific research project. For example, geographers and biologists will collect data via interviews, GPS data point collection and observational species surveys. Anthropology and cultural studies projects will focus more on participant-observations, interviews, photography and collecting film footage. 

Interviews are conducted with professionals, government officials, business owners and employees, everyday citizens and local villagers. Interviews provide depth to the publication by representing as many perspectives as possible for the audience reading the publication. Interns work together throughout their time together to collect data and organize the publication. 

Each evening, researchers work with their guides and directors to expand field notes, learn new field techniques, set goals for the following day and attend various research or writing-related workshops. Each day’s agenda is reviewed the prior evening and intern’s are held accountable daily for their field notes and progress.

Iceland Activities and Places We Will Visit

Reykjadalur Valley: this breathtaking valley is a highlight of southern Iceland. The valley has numerous steam vents, boiling mud pots, a geothermal river, breathtaking views, and numerous back county trails.  


Reykanes Penninsula: a relatively new peninsula that is still geologically active and contains lava tubes, the bridge between two continents, and coastal Icelandic villages.



Hengill Geothermal Area: is a seldom visited geologically active region near Reykjavik that Games of Thrones used for filming due to its dramatic landscape. It is also the location of the Hengill Geothermal power plant and.


Reykjavik: the cultural and economic hub of Iceland is located in the southwestern peninsula of the island. The first and last night of the week will be spent here and you will have access to local businesses, restaurants, religious places of worship, cultural centers, and seasonal festivals. 

Turf Houses: traditional turf houses made of wood, stone, and sod are scattered around the coastline and countryside.



Geothermal Hotsprings: Scattered across the country are unique geothermal hotsprings rich in the minerals of silica and sulfur, which attract people from around the world for their suspected healing powers for all sorts of skin ailments. 


Ready to Apply?


Still have questions? Please visit our FAQ for additional information. 

Catch a glimpse of a research internship:

Iceland Highlights

What past interns have to say about their experience:

Molly M. | LEE University  

"Now being done with school and having a degree in journalism and a passion for traveling, I've been in that stage of life where I'm looking for all different kinds of opportunities to use my skills and expand them as well. I just happened upon this company and trip, and immediately was blown away at all that gets done in just a week's amount of time in the coolest places all over the world. During my time on the boat, I felt so motivated and trusted which makes a huge difference. I feel like I have the fire to write and get work done for the sailing guide professionally and I believe this will put me in the direction I want to go in with travel writing. Personally, I am so grateful to be in a welcoming environment with patience and adventure."

Eric N. | Texan A&M

  "My Global Treks experience was truly one of the best of my life. The trip gave me an incredibly valuable academic experience. I probably learned more about hands-on, geographical data collection during the 8 days with the team than I have in two years at A&M. Though I think that says more about value of quality field experience than it does about any lack of quality from university education, because universities courses are hugely valuable, but nothing can replace high quality field experience. Furthermore, I believe my experience with Global Treks will give me a significant edge when applying to future internships with National Geographic (fingers crossed) and graduate school. 

Joseph B. | Baldwin Wallace University

 "This expedition was an overall amazing experience and definitely one that will stick with me forever. I felt that throughout the trip, my expectations and goals were exceeded. Academically, I was able to conduct valuable field work in regards to both geology and GIS. To be in the field collecting and analyzing samples from a remote location is valuable knowledge that will only help me and help me grow further as an individual in the field of geology. As for GIS, this was the first of GPS tracking and collecting data, so to go into the field and actually learn hands on how to do so is invaluable. I consider myself a hands on learner, so this field work helped me exceptionally and it will help me in the long run to apply these new skills to further my education. Professionally, this expedition taught me how to do real life work outside of the classroom in a group setting and individually. Instead of just doing group work in the lab, I was outside in the field tracking in a team. As well as looking at rock formations and identifying rock types as an individual. Not to mention working as a team throughout the week on the sailboat. That alone took an innumerable amount of teamwork and camaraderie to get through the week. This helped so much especially going into a setting where we were all strangers. You can’t always pick who you work with and you must adapt to the setting and what you’re given. Thankfully, the team was amazing and it was so refreshing to work with such an awesome group of people. Personally, this trip overall was an amazing experience and it was definitely an adventure that helped me grow as an individual. Constantly helping others to accomplish a common goal is something I’m used to because of always being in a team setting, but never in this capacity. Sailing and living on a boat for a week was such an amazing experience and the lessons, memories, adventures, and experience will stick with me forever. I look forward to applying these skills in the future. 

Where are they now?

Greg Farley

Greg was a researcher on the 2016 San Juan Islands expedition. He helped to build the GIS maps for the Naturalist Guide to the San Juan Islands. Greg now works as a Human Geographer and Geospatial Analyst for a federal agency.

Katherine Kavanaugh

Katherine was a researcher on our 2017 Iceland Research Expedition. She helped to map out some of the first hiking trails of our Trail Guide project. Katherine currently works with NASA mapping climate change.

Adam Weaver

Adam was a researcher on one of our Iceland research teams with the responsibility to explore Iceland’s dynamic history and economy. Adam now works for Patagonia in California.

Lauren Caine

Lauren jumped into Iceland’s Search and Rescue Teams and the world of disaster relief. Following the expedition, Lauren is now working with FEMA helping with disaster relief management around the United States.

Molly Mann

Molly was a researcher on the Spanish Virgin Islands team utilizing her passion for creative writing to capture life on the archipelago. Molly now works with a publication company in Nashville and maintains a travel blog.

Jackie Bussjaeger

Jackie was on our Apostle Islands research team. She researched and wrote about the history of the islands. Jackie now works with Global Treks as an editor as well as a writer for the White Bear Lake Newspaper.


  1. Internships with Global Treks and Adventure are designed to provide real world training similar to that provided in an educational environment, including the clinical and other hands-on training provided by the intern’s educational institution. Our field research interns take the skill-sets they have learned in the classroom and apply them to real-world settings.

  2. Internships with Global Treks and Adventure are designed to comport with the intern’s formal education program by integrating coursework or the receipt of academic credit.

  3. Internships with Global Treks and Adventure are designed to accommodate the intern’s academic commitments by corresponding to the intern’s academic calendar. Field research opportunities correspond with academic breaks, taking advantage of the time available to travel to our field research locations.

  4. Internships with Global Treks and Adventure are limited in duration for the purpose of providing the intern with beneficial learning.

  5. Internships with Global Treks and Adventure are designed to ensure the intern’s individualized academic studies complement, rather than displace, the work of Global Treks and Adventure’s paid employees while providing significant educational benefits to the intern.

  6. Interns participating in Global Treks and Adventure’s Internship Program expressly understand and agree that their participation therein is without entitlement to and/or any expectation of a paid job at the conclusion of their internship. While former interns have continued to work with Global Treks following their internship experience, Global Treks and Adventures disclaims any promise of a paid job at the conclusion of an internship, express or implied.

  7. All internships with Global Treks and Adventure are unpaid with the intern expressly understanding and agreeing that they have no expectation of any monetary compensation. Global Treks and Adventures disclaims any promise of compensation, express or implied.