St Petersburg University, Vice-Rector for Research Sergei Aplonov has met Prof Taisaku Ikesima from Waseda University and shared our experience in educating and preparing students to work in the Arctic.

Prof Ikesima visited SPbU to get an insight into our approach to the Arctic. He was primarily interested in how we educate and prepare the “Arctic» specialists and how we see the potential of the Arctic research.

Vice-Rector for Research Sergei Aplonov gave extensive answers to his questions.

“An overwhelming majority of the all problems connected with the Arctic is interdisciplinary in nature and what impedes their solutions is a lack of our knowledge. We don’t have sufficient data about the Arctic region; we cannot make any detailed forecasts about the Arctic ice melt and global warming. Consequently, we cannot assess primary resources at the Arctic shelf area. Our primarily concern is therefore to prepare students, hold international conferences and commissions, carry out research projects to gain deeper understanding of the Arctic. SPbU is at the forefront of research on the Arctic globally”, — said Vice-Rector.

Today, there are 48 projects on the Arctic and 256 projects partially related to the Arctic, says the Vice-Rector.

The last three years have seen a rise in the international interest to the Arctic, says Sergei Aplonov. Cooperation of any kind is just what we need as all the Arctic research projects are incredibly costly, says Sergei Aplonov.  Still, we have to bear in mind that any negligence can be fatally harmful to the Arctic.

“Much is said and written about global economic crisis, but we must remember that a complete ice melt at the Arctic and Antarctic will rise the sea level by 89 metres, which will sweep all the economy”, — said the Vice-Rector.

For reference:

SPbU is a leading centre for the Arctic research which also educates and prepares students to work in the region. The University offers a number of programmes with a specific focus on the Arctic, including POMOR (Russia-Germany master’s programme “Polar and marine research” of SPbU and University of Hamburg); FOBOS (“Physical oceanography and bio-productivity of oceans and seas”, an interdisciplinary, solution-oriented, and complex master’s programme at the Institute of the Earth Sciences); and others.