The course is organized by these four universities: The University of Akureyri in Iceland, University of Reading in the United Kingdom, Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany and Universiteit Gent in Belgium. In addition there will be teachers and guest speakers from the Universidad Pública de Navarra in Spain, Iceland GeoSurvey, the Icelandic Institute of Natural History, Marine Research Institute and the Fisheries Science Centre in Iceland. 34 students from these countries will participate: Belgium, United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Iceland, Moldova, Nigeria, Nepal, Rwanda, Slovenia, Montenegro and Germany.
The main objective of the course is to train participants to take samples in natural and often difficult situations and to both use traditional and innovative methods to identify number and species of microorganisms in their natural environment. Participants will also be taught to identify formerly unknown bacterium in the Icelandic nature and to take a look at their biotecnical usefulness, as it is expected that some of those bacteria could produce a valuable enzyme, which could be useful in various industry.
The involvement of the Icelandic specialists in this course is mainly in the form of lectures about the geology of Iceland, geothermal and geochemistry, besides participation in field trips.