Profile of Helga María

Helga María in action
Helga María in action

Helga María Heiðarsdóttir teaches the Wilderness Environment course at the Keilir Adventure Studies Program.

Helga María is a true Nature lover. She teaches our Wilderness Environment course, which is a study of the natural resources based upon which the adventure tourism industry depends. Ecology, meteorology, mountain geomorphology, glaciers, volcanoes, natural history and current environmental concerns are some of the topics covered in this course, which takes place on campus as well as around the Reykjanes Peninsula and South Coast of Iceland.

Helga has always had personal interest for everything you can find on our beautiful Planet Earth, especially glaciers (being a true Icelander!). If she is not out in the field guiding and talking about the natural environment, she can be found reading books about it! She is very passionate about sharing her love for the natural wonders of Iceland and pretty much knows everything there is to know about our Planet – so far we haven’t been able to find a question for which she doesn’t have an answer!

She has a BSc in Geography (University of Iceland), a MSc in Glaciology (University of Oslo, Norway), as well as 1⁄2 PhD in Glaciology (University of Iceland). During her studies, Helga has travelled all over Norway, Northern Russia, Finland, Northern Italy, as well as the Yukon.

Helga is very active in the adventure industry here in Iceland. In 2006 she joined a rescue team, and has been on the board of ÍSALP as well as AIMG since 2014. She has also been working for Icelandic Mountain Guides since 2008 as a glacier guide and mountain guide (for both day tours and multi-day tours, as well as Greenland tours).

Today she is the leadguide for the Fjallafólk Mountaineering Program. Over the summer, she does longer tours around Iceland and Greenland (her knowledge of the natural environment is in high demand!). She is also currently working at the IMG office, coordinating the Icelandic department.