Field lessons in Scandanavian sustainability

Social Sciences

Northern Europe is famous for sustainability—from cycling in Copenhagen, Iceland’s geothermal riches, and offshore wind farms in the North Sea to Germany’s investments in mass solar power. This spring, 28 UVic geography students headed to Europe to study those sustainability efforts and more. Their month-long field school took them to Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands brought them together with community leaders, planners, developers, scholars and others to examine Scandanavian efforts to address the daunting ecological and social challenges facing contemporary societies.

As a broadening example of renewable energy, the UVic students returned to Canada inspired to make a positive difference in their own communities—in areas as broad as vibrant public placemaking, local food, active transportation, waste reduction and green building.

In addition, the students have begun sharing their insights and reflections with municipalities and the Capital Regional District, tying the research and practical applied work in with their academic programs.

For more information about the Northern Europe Sustainability Field School, check out or contact Cam Owens at


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Keywords: field schools, Europe, sustainability, student life, international, geography

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