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Specialists to Study Northern Water Ecosystems as Part of ‘Arctic Floating University 2022: The Changing Arctic’ Expedition

24 June 2022
Специалисты изучат экосистемы северных акваторий в рамках научно-образовательной экспедиции «Арктический плавучий университет-2022: меняющаяся Арктика»

The ‘Arctic Floating University 2022: The Changing Arctic’ expedition on the Professor Molchanov research vessel will take place from 24 June to 11 July in the high Arctic as part of the plan of major events of Russia’s Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2021–2023, which is being operated by the Roscongress Foundation.

The development of science and technology in the Arctic is a priority of the Strategy for developing Russia’s Arctic zone and ensuring national security up to 2035. Expedition participants will gain new knowledge, practical skills, and expertise in the ecosystems of water and coastal territories of the archipelagos and islands of Russia’s Western Arctic zone. The expedition aims to train young people in professions relevant to the region, to develop scientific and educational cooperation as part of expeditions to the high Arctic, and to involve young people in scientific project activities.

The expedition will function on the basis of ‘Learning through Research’, which combines theoretical training with research carried out under the guidance of scientists. The 45 expedition participants will include staff from universities, institutes, and other relevant organizations. The programme will provide participants with a basic general theoretical knowledge of oceanology, meteorology, climatology, ecology, and microbiology among other disciplines, as well as the skills to assess the impact of economic activities on the environment and to diagnose environmental problems.

Assessing climate change is one of the most urgent tasks we are currently faced with, according to expedition organizers. Interest in studying the polar regions is connected to the high sensitivity of the regions to global climate change, which underlines the need for a comprehensive analysis of the current state of affairs in the Arctic and the nature of hydrometeorological and geophysical processes involving a wide range of specialists. The Arctic Floating University project is implemented by Lomonosov Northern (Arctic) Federal University (NArFU) together with the Northern Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring Department with the support of the Russian Geographical Society and Russian Arctic National Park.

The expedition will depart from Arkhangelsk on 24 June. The itinerary of the Professor Molchanov research vessel includes visits to Kolguev, Vaigach, Sosnovets, Russkaya Gavan, Ledyanaya Gavan, and Cape Zhelaniya (Novaya Zemlya), Ivanov Bay, the Oran Islands, and Murmants Inlet. The vessel will then return to the port of Arkhangelsk on 11 July.

A cross-cutting priority of Russia’s Chairmanship of the Arctic Council in 2021–2023 is to ensure responsible and socially, economically, and environmentally balanced governance for the sustainable development of the Arctic. The chairmanship programme aims to increase the efficiency of scientific activities and the practical applicability of their results in the region, optimizing the use of scientific infrastructure, promoting new technologies and best practices in joint projects, and increasing the training of specialists for work in the high Arctic, and this includes the use of the ‘Learning through Research’ method.