ISSN 2330-717X

Floating Arctic University


By Elena Kovachich

A floating university for Arctic research and Arctic staff training will be created in the Russian northern port city of Arkhangelsk. Lectures and practical courses will take place aboard the Professor Molchanov research vessel. A pilot project of the Arctic Federal University and the Arctic Hydro-Meteorological Service will give the students a real feel of what the Arctic is like. Twenty-five Arctic University students, a team of meteorologists and a group of researchers from the Institute of the Arctic and Antarctica will take part in the expedition. An Arctic University professor, Alexander Guryev, gave us some details:

“The main aim of the expedition is to study ocean currents and sea ice, although our ship is not of the ice class. We will also explore some coastal areas of the White Sea, including the Solovetsky Archipelago and the Spitsbergen Island – the biological aspect, pollution, the flora and fauna.”

The expedition will enable the students to acquire invaluable scientific and life experience and to contribute to Arctic exploration. Vladimir Shevchenko, a senior researcher at the Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told the Voice of Russia that some of the past research programs would also be resumed:

“In the early 20th century, Russian vessels began sailing regularly along one and the same line from south to north, taking hydrological measurements – temperature, salinity and lots of other parameters. Simiolar measurements have been repeatedly taken over several decades along the so-called “ages-old cut of the Barents Sea” about 40 degrees east latitude. There has been much concern over global warming lately. In order to assert anything with statistical accuracy, one needs to know how temperatures changed within a century. This work needs to be resumed.”

The Professor Molchanov ship that will accommodate the floating university was named after the outstanding Russian meteorologist Pavel Molchanov, who invented and tested the world’s first radiosonde. Only those students and post-graduate students who are really dedicated to Arctic research will be selected for the expedition. They will undergo special ground training before the voyage.

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VOR, or the Voice of Russia, was the Russian government's international radio broadcasting service from 1993 until 2014, when it was reorganised as Radio Sputnik.

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