Polar expeditions

Russia associates its future with the Arctic region – with the socio-economic development of this area, the sustainable utilization of its transport arteries (primarily, the Northern Sea Route), the environmentally sound offshore and onshore hydrocarbon production and the reproduction of bioresources.

Being the centre of the regional development and tasked with strengthening Russia’s geopolitical and economic interests in the Arctic, the Northern (Arctic) Federal University is implementing innovative projects, performing scientific research and training specialists.

The university is cooperating with the intellectual centres in all the Arctic states and is participating in a number of international programmes, projects and fora, thus facilitating public democracy through interaction of students, teachers and experts.

NArFU is maintaining active cooperation – within the framework of the many projects, including expeditions – with the Russian Ministry of Education and Science, the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring, the Russian Geographical Society, the Russian Academy of Sciences and SevHyrdoMet.

NArFU flags are planted on Alaska peaks, the archipelagoes of Novaya Zemlya and Franz Joseph Land. We have crossed the White, the Barents and the Kara Seas to explore the climate change and its effects, the physicochemical characteristics and the biology of the environment, the state of the Arctic ocean and adjacent areas, the folklore and the anthropology of the region, and discovered the unique archaeological artifacts on the Solovetsky Islands.

The biggest project this year has been the ‘Arctic Floating University’. Arranged on board the research vessel professor Molchanov, it enabled large scale exploration of high latitudes and major scientific research.

The RGS’s ‘Floating University’ grant was handed in to Leonid Vasiliev, Chairman of Arkhangelsk RGS centre and chief of FSFE Northern TAHEM, by president Vladimir Putin.

We understand that our immediate presence in the Arctic will enable us to identify ways in which we can develop its resources. It is necessary that the vulnerable nature of the northern areas should be taken into consideration, especially in the context of the changing climate and the economic development activities. Being the federal centre for development of the Arctic, we are faced with the task of continuing the age-long tradition of expeditions, which was once initiated in Arkhangelsk – Russia’s first port – and of initiating new large-scale projects that may promise interesting research results applicable in further exploration of the polar region.   

Expeditions to the Arctic (pdf)

NArFU’s Expeditions to the Arctic

  • June 2012: Floating University. Will witness an expedition to be jointly arranged by M.V. Lomonosov NArFU and North Region RosHydromet within the framework the ‘Floating University’ project. The research vessel ‘Professor Molchanov’ will take the members of the 30/40-day expedition to the White and Barents Seas – to reach Spitsbergen. The members will include 20-25 NArFU’s brightest students, lecturers, researchers of North Region RosHydromet, Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, State Institute of Oceanography, Russian State Museum of Arctic and Antarctic, ‘Russian Arctic’ National Park, and colleagues from Norway.
  • November – December 2011: complex polar expedition jointly launched by Institute of Ecological Problems of the North (RAS Ural Branch) and M.V.Lomonosov Northern (Arctic) Federal university to study the thermal source of natural boundary Pymvashor (Nether-Polar Urals). The complex biogeochemical and geo-ecological research targeted Pymvashor’s dynamics in winter season. Pymvashor is the only thermal spring discovered in the European part of the Russian North.
  • 5 August 2011: Research vessel ‘Professor Molchanov’ on an expedition. North Region RosHydromet-owned research vessel ‘Professor Molchanov’ on an expedition: Arkhangelsk – Pevek – Wrangel Island – Pevek – Arkhangelsk. The 45-day voyage was participated by North Region RosHydromet, Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, Arkhangelsk office of Russian Geographical Society and NArFU film crew. The joint research focused on the hydrometeorological regimes of the White, the Barents, the Kara, the Laptev, the East Siberian and the Chuckchee Seas, and on the ecological state of Wrangel Island. The scientists of Arkhangelsk office of Russian Geographical Society did their research within the framework of the project titled ‘In the Footsteps of Pomors’. Their task was to study the natural, historical and cultural environment of the traditional seafaring routes once navigated by the Pomors – contemporaries and descendants of scientist M.V. Lomonosov – and served the purpose of enhancing sustainable use of natural resources, conserving and propagating the cultural and natural values of the Russian Arctic in the light of M.V. Lomonosov’s ideas. Based on the materials gained during the voyage, NArFU film crew made a documentary about the expedition.
  • 1 July – 10 August 2011: NArFU’s first archeological expedition. NArFU’s first expedition to explore the heritage of the Solovetsky Monastery. The obtained data will enable restoration of the long-lost buildings and among them monastery of Abbot Phillip Kolychev.
  • July 2011: Expedition to Novaya Zemlya. Expedition to Novaya Zemlya signposted the cape of Pinegin and a number of other areas as belonging to the "Russian Arctic" National Park.
  • July-September 2011: Russian research expedition "Alaska-2011". In addition to exploring the ways of life of the indigenous people, the expedition was also tasked with reconstruction of geography of the historical route our forefathers were taking to deliver goods into the Alaska hinterland.
  • 12-24 July 2011: Anthropological and folklore expedition. Anthropological and folklore expedition to the Zimny (Winter) Shore of the White Sea – Ruchji and Megra villages in Mezen municipality, Arkhangelsk Region – to collect the Pomor and the Nenets folk tales and to explore the identity of indigenous people.
  • 1-11 June: "Ivan Petrov" research vessel on an expedition to the White Sea. The data scientists obtained describes sea bottom profile and is covered in the detailed reports which reflect the climate change dynamics in the Arctic –the "planet’s weather indicator", as now commonly referred to by research community. NArFU Media Center "Arctic bridge" has made a film about the expedition titled "To the Arctic Shores of Russia".
  • April-June 2011: Sport and research expedition "Seven Tops of Alaska" dedicated to the 300 th anniversary of Mikhail Lomonosov and the 70th anniversary of the Arctic convoys. NArFU’s team spent 40 days covering 450 km in the snow-covered area of America’s northernmost state. The sportsmen from Arkhangelsk conquered seven tops (Mount Bear, Mount Bona, Mount Churchill, Mount Regal, Mount Blackburn, Mount Wrangel, Mount Zanetti), the highest being Bona Mountain (5005 m). Mountain climbers have also covered four passes. The three of them, due to having been passed for the first time ever, gained new names – "Mikhail Lomonosov", "Northern (Arctic) Federal University" and "Archangel". The "Seven Tops of Alaska" was awarded the Red Fox Challenge–2011 grant.
  • August-September 2010: NArFU students participated in the cleanup at Alexandra Land in Franz Josef Land.
Updated 21.09.2012