An international expedition «Exploring Russian Arctic» is planned within the project «Arctic Floating University-2015» - Arctic-fund

An international expedition «Exploring Russian Arctic» is planned within the project «Arctic Floating University-2015»

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The expedition of «Arctic Floating University 2015» is planned within the joint project of NArFU, Roshydromet (Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring Agency) and Russian Geographical society. The aim of the educational program of Arctic Floating University (AFU) is to form cross-disciplinary knowledge of the arctic region among Russian and foreign students by acquaintance with the nature and historical and cultural heritage of the Russian sector in the Arctic.

The international expedition «Exploring Russian Arctic» within the AFU project is planned to start on July 1. The expedition will last for 20 days. The participants of the AFU-2015 — Russian and foreign students, young scientists and researchers — will study 8 educational modules and will fulfill the varied research program. Total composition of the expedition is 56 people. It is planned to have 31 student, 20 lecturers, and 5 members of the administrative personnel among them.

As previously the AFU expedition will head to the Arctic on board the scientific and research vessel of the Northern Department of Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring «Professor Molchanov». The route of the expedition is planned to be as follows: Arkhangelsk — Sosnovets Island — Bely Nos cape — Varnek settlement — Russkaya gavan’ bay (Novaya Zemlya) — Zhelaniya Cape (Novaya Zemlya) — Heiss Island (Franz Josef Land) — Champ Island (Franz Joseph Land) — Hooker island (Franz Josef Land) — Arkhangelsk.

The AFU-2015 research program includes comprehensive monitoring of changes in the vegetation of the Arctic tundra transition zones due to climate changes; study of the historical and cultural heritage of the Russian Arctic National Park in order to develop tourism and educational activities; assessment of the conditions and degree of contamination of the local island territories of the former industrial activity zones in the areas of work for the elimination of accumulated environmental damage; study of the species diversity of the living organisms and populations at Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land archipelagoes and adjacent waters.

Aimed to strengthen Russian scientific presence in the Arctic and to prepare specialists who can work in the high-latitude macro-region, the AFU project has been organized and implemented since 2012. Young scientists and students, taking part in naval expeditions and scientific landings on the Arctic islands, carry out comprehensive scientific research, acquire useful practical knowledge, essential for future work in the transpolar region. Besides, during the expedition many of them obtain unforgettable impressions of the beauty and magnitude of the Russian Arctic, and become true patriots of their country ready to take responsibility for its future.