Student Projects

Ongoing projects

Tourism and Flåm. A study of inhabitants’ experiences of a mass tourism town

Kaia Wøien Nicolaisen

This Master thesis has investigated how inhabitants and others who have their workplace in Flåm perceives the local community; the characteristics of place and the way the place is influenced by mass tourism. The increase in tourism in Flåm has been considerable in recent years. From being an isolated agricultural settlement, Flåm has changed to be one of Norway’s most popular tourist destinations and cruise ports. With a phenomenological approach, the thesis attempts to elucidate the inhabitant´s relationship to- and experience of Flåm, and how the mass tourism influences this. The theoretical framework is based on place theories – e.g. “sense of place” and how places are socially constructed, as well as some theories of perceptions of tourists- and attitudes toward tourism development by the host community. The empirical data is based on 15 semi-structured interviews with inhabitants with various socioeconomic ties to Flåm in addition to secondary research literature, document and media. The fieldwork took place in 2019, and the study will be completed June 2020.

Plastics in production systems. A case study of the fishery- and aquaculture industry in Hordaland

Anna Kraaijeveld Enerstvedt

This master thesis in Geography investigates the use of plastic materials and products in production systems in fishery- and aquaculture industry through a circular economy lens. Marine pollution due to plastic waste is one of the biggest environmental challenges of our time, several parts of our ecosystems are severely affected by the large amounts of plastic floating at sea. The fisheries and the aquaculture industry play an interesting role regarding this issue, as they depend on the marine ecosystem, but also through use a large amount of plastic materials related to various stages including catch, processing and distribution. The master study is based on a case study in the Hordaland region on the West Coast of Norway. The empirical evidence is based on 11 interviews, conference participation and use of various secondary written sources. The study will be completed June 2020.

The participation process with the Sami reindeer herders in wind power conflicts in Finnmark

Ingrid Holtan Fredriksen

This master thesis investigates the opinions, obstacles, and solutions for a better participation process for wind power applications in Sami reindeer herder’s lands. Theories about governance structures, participation theory, and justice are in focus of this thesis. New models of corporate social responsibility by wind power businesses are also investigated.In Norway, Sami people have special rights to be consulted in planning processes that might affect their ability to have a cultural, ecological or economic sustainable reindeer herding. Therefore, it is interesting to see to what degree the reindeer herders perceive the participation process in wind power applications as empowering or disempowering.

The master study is based on a case study in Finnmark where there have been several wind power applications on reindeer herders land. In the case study, I am comparing different wind power processes to revealing similarities and differences in how the participation process is perceived in various cases. The empirical evidence is based on 11 interviews with different stakeholders, participant observations (by following the migration of reindeer heard over some weeks), being an observer at legal hearings and other meetings. The empirical sources also include documents and research literature. The study will be completed June 2020.

Past projects

The Construction Industry and the Green Economy  

Malene Utkilen

The master’s thesis will investigate how the building material industry is ncluded in the green economy, and possibilities and challenges for this inclusion. The empirical approach is an environmentally efficient resource management from a business perspective. A greater emphasis on the construction business and building materials in the green economy has emerged in the Norwegian context during the past year. Where the earlier focus has mainly considered efficient use of energy in the building, there is now a greater emphasis on the built energy and the environmental impact of different building materials. This is the approach my research will use. The theoretical discussion relevant for this approach is the circular economy, including efficient resource use, renewable resources, recycling of building materials, and environmentally defensible deposits. A Lean methodology will also form a relevant discussion, in addition to theories of Ecoprenership. The scientific research approach will be threefold; first there will be a mapping of the current status of the construction industry in the green economy. Second, a survey will be useful in order to gain an organisational view of the construction industry. Third, a few case studies will be included in the research. The preferable case studies would be new commercial buildings in Norway with great environmental ambitions.

The green shift – A geographical case study of women entrepreneurs in environmental consulting businesses

Oda Totland Bongom

This ongoing project is a study of women entrepreneurship with particular focus on the environmental consulting services in Norway in rural as well as urban locations. The study will in particular focus on consultancy services dealing with green certificate projects. This concerns especially Eco-Lighthouse (Miljøfyrtårn) which is Norway’s most widespread form of environmental certification targeting clients both in the public and commercial sector. Research questions include the entrepreneurs’ motivation for starting their own business with a particular focus on their motivation for working with environmental issues, business strategies and also how they work and interact with their clients.

Enterprises and environmental strategy, a case study of cradle to cradle (C2C) certified companies in the province of Limburg, the Netherlands.

Thea Johanne Kopperud

The main focus in this study is on the companies’ motivation for this type of commitment. It also concern what challenges they face linked to these form of certification model and to what extent the certification process affects the innovation and ongoing business operations.

C2C as a strategy for regional development is also discussed. The concept of the circular economy is an additional important theoretical concept, which along with C2C is driving forces for environmental development of economic activities in the same direction.

New master thesis suggestions

  1. The geography of green building projects in Norway
  2. The greening of supply chains structures, strategies and constraints
  3. Windy regional development- a systematic analysis of municipalities with realized and planned onshore windmill projects
  4. The link between sustainability and profitability: exploring the economic motivation of going green
  5. The geography of solar energy projects in Norway
  6. Industrial symbiosis: sustainable design principles of agglomerations