Scholars Discuss Challenges Faced by Geographical Sciences

In October, 2022, the Department of Geography of Perm State University (PSU) held a round table “Modern Research in Geographic Systems” as part of the “Science and Global Challenges in the 21st Century” university-wide Forum. The Conference was organized by the Department of Physical Geography and Landscape Ecology, PSU.

The Conference participants included university professors and staff from large Russian companies, with reports presented by teams of researchers from Perm, Saratov, Kirov and Moscow. The distinctive feature of the research activity had been its inter-disciplinary character, as the teams included mathematicians and philologists besides geographers.

The topics for reports have been urgent global issues requiring joint environmental, hydro-meteorological, and geography-based solutions. Anisya Lyadova, Associate Professor of the Department of Physical Geography and Landscape Ecology, PSU, spoke about the tools and opportunities of preserving and developing the industrial heritage of the Urals. A group of scientists led by Sergey Kostarev, Associate Professor of the Department of Biogeocenology and Nature Conservation, PSU, investigated the case of formation of industrial wastewater discharged into paleokarst deposits.

Tatyana Subbotina, Associate Professor of the Department of Socio-Economic Geography, PSU, along with her colleagues studied extractions of a large urban center with a million-plus population, using the specific example of the city of Perm, Russia.

Evgeny Konyshev, acting Head of the Department of Socio-Economic Geography in a group of PSU scholars and colleagues from Vyatka State University studied the perception of the tourist and recreational space of the territory using text data analysis.

Professor Elena Polyanskaya and her team from the Department of Meteorology and Climatology, Saratov Chernyshevsky State University presented the studies of long-term forecasting of seasonal hydro-meteorological phenomena and the interaction of circulation structures in the northern hemisphere.

Scholars from the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics and M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University analyzed the intraday population dynamics in natural and anthropogenic risks studies, using the example of the city of Moscow, Russia.

A total of 10 reports were presented, using the English language. A video recording of the roundtable is available here.

The Conference materials had been double-blind peer-reviewed by international and Russian scholars, and checked for plagiarism according to the required standards, with further results to be published in the “Lecture Notes in Networks and Systems” series by Springer, indexed in Scopus.

Book by PSU Geologists and Geographers to Be Published at Springer

The monograph by PSU scholars, titled “Sulphate Karst in Perm Region” will be published at one of the largest international publishing houses, Springer. The publication is included in the “Cave and Karst Systems of the World” book series, covering publications on karst-built natural sites of Brazil, Hungary, Madagascar, Italy, Romania, Slovenia, USA, Turkey, France, Croatia and South Africa.

The monograph “Sulphate Karst of the Perm Territory” was published in July, 2021, as a joint work of geologists and geographers of Perm State University (PSU). The publication have performed under support by the Government of the Perm Territory, as a part of a dedicated grant framework.

The research concentrates on sulfate karst, the character of its processing and distribution in the Perm region. The publication also contains an updated zone map of the territory, incorporating the use of GIS technologies, a detailed description of related areas describing the geological and hydrogeological conditions for the development of karst and karst phenomena.

Upon collaboration of the book authors and Springer editorial team, its new English language edition was announced for December, 2022. The publication is included in the Cave and Karst Systems of the World – to be the first among those publications on karst objects in Russia.

“Undoubtedly, the English version will allow a wide circle of international scholars to get acquainted with the results of our research. It will also increase the tourist attractiveness of the unique karst objects of the Perm Territory, such as the Kungur Ice and the Ordinskaya caves,” says Olga Meshcheryakova, Senior Researcher, Laboratory of Geology of Technogenic Processes, Natural Sciences Institute, PSU.

To remind, PSU scholars had already had a successful cooperation with Springer in 2019, as they published the “Dams and Reservoirs in Evaporites” monograph in collaboration with Professor Petar Milanovic, the University of Belgrade (Serbia).

Meet Record-Winning Yachtsmen Family, at PSU!

Fancy discovering the world? Curious about complex independent expeditions? Want to make your own journey media-popular? Seeking for support by the Russian Geographical Society?

On 28 September, Perm State University (PSU) runs a meeting with Russian travelers Andrey and Marina Klochkov, famous for their southernmost family circumnavigation in history. The meeting will be held with the support by the Russian Geographical Society, Perm Branch.

In the spring of 2022, Andrei and Marina Klochkovs, accompanied by their daughters Anastasia and Lada, successfully finished their three-year voyage on board of yacht Lady Mary. The sailers crossed the equator four times and reached Antarctica.

Exciting stories, photos and videos about distant lands, fears, trials and overcoming obstacles, as well as travel planning tips, equipment used and media support for both beginners and experienced travelers – find out this and more at our meeting at PSU!

Date and time of meeting: 28 September at 5pm – introduction of travelers, press-conference; 6pm – lecture for PSU students and teaching staff.

Place of meeting: Perm State University (PSU), ul. Bukireva, 15, building 1, Conference Hall.

The Klochkovs family records:

  • first world ascent with juniors on all three great capes – Cape Horn (Chile), Cape Leeuwin (Australia), the Cape of Good Hope South Africa) and all the southern capes of the planet;
  • passing two poles of the planet: the Ocean Pole of Inaccessibility (Point Nemo) and the Pole of Sailors (Cape Horn);
  • 5 autonomous ocean crossings, lasting from 53 to 85 days;
  • 65 thousand nautical miles, of which more than 15 thousand miles have been in high latitudes, including ice;
  • cabin girl Lada Klochkova, the youngest post-Soviet sailor to pass Cape Horn and sail to Antarctica.

Awards and Nominations:  

Media Resources on Klochkovs’ Travels:  

 Picture Source: Klochkovs’ Page at VKontakte    

“It takes a special kind of mindset to save the planet”: PSU Dean and Expert Gets Involved into International Film Fest

Andrey Zaitsev, Chairman of Perm branch of the Russian Geographical Society, Dean of the Faculty of Geography, PSU, took part in the II International Film Festival “Shape of Life”.

The “Shape Of Life” International Film Festival is a professional event on environment, dedicated to the preservation of the environment and all forms of life on Earth. The Festival brings together directors regarding global natural processes and show that each person can help achieve ecological balance.

The competition program of the Film Festival featured nine Russian premieres and films from all over the world. The official closing ceremony announcing the results of the competition took place in Perm, Russia on 21 August. The Best Director award went to the “Freedom Squared” film, showing a young space medicine scientist who travels to the Antarctic station “Vostok”, the coldest point on the planet, to study human vision in extreme conditions. The nomination for the Best Cinematography was given to the “Kinneret” drama on wildlife. The winner of Best Scenario became a film on a village in Herzegovina, where life stopped twice, and revived again “The Prebilovites, Where Stones Have Scars”.

“The issues of environmental protection and preservation of life on the planet can only be resolved with our efforts united. More than hundred students in environmental and climate security graduate the Faculty of Geography at Perm State University, annually. Yet, it is not enough. To keep our planet in the same state as today, least, a joint action is needed. The important mission that documentary films follow is forming a special, green-friendly type of thinking that helps resolving our global tasks,”

says Andrey Zaitsev, Dean of the Faculty of Geography, PSU.

The Faculty of Geography at PSU is known among the leading national and international centers of geosciences. The Faculty prepares specialists in physical, economic and social geography, cartography and geo-informatics, tourism and socio-cultural service, hydrometeorology and environmental management. Among the Faculty partners are universities and research centers of UK, Germany, USA, Italy, Poland, Finland, Kazakhstan.

The Faculty of Geography was one of the first to introduce alternative sources of energy – the solar-wind power plant and sun helioplant into the campus life, as well as an autonomous ecohouse on the site of the Preduralye Forest Reserve, Urals, Russia. The Faculty staff use modern equipment, among which are the mobile lab vehicle equipped for environmental diagnostics and the flying lab – unmanned air drone for tracking environmental changes.

The Faculty students do internship courses all around Russia from Kaliningrad to Kamchatka – including large governmental companies, industrial enterprises, reserves and national parks, academic and educational institutions, government bodies. The Student Ecological Board carries out a range of environmental events on campus and within the city site, promoting ecological-wise attitude.

PSU Traveler Publishes a Book on Most Remote Places

Andrei Korolev, a known Russian and international traveler, Associate Professor at the Department of Tourism, Faculty of Geography, PSU, has published the book “Earth Poles of Inaccessibility”, giving a comprehensive look of uninhabited lands of Russia and beyond, in favor of nature-oriented tourism.

Since the start of the Earth Poles of Inaccessibility project in 1998, Andrei Korolev did around 30 travel missions worldwide. The project involved travels to most inaccessible points of the world, with no use of vehicles (other than bicycles or ski), in a small group of people, completely autonomous.

Expedition routes passed through the inaccessibility poles of Eurasia, Russia, Kun-Lun, Tibet, Pamir, Tien Shan, North America, New Zealand, Madagascar, Altai, the Sayans and Urals, Continental US, as well as areas of inaccessibility in Antarctica, Greenland, Africa, South America and Australia.

“The areas known as inaccessible are very rarely visited, and serve a standard of natural purity. They give us a clue of what our planet was in prehistoric era. These are the places where the time seems to stop, and the impact of civilization is at its lowest,”

states Andrey Korolev.

In 2019, the Earth Poles of Inaccessibility project by Andrei Korolev, reached the finals of the Crystal Compass International Award regarded by many as the Geography Oscar.

According to Andrei Korolev, the main wealth of Russia is not minerals, but rather natural areas unaffected by production and trade. So, It is reasonable and important to protect them and save for the future generations. The practice of nature-oriented tourism is intended to help that.  

The book outlines such concepts as the “pole of inaccessibility” and “natural recreational system”, concentrating on specifics of tourism in natural areas, bringing unique facts and photos collected in numerous expeditions, as well as hints on planning tours to the remote places on the planet.

“The monograph is an attempt to make science more entertaining, which, ideally, geography should be. I tried to convey my research in the most appealing way – to make it an easy reading and fun for different types of readers,”

comments Andrei Korolev.

The book was published with a support by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, as a result of selected research papers’ competition. The “Earth Poles of Inaccessibility and Natural Recreational System” is available electronically at PSU Academic Library.

PSU Biologists and Hydrologists Contribute to Rivers of Europe Book

The Elsevier has published the second edition of the Rivers of Europe, ed. by K. Tockner, C. Zarfl, C.T. Robinson. As in the case of the first edition, researchers of the Faculty of Geography and the Faculty of Biology, Perm State University (PSU), contributed to the publication.

The book describes the biological and geographical features of the Volga and its tributaries, notably the Kama river and Perm-related part – serving the overall vision of the aquatic organisms and ichthyo-fauna, typical of the vast Volga-basin valley. It took 3 years to prepare the publication.

The contributors included researchers from the Department of Hydrology and Protection of Water Resources, the Department of Zoology of Invertebrates and Aquatic Ecology and the Department of Vertebrate Zoology and Ecology, PSU – making 1/3 of the section.

“The result is the most important reference book on all major European rivers, reflecting their current state. The urgent demand and feedback by its readers soon after the first publication in 2009 caused the editing team to start working on an updated version, nearly immediately,”

says Mikhail Baklanov, Head of the Department of Vertebrate Zoology and Ecology, PSU.

Interested on what is the Rivers of Europe about? Want to know more about Perm and the Kama basin?

The Volga River, at 3690 km (2293 mi), is known to be the longest river in Europe, 5th in Russia and 16th globally. The Volga flows into the Caspian Sea, the largest inland sea on Earth, covering various biomes from taiga to semidesert, holding about 151,000 rivers of which 2600 flow into the Volga directly – the Kama being its largest tributary, 5th longest river of Europe, crossing the vast Perm territory, and more.

Deriving its name from the Udmurt “kam”, meaning “river” or “current”. The river became a major link of communication between Asia and Europe. Originally colonized by Fins at the end of the 11th century, it saw the first Russian traders 3-4 centuries later, giving birth to Perm settlement and providing Imperial Russia with minerals, timber, fur and metals for production of armour and cannons.

Related section of the Book concerning the Kama river covers paleography; physiography, climate, and land use; geomorphology, hydrology, and biogeochemistry and questions of pollution; aquatic and riparian biodiversity – including plants, algae, zooplankton, zoobenthos and fish; questions of management and conservation; paleography of the catchment; physiography, climate, and land use.

Today, the Kama catchment consists of 12 administrative regions with a total population of 29 million people. Among them, >10 million (~40%) inhabit the adjacent riverine floodplain. Ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy, coal industry, oil processing, and engineering and chemical industries cause heavy mining activity. Industrial discharge from the river-side cities are the main sources of pollution.

Providing a comprehensive outlook of the Volga and Kama basin, regarding their challenges and prospects, the PSU researchers see the increased content of manganese and iron compounds in water as a result of both anthropogenic and natural factors, including the bed weathering. In general, waters of the Kama are suitable for technical and domestic water supply, after treatment and disinfection.

The book experts, contributing to the research and publication, included Dr. Svetlana Dvinskikh, ScD. Victor Noskov, ScD. Alexander Kitaev, ScD Margarita Aleksevnina, ScD Anna Istomina, ScD Elena Presnova, ScD Mikhail Baklanov, Dr. Evgeny Zinoviev from the faculties of Geography and Biology, PSU.

Please, see the PDF of the Rivers of Europe enclosed.

What Professions Does PSU Teach? Discover the Faculty of Geography!

Event management and HR, landscape design and weather forecasts, logistics and mapping, dealing with visa documentation and guiding tours? Learn it all at the same place – the Faculty of Geography, at Perm State University!

The Faculty of Geography, PSU is one of the national leaders in teaching geosciences, and more. The Faculty prepares specialists in physical, economic and social geography, cartography and geo-informatics, tourism and socio-cultural service, hydrometeorology and environmental management.

Among the Faculty partners are universities and research centers from Finland, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Poland, UK and USA. The Faculty conducts research, runs international conferences, seminars and summer schools for international students.

The Faculty staff uses modern equipment, like a mobile laboratory vehicle equipped for environmental diagnostics, a flying lab unmanned air drone, a solar-wind power plant, and more. The Faculty staff and students conducts various research on site of the Preduralye Forest Reserve, Perm krai, Russia.

So, what professions you might get as you graduate the PSU Faculty of Geography?

  • Geographer: a scientist and researcher of a variety of land-based disciplines and natural objects,  resources and components, as well as human-based factors, like density of population, economy, culture, etc. – with their territorial ‘attachments’.
  • Local historian/regional ethnographer: engages a comprehensive study of a local territory, district or city. 
  • Land surveyor: uses the skills of topographic survey and processing of topographic data.
  • Landscape designer: arranges/improves gardens and parks, suburban and urban areas.
  • Specialist in logistics: deals with issues of optimization of supply processes, transportation of products, warehousing.
  • Geography teacher (speaks for itself).
  • Tour guide: develops routes and related activities, runs tours.
  • Cartographer: gets engaged in professional activities in the field of creating maps and atlases of geosystems of different levels, digital databases and data banks.
  • Hydrologist: deals with the study of land waters and hydrological processes occurring in them, assessment and forecast of the state and rational use of water resources. Solves the problems of hydrometeorological support for the construction of economic facilities, hydrometeorological safety of the population.
  • Meteorologist: observes and researchers atmospheric phenomena.
  • Forecast specialist: deals with meteorological forecasts and the analysis of physical processes in the atmosphere.
  • Hydrochemist: studies the chemical composition of natural waters and the patterns of its change.
  • Oceanologist: studies the seas and oceans, the state of the bottom and shelf.
  • Environmental engineer: gets engaged in professional activities related to ecology, nature conservation, environmental management and sustainable development. The environmental engineer carries out state, municipal, industrial environmental control, performs work on monitoring and forecasting environmental changes.
  • Event manager: organizes business and entertainment events for companies and individuals.
  • HR manager: responsible for the implementation and coordination of human resource management activities.
  • Guide: accompanies and informs tourists on international, national and local travels.
  • Visa service specialist: provides international tourists with necessary travel documents.
  • Tourism manager: gets engaged in the promotion, selection and sale of tours, as well as registration procedures and provision of necessary documents.

Apply to Perm State University today!

PSU Traveler Wins Geography ‘Oscar’ Competition

Andrei Korolev, Associate Professor, Department of Tourism, PSU has been awarded with the Crystal Compass («Хрустальный компас») International Award in the “Travel and Expedition” nomination. The “Earth Poles of Inaccessibility” project by Andrei Korolev and his team, launched in 1998, remains active until today, raising attention and applause from professionals in tourism, worldwide.

Expedition routes passed through the inaccessibility poles of Eurasia, Russia, Kun-Lun, Tibet, Pamir, Tien Shan, North America, New Zealand, Madagascar, Altai, the Sayans and Urals, Continental US, as well as areas of inaccessibility in Antarctica, Greenland, Africa, South America and Australia.

“The areas known as inaccessible are very rarely visited, and serve a standard of natural purity. They give us a clue of what our planet was in prehistoric era. These are the places where the time seemes to stop, and the impact of civilization is at its lowest,”

states Andrei Korolev

The biggest expedition around Tibet territories reached 49 days, with a length of 2500 km (1 553 mi). The project involves travels to most inaccessible points of the world, with no use of vehicles (other than bicycles or ski), in a small group of people, completely autonomous.

Since 2006, the total mass of data collected throughout expeditions became a source for 2 books, over 50 papers and monographs, as well as research publications in the Scopus, also to mention popular science magazines, like National Geographic.

The Crystal Compass, regarded as an international ‘Oscar’ in geography by many, is a known international award marking notable achievements and practical solutions in geography and ecology, as well as preservation and protection of natural, historical and cultural heritage.

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