Floating University


Arctic Floating University is established to unite science and education on the territory of the Arctic region and its objectives are to preserve the Arctic environment and to ensure the sustainable development of the region.

The project is supported by the grant of the Russian Geographical Society


Russian Geographical Society

Northern (Arctic) Federal University (NArFu),

Northern Branch of RosHydroMet,

Project Implementation

The project is fulfilled by conducting marine, scientific and educational expeditions in the Arctic.

Key innovation of the project is education and research processes integration for ensuring the successful implementation of the project objectives


  • to organize complex interdisciplinary research of the Arctic environment;
  • to provide advanced scientific knowledge about conditions and changes of the Arctic environment;
  • to develop recommendations for sustainable development of the region and preservation of the Arctic ecosystem;
  • to make young specialists ready to work in the Arctic region .

Project description

Each expedition consists of two parts:

  1. Education - undergraduate and postgraduate students training. During the training we use inclusive methods realized by the combination of theoretical and practical classes in related subjects (marine-biology, oceanography, glaciology, meteorology, ecology, hydrochemistry, etc.). The aim of training is to ensure complex scientific knowledge and research skills.
  2. Research - comprehensive scientific monitoring of the Arctic environment. Major interdisciplinary topic here is the Arctic environment and the climate change.


All expeditions are carried out on the research-vessel “Professor Molchanov”. Originally built in 1982 for the Russian Hydro-Meteorological Service, R/V Professor Molchanov has been refurbished to accommodate a maximum of 80 passengers and staff.

The vessel is a steel-hulled, ice-strengthened ship for the Arctic supply and oceanographic research, completely refurbished to meet both passenger and oceanographic needs. The R/V complies with international environmental and safety standards.

R/V “Professor Molchanov “ has all the necessary facilities for the organization of educational process, laboratory and practical research . Public areas include a large dining room, an observation lounge, a conference room with modern multimedia equipment, three laboratories, and a small infirmary with a ship doctor.


The project is established for undergraduate and postgraduate students and young researchers. Despite this the project is very popular among research specialists in all subjects listed above.

During the past two years we were able to widen the geography of the participants. Now we have 11 leading Russian research and educational institutions involved in the project:

  • Northern (Arctic) Federal University named after M.V. Lomonosov;
  • Institute of Ecological Problems of the North, Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences;
  • Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute;
  • Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov;
  • Northern Branch of RosHydroMet;
  • The National Park “Russian Arctic”;
  • Saint- Petersburg State University;
  • State Oceanographic Institute named after N.N. Zubov;
  • The Russian State Hydrometeorological University;
  • All-Russian Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography;
  • Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Updated 26.08.2014