The Arctic Floating University expedition will leave for the Arctic from Arkhangelsk on June 10. Among the 55 researchers there are also scientists from St. Petersburg.
The expedition will last until the end of June. The western sector of the Russian Arctic will be investigated – the water area of the Barents, Kara and White Seas, including the route of the Northern Sea Route, the rector of the Northern (Arctic) Federal University (NArFU) named after V.I. M.V. Lomonosova Elena Kudryashova.
Within three weeks, its participants intend to visit Cape Desire (Novaya Zemlya), the islands of Graham Bell, Hayes, Hooker and Northbrook (Franz Josef Land).
The head of the expedition, director of the Arctic Center for Strategic Research of NArFU named after M.V. Lomonosov Alexander Saburov called this year's expedition special: the Arctic Floating University will be equipped on a new ship – this is the diesel-electric ship “Mikhail Somov” (usually the expeditions were carried out on the ship “Professor Molchanov “). The composition of the participants will be exclusively Russian due to restrictions on coronavirus, but broad: 55 researchers represent 14 scientific and educational organizations of the country – these are teachers, students and graduate students of Russian universities.
Among them are specialists in plastic pollution of the seas: the problems of ocean pollution and marine debris are an important part of the multidisciplinary scientific and educational program of the project. Traditional oceanological research will be carried out, as well as completely new directions will be studied, including those related to the carbon balance of Arctic soils: scientists will study their contribution to global warming. Studies of bacteria and microorganisms are planned. “In this regard, the Arctic remains a blank spot on the scientific map,” said Alexander Saburov.
The members of the expedition will see in practice how the supply and modernization of polar stations in the Russian Arctic is going on, they can get acquainted with the territories of the Arctic not only from the board of a research expedition vessel, but also from a helicopter. Return to Arkhangelsk is scheduled for June 30th.
Last year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Arctic Floating University was held in a “land” format.
The Arctic Floating University project has been implemented by NArFU since 2012, during this time 12 expeditions were held, in which 600 people from 17 countries took part.