The Surtsey Research Society

When it became clear that Surtsey would endure as a permanent island, a group of enthusiastic researchers got together and founded a committee that later became a society whose aim was to organize and promote research carried out there.

The by-laws of the society state that the purpose of the society is that of promoting research in the earth and biological sciences in connection with the island of Surtsey, and in Iceland in general. The society itself does not carry out the research but instead promotes and coordinates scientific studies in the fields of earth sciences and biology.

The Surtsey Research Society publishes reports on the research carried out on the island. So far twelve such reports have been issued. The Society has built research huts on the island on two occasions and has organized the construction of a helicopter landing platform. The Surtsey Research Society has received grants from several foundations and is supported by the Icelandic government.

Processing of research data has been carried out at several institutes, especially the Agricultural Research Institute, the Icelandic Institute of Natural History, the Marine Research Institute , the National Energy Authority and the Science Institute of the University of Iceland. Until recently the National Land Survey of Iceland took all aerial photographs of Surtsey, but this work is currently in the hands of Loftmyndir Ltd.

The Surtsey Research Society has maintained an office at the Icelandic Institute of Natural History and is grateful for the Institute’s assistance and hospitality.

The chairman of the Surtsey Research Society is Hallgrímur Jónasson, former director of the Icelandic Centre for Research. Others on the board are Olga Kolbrún Vilmundardóttir (vice-chairman), Lovísa Ásbjörnsdóttir (secretary), Bjarni Diðrik Sigurðsson (tresurer), Magnús Tumi Guðmundsson, Viggó Þór Marteinsson and Vilhjálmur Smári Þorvaldsson.
Substitute board members: Starri Heiðmarsson, Lilja Gunnarsdóttir, Sigurður Sveinn Jónsson and Birgir Vilhelm Óskarsson.