Barents, Karskoe, Baltic: Floating universities set off to explore Russian seas

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Barents, Karskoe, Baltic: Floating universities set off to explore Russian seas

On June 10, this year's first expedition of the floating university starts from Arkhangelsk. The Arctic Floating University on the ship “Mikhail Somov” will go to the islands in the Arctic Ocean: Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land. In total, four such expeditions are planned this year, they are timed to coincide with the Year of Science and Technology, as well as Russia's chairmanship in the Arctic Council.

A session at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum was devoted to the development of the educational technology “Floating University”, moderated by the observer of the publishing house “Komsomolskaya Pravda”, head of the laboratory of media communications in education, coordinator of the Association of Floating Universities, Alexander Milkus.

The first Floating University, working on the technology “Education through Research”, appeared at Moscow State University back in the 1990s. Then floating universities worked in the Baltic and the Caspian Sea, on Lake Baikal and the Volga and Lena rivers. Now they are going through a new stage of development. In 2021, four large expeditions of floating universities will go to sea on research vessels at once.

Already on June 10, 2021, the Arctic Floating University of the Northern (Arctic) Federal University will go to Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land, celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. The expedition, organized with the support of the world-class scientific and educational center “The Russian Arctic: New Materials, Technologies and Research Methods”, will be attended by 55 people, including 22 researchers and 20 undergraduate and graduate students.

– Our floating university is 10 years old this year. 85% of students trained at the floating university, after graduating from the university, come to work in scientific institutions of Arkhangelsk, subdivisions of the Northern Directorate of Roshydromet, at the departments of NArFU. This time, we will go to the Arctic for the first time on a ship of an increased ice class with a helipad – “Mikhail Somov”, – said Rector of NArFU Elena Kudryashova.

On board will also be representatives of Moscow State University, Ural State Industrial Institute, Institute of Atmospheric Physics. A.M. Obukhov RAS, Southern Federal University, Saratov National Research State University named after N.G. Chernyshevsky, Institute of the Human Brain named after N.G. N.P. Bekhtereva RAS, Russian Peoples' Friendship University, St. Petersburg State University, MIPT, Russian State Hydrometeorological University, Institute of Experimental Medicine, Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, Northern State Medical University and Tyumen Industrial University.

Barents, Karskoe, Baltic: Floating universities set off to explore Russian seas

“The Arctic Floating University is an annual marine scientific and educational expedition on an ice-class research vessel,” shared Alexander Saburov, director of the Arctic Center for Strategic Research of the Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov. The largest block of research carried out during the expedition is related to the study of the environment and ecology of the Arctic. The second one deals with oceanology and hydrometeorology. The third is with the study of biodiversity. As for the humanitarian areas, I will note the preservation of the historical and cultural heritage: on Novaya Zemlya, for example, these are Pomor huts, on Franz Josef Land – the remains of ships and other traces of polar expeditions.


Scientific expedition vessel “Mikhail Somov”:

The diesel-electric ship, built in 1975, has been operating since then in the polar latitudes, both in the Arctic and in the Antarctic. Length – 133 meters. Able to pass solid ice up to 70 cm thick.

In July, the floating university of Moscow State University under the leadership of Grigory Akhmanov, associate professor of the Geological Faculty of Moscow State University, will leave for the Barents Sea on the Academician Boris Petrov research court. There will be three dozen bachelors, masters and graduate students on board.

– We will study the shape of the relief and bottom sediments left after the glaciation that has passed 20 thousand years ago, we will draw up a map of the area, which will help clarify the geological history of the region. Research is fundamental, but it is of practical importance for the oil and gas industry, – said Grigory Akhmanov.

The floating university of MIPT and the Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences named after V.I. P.P. Shirshova.

In the Baltic Sea, in the format of a floating university, the R / V Akademik Sergei Vavilov will host the IV International Summer School “Coastal Zone of the Sea: Research, Management and Prospects” of the Baltic Federal University and the Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Now two modern research vessels are under construction, said Natalya Golubeva, Deputy Director of the Department for Coordination of Scientific Organizations of the Ministry of Education and Science. And you need to train personnel to work for them. The floating university format is perfect for this.

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