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Hello all!

This is Justin, I’m a rising senior biochemistry major and your host for our first blog post!


All of the students and a few faculty have checked in and made it through TSA with no problems! For some of us, flying internationally is a new experience so smoothness throughout the process of getting to Iceland is the goal.


Charlie, one of the faculty leads, has been stuck in TSA for 45 minutes. A minor setback but the flight boards in 80 minutes so we aren’t too worried!


Charlie made it to the gate. Everyone is accounted for and we’re on track for boarding at 18:40


We are not on track as we thought but never late than never. We are boarding now!

20:31? (time zones are weird)

We are 40 minutes into the flight and so far everyone is doing well.

Flight path wise we are right on the border of Canada between Detroit and Toronto. For our first blog post, I thought it would be fun to provide updates at different portions of our trip but Im realizing it’s harder than it looks as we switch back and forth between time zones .

One thing I found both funny and cool is that before takeoff, many in the group pulled out phone apps for measuring altitudes and air pressure. As a group of scientists, there’s no place or limit for curiosity.

Looking at the flight path, we should fly over Greenland. It’s nighttime and very foggy right now so it might be a close call whether we’ll be able to see it well, but fingers crossed. See you all in the next update!


We just passed over Greenland! For those who aren’t familiar, the name Greenland is very deceptive, as the island is mountainous and entirely covered in snow.

Here are some pictures taken by Joe, another student who you’ll get to know more about throughout the trip. He captured these pictures on his Canon camera (he does really cool photography stuff).

I sat near Joe and Issac (who you’ll also meet) and we were in awe of the landscape. We all agreed that seeing Greenland alone made the trip worth it!


We only have 38 minutes left of the flight! Most people were asleep for most of the journey, but it looks like the majority of us are awake now.


30 minutes left. We’ve started to drop altitude slightly, indicating that landing is approaching. If you look at the picture below you’ll notice a bank of clouds. We suspect that the presence of these clouds means there’s land nearby. Iceland might just be hiding behind them!


20 minutes left! I decided to interview Clayton, another student you’ll meet, to gauge his thoughts and emotions right now. It’s worth mentioning that he has never traveled outside of Ohio and Richmond, Indiana. So many of us have been eagerly awaiting Clayton’s perspective on the flight. Here’s a quote from our conversation:

“The initial takeoff is probably one of the most amazing things I’ve experienced” – Clayton


Only 10 minutes until landing. We’ve descended about 6000 meters in the last 15 minutes.

Apart from that, there’s nothing new to report.

See you on the ground!


We’ve landed! And we spotted lots of lupines in bloom. The plan here is for us to get our baggage, and head to the hostel where we will stay for a day before heading to our next destination.


A few of us are visiting the National Museum of Iceland, while others went on a quest for groceries needed for dinner. Now, here’s a tricky question for you: What do you think these bottles are?

Surprisingly, they are actually chemicals for film processing! Initially, I mistook them for bottles of medicine. It’s fascinating how things can be deceiving at first glance.

We plan to continue exploring until the museum closes in about an hour. Our next update will be back at the hostel!


Everyone has enjoyed a delicious dinner and we have the rest of the night to relax before embarking on our 7-hour road trip to our next destination.

Seth, Charlie, and Porter teamed up to cook pasta and it was amazing! We also had salad on the side with a dressing from Stevie, another student who you’ll meet. Stevie spoke very highly of this dressing during our car ride and I can confirm that it lived up to its reputation!

With dinner taken care of, we can now retreat to our rooms and unwind before hitting the road tomorrow morning. We’re excited about the many opportunities we’ll have to explore the stunning landscapes and wonders Iceland has to offer.

Thank you for joining me on our first day and I look forward to seeing you again soon!