The project has reached a new level and got international status: young scientists from eight countries - Russia, Brazil, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Canada, the USA and Finland – take part in the voyage.
"Arctic Floating University" is a joint scientific and educational project of Northern (Arctic) Federal University (Arkhangelsk, Russia) and Roshydromet, supported by the Russian Geographical Society (RGS). In 2015, the project became the winner of RGS projects contest again and got new partners - national park "Russian Arctic", Rosmolodezh and LLC "Omela Group".
The research program AFU-2015 includes;
integrated monitoring of changes in vegetation transition zones of the Arctic tundra in the time of climate change;
study of the "Russian Arctic" National Park's historical and cultural heritage;
pollution assessment of local island territories, where in Soviet times an active economic activity took place, but recently the work to eliminate environmental damage has been carried out;
study of organisms and populations species diversity on the Novaya Zemlya, the Franz Josef Land and in adjacent waters.
Participants of the expedition were waiting for its start with great enthusiasm.
"This is my fourth expedition. This time I will be working in the soil block. We are engaged in the study of soil cover in the Arctic territories, soil exploration on the level of PH (pH value), its electric conductivity. In the future, we will conduct research on radioactive metals, oil and nutrients,"- said Anna Trofimova, graduate student of NArFU Institute of science and technology.
Daniel Powers, project manager at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, lives and works in Alaska (USA), but really wants to go to another part of the Arctic - on the Franz Josef Land.
"I have been studying genetics and biochemistry. In the expedition I hope to gain new knowledge and will attend lectures. I would like to find new friends among Russian students and students from other countries,"- told the young scientist.
Fernanda Casagrande, a PhD student, a meteorologist from the National Space Research Institute (Sao Paulo, Brazil) studies Antarctica and has never been to the Arctic. During the voyage Fernanda wants to gather necessary information for her PhD project.
"I work at the center of climate change research. My PhD project is devoted to these processes and their modeling. I am going to the Arctic for the first time, but before that I have participated five times in Antarctic expeditions. For me it is important to exchange knowledge and experience. I hope that the expedition will be successful, "- said the Brazilian participant.