"Arctic Floating University" went to Franz Josef Land - Arctic-fund

"Arctic Floating University" went to Franz Josef Land

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This year, 58 people from Russia, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Cuba, the Netherlands, France and Germany take part in the joint expedition of the NArFU and Roshydromet. Researchers will visit Cape Desire, the islands of Gaul, Hayes, Jackson, Rudolph, Hooker, Northbrook and Bell Island.

At the press conference devoted to the start of the expedition, the rector of NArFU Elena Kudryashova recalled that this year the flight of the «Arctic floating university» was included in the plan of events of the Year of Ecology in Russia. Elena Vladimirovna also noted that the ninth expedition will become a landmark in the historical plan: in 2017, 880 years will be the first mention of the Pomeranian settlements in the Russian annals.

«It was Pomors who mastered the Arctic, they walked eastward to Alaska and discovered new lands. We will monitor all movements of the vessel „Professor Molchanov“ from the center of space monitoring of our University. To observe the trajectory of the expedition will be possible on the portal of our University, »- said Elena Vladimirovna.

Director of the Arctic Center for Strategic Studies and scientific supervisor of the expedition Konstantin Zaykov said that this year the Arctic Floating University will focus on studying the Franz Josef Land archipelago.

«Our expedition is called Arcticum incognita, because Franz Josef Land is a «white spot» on the map of the Russian Arctic. The archipelago has not been sufficiently studied, since it has recently become open to scientists. We plan to conduct a wide range of research in hydrometeorology, hydrology, biology, geology and archeology. In the autumn we will publish materials on the results of the expedition, «Konstantin Zaykov said.

Deputy Head of the Northern Department for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring Alexander Driker said that the scientific vessel Rosgidromet «Professor Molchanov» is fully ready to be sent to high latitudes.

«We began to prepare for the expedition in advance. The research vessel «Professor Molchanov» has undergone major repairs, in the next five years it can safely plow the Arctic seas, «the representative of the Northern UGMS said.

The importance of the expedition in 2017 was stressed by Alexander Kirillov, Acting Director of the National Park «Russian Arctic». He noted that the expedition is of Federal importance, and its participants will carry out tasks of the state scale in the Arctic. The chairman of the regional branch of the Russian Geographical Society Leonid Vasiliev noted that the results of the expedition are important for Russian and international science, therefore the Arctic Floating University should develop diplomatic relations with other countries.

Professor of the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne Eric Hosli noted that the participation of the Swiss side in the expedition is due to a keen interest in the problems of the Arctic territories.

"Our students will gain invaluable experience in the expedition, which will be useful to them in their future professional activities. The Arctic is interesting for us in terms of studying the climate, melting ice. Climatic changes observed in the Arctic are recorded in the Swiss Alps, so the expedition is very interesting for us, "said Erik Hosli.

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