St Petersburg University has become a member of the Standardization Technical Committee No 187 “Research in Polar regions”. The mission of the Committee is to set up national standards in polar research, and its first session was in Moscow State Duma.

SPbU is represented by Prof Kirill Chistiakov and Associate Prof Boris Ivanov and Irina Fedorova. Any ambitious project in the Arctic, as experts say, can trigger challenges, and the reason is high latitudes. So, extensive preliminary work, both scientific and engineering, is vital and needs to focus on specific nature and environmental vulnerability of the region.

Artur Chilingranov, a special representative of the President of the Russian Federation in international collaboration in the Arctic and Antarctic, Senior Vice-President of the Russian Geographical Society, said the session was particularly important: “Today we will have to respond to the challenges Russia is facing in polar research”.

Another vital factor in any work the Arctic and Antarctic, especially in the harsh environment, is high-calibre human resources. SPbU told about main principles how it educated and prepared specialists to work in the polar regions. “St Petersburg University offers a wide range of educational programmes with a focus on the Arctic. Now it is vital to bring together the university and polar research society”, — said Director of the Institute of Earth Sciences at SPbU Kirill Chistiakov.

To form the Committee is important, said Deputy Director of the Federal Agency for Technical Administration and Meteorology Anton Shalaev. “The recent years have triggered a revival in Russia’s state system of standardization, which, since the USSR, has been recognized as a world’s leading system. Our standards in the polar research were definitive and authoritative worldwide. Changes in technologies and extensive exploration of the Arctic bring new challenges. Russia needs to re-gain its reputation of an authoritative and reliable centre of research standardization in polar regions”, — said Anton Shalaev.