Þorgerður María Þorbjarnardóttir
I am a 28 year old nature conservation activist, geologist and graduate from the conservation leadership programme at Cambridge University. I am currently the chair of the Icelandic environment association, Landvernd. On this website you can follow my work and look at what I have done in the past.
I am born and raised in a town in east Iceland called Egilsstaðir. From a young age I have been exploring and learning about nature. In my academic work I have acquired knowledge about the natural world and then combined it with my interest in communication and governance to advocate for nature. In primary school I experienced the construction of the biggest hydro power plant in Europe close to my hometown in Kárahnjúkar. Now I work and travel through the eastern highlands of Iceland during summers and pass the damn and reservoir frequently. I hope I will never again have to see such destruction. My aim is to do as much as I can to protect biological and geological diversity.
Roles & Responsibilities
The Icelandic Environment Association - Landvernd
May 2022 - May 2025
I was elected to the board of Landvernd, the Icelandic Environmental Association in May 2022. A year later I ran for chair and got elected as chair for the next two years. Landvernd is a national environmental non-governmental organization based in Reykjavík with around 5500 members. Landvernd was founded in 1969 with a main emphasis on nature conservation, in particular on the conservation of soil and vegetation. Landvernd is a memer organisation to the IUCN.
The Association of local authorities
September 2022 - June 2023
I currently work for the Association of Icelandic Municipalities as an assistant to specialists in environmental and waste management. The association is advocating for the benefits of municipalities and serves as a link between municipalities and the government.
VATNAJÖKULL NATIONAL PARK
July - September 2019, 2020 and 2021
I Worked as a park ranger in various places in the east part of the Icelandic highlands, mainly in Kverkfjöll and in the visitor center Snæfellsstofa. The job is very diverse and it is physical work, monitoring changes in nature and educating guests both for their pleasure and safety. Working as a ranger has allowed me to deepen my understanding of the connection between man and nature and to communicate my knowledge through educational walks provided by rangers.
THE ICELANDIC YOUTH ENVIRONMENTALIST ASSOCIATION
2014-2016 and 2019-2021
Was elected as:
Board member 2014-2015
Board member 2015-2016
The Icelandic Youth Environmentalist Association is a non governmental organization with the primary objective of giving young people a platform to positively influence the way society interacts with nature.
This is mostly volunteer work but I have made special contracts with the association for projects, the biggest one in January and February 2020 writing a Handbook in advocacy for environment.
Visit the official website of the Association to learn more about its work and influence.
TIN CAN FACTORY LANGUAGE SCHOOL
October 2020 - May 2021
I Worked in the Tin Can Factory Language school part time teaching immigrants who have not had the opportunity to learn how to read and write to do so.
THE ICELAND TOURING ASSOCIATION (FÍ)
June - August 2018
Worked as a warden in two hiking huts, Landmannalaugar and Þórsmörk. Wardens keep the accomodation clean aswell as providing recommendations and information to visitors about safety and current conditions on trails.
FACULTY OF EARTH SCIENCE IN THE UNIVERSITY OF ICELAND
June 2017-May 2019
Started this project as a summer staff and continued part time during my Bachelor studies. Worked in a project, making seismographs recorded in the past on paper accessible to the public on the internet.
Sept 2015 - May 2016
Worked as an instructor in the kindergarten Sólborg in Reykjavík. I was mainly in the department with 2-3 year old kids. Sólborg is a specialised kindergarten for kids with special needs.
MPHIL IN COSERVATION LEADERSHIP, UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
I completed a Masters degree in Conservation Leadership at the University of Cambridge. The programme is a ground-breaking course that equips students with the applied leadership and management skills needed to create positive change in conservation. A unique feature of the course is its delivery by a collaboration between the University of Cambridge and nine leading conservation organisations, which together comprise the Cambridge Conservation Initiative.
BSC IN GEOLOGY, UNIVERSITY OF ICELAND
Finished a BSc degree in geology in the spring 2019. I wrote a thesis about interaction between Seawater and Basaltic Glass in Surtsey and the Effect it has on the Geothermal Seawater within the Island.
Learning geology in Iceland gave me a lot of opportunities to really follow current research, mainly in volcanology and geothermal activity. I even had opportunities to participate in research hands on.
HAMRAHLÍÐ UPPER SECONDARY
Graduation spring 2015
Completed my upper secondary level in the Hamrahlíð Upper Secondary School. During my upper secondary level I did grade 11 in Alpha Secondary School, Vancouver, BC, Canada and grade 12 in Egilsstaðir Upper Secondary School in my home town. My last two years I completed in Hamrahlíð Upper Secondary School in Reykjavík.
EGILSSTAÐIR PRIMARY SCHOOL
Completed grade 1-10 in Egilsstaðir Primary School