The vessel "Professor Molchanov" with 55 participants of the "Arctic Floating University" sailed from Arkhangelsk on 1 August. The expedition team included representatives of universities, scientific and research institutions and industrial companies: NArFU, Northern Department for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring, Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, the national park "Russian Arctic", Total (France). UArctic member universities participated in the expedition as well: University of Northern British Columbia (Canada), Roskilde University (Denmark), UIT The Arctic University of Norway, and Umeå University (Sweden).
The vessel’s route in this expedition lied near the Northern Sea Route to continue monitoring in the framework of the research units. "Professor Molchanov" visited also the Ice Harbor and Cape Desire in Novaya Zemlya.
An important part of the expedition was the study of changes in Arctic species diversity.
"We obtained very interesting results. Our biologists team studied the plant diversity of the Arctic, collected more than 30 species of rare plants. We also managed to capture more than a dozen plants that had not been observed in these regions of the Arctic. More than 70 soil samples were taken for heavy metals content. The meteorological research was conducted as well, scheduling the temperatures’ differences in the coastal sea zone and coastal stations, "- said the head of the expedition.
The educational program for students was aimed at the comprehensive understanding of the Arctic. Lectures on various subjects were hold during expedition: botany, indigenous issues and economic development of the region. Such an interdisciplinary approach enabled a deeper understanding of the relationships of all systems in the Arctic, as well as the possibility of collaborative research for specialists.
The expedition was organized under the auspice of the Arctic Council. Participation in this project of specialists and students from different countries underlined again that the Arctic is the place for international dialogue and cooperation.