18 August: Finished
Some members of the expedition started their day not with lunch but with the last preparations for the final report session. Guys woke up earlier when the restaurant was closed and settled down in the bar with their laptops. At 10:00 am the session started.
The first was the history and law department. The students presented their vision of problems connected with living and economic activity of people in the Arctic region. Special attention was paid to the settlement infrastructure, the socio-ecomonic potential, housekeeping and the protection of indigenous people’s rights.
The students of this department and participants of the discussing began after the report noted a large number of issues requiring further investigation: necessity to expand the source base and verification of data collected during the landings in settlements and also their comparison with previously published data.
Psychological department presented its study of state changes during the Arctic expedition. So they managed to distinguish several phases:
- Adaptation (1-6 day) is characterized by slightly declining health and mood, minor mental stress, optimal mobilization of physical and mental strength, slight increasing stress level and decreasing efficiency;
- Resistance to the living conditions in the Arctic expedition (7-12 day) is characterized by slightly decreasing efficiency and increasing stress level;
- Reversible tendencies (13-14 days) are characterized by elevated level of unproductive neuropsychic stress, decreasing activity, maximum orientation on one’s own state and the inner world;
- Resources o ptimization (15-16 days) is characterized by slightly increasing efficiency and decreasing stress level.
On the basis of the preliminary experimental analysis of samples collected during the landings our physicists drew a conclusion that the electrophysical properties of water and ice, snow and sea water differ according to the geographic location. During the expedition, they amplified an experimental base necessary to develop remote probing techniques in the Arctic region.
Also physical department researched depth dependence of soil temperature and made surveys with infrared imager. These measurements are necessary to assess permafrost depth and also they should help us to predict changes in soil temperature distribution, permafrost location and snowfield thickness.
Oceanologists told us about coastal waters survey. The results underlay the temperature and salinity maps of the territory near Dikson and Bugrino settlements, meteorological station named after Fedorov and Bely Nos meteorological station. The oceanologists also drew transsections in the latitudinal direction from the shore to the open sea near the meteorological station named after Fedorov, Ledyanaya Gavan Bay on the Novaya Zemlya archipelago and in the mouth of the Indiga river.
Historical and cultural department summarized historical information on the visited settlements. Participants of this department uncovered name origins and mentioned local population characteristics. Particular attention was given to the important objects of historical and cultural heritage that were illustrated with pictures. Also they presented a brief overview of the interviews on the life style, traditions and modern perception of what was happening in the region. At the end of the report the historical and cultural department offered us some generalizing ideas about the growth of the Arctic residents’ socio-cultural perceptions.
Meteorological department presented:
- comparative charts of air temperature, air pressure and relative humidity for the meteorological stations on Dikson and Vaygach Islands;
- a graph of changes in the ozone layer thickness along the expedition route;
- a bar graph showing the dependence of total solar radiation upon the cloud types;
- wind roses for the White, Barents and Kara Seas.
Biological department studied flora, vegetation and soils at all landing points. Young scientists obtained new data on the diversity of plant communities, their structure and composition. The department explored various communities of sedge, willow, tundra, hilly, polygonal and mineral swamps, small meadows and lichen-moss polygonal arctic desert. The biologists collected data on the distribution of vascular plants, mosses and lichens species, depending on their frequency and dominance degree. They also collected preliminary data on the leaves anatomy of five willow species, including such parameters as leaf area, its weight, thickness, development degree of upper and lower epidermis and spongy and columnar mesophyll. These data can tell us about the adaptation of plants photosynthetic apparatus to stressful Arctic conditions.
Soil researchers sampled soils (more than 30 samples) for the further chemical analysis in the laboratory. They described the structure of major soil types at all landing points and measured pH, conductivity and TDS for all soil horizons.
Geographical department conducted research in two scientific fields. Firstly, they carried out a study of Russian Arctic stations. The results of the study were presented in form of a retrospective analysis and evaluation of modern technical equipment and human resources. All stations have a different level of material and technical condition. Technical equipment of the stations is constantly updated, modernized and has a sufficient fund of reserve equipment for continuous operation. As it turned out, the actual problems of the stations are lack of personnel, improvement of working and living conditions, skills development, support of automated systems continuous operation and improvement of communication systems.
Secondly, the geographical department studied natural, cultural and historical places in term of tourism development in the Arctic. During the expedition they revealed natural, cultural, historical, military and historical objects and built a complex tourist route. The students analyzed the correlation of these objects in this area and offered a preferable tourism type.
After the report session the members of the expedition landed in Sosnovka settlement and on Sosnovets Island. Besides their field work young scientists were able to walk around the settlement, admire the beauty of a virgin nature, ate blueberries and cloudberries, and even visit the lighthouse, which offered wonderful views on the sea and the settlement.