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MASU joins the University Consortium for the World Ocean studies

  • 17.02.2023
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MASU joins the University Consortium for the World Ocean studies

From now on, students of Murmansk Arctic State University have an opportunity to do research on the World Ocean and coastal zones.

In late January, Murmansk Arctic State University was included into the University Consortium for the World Ocean Studies on January 24. During the Consortium's members meeting, Irina Shadrina, MASU Rector, presented the university's key research areas and projects for joint implementation.

The agreement on the establishment of the University Consortium was signed in November 2020 between three universities — Sevastopol State University, Far Eastern Federal University and Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University, all of which located in key coastal areas of the Russian Federation.

At that moment, the Consortium's work has covered almost the entire maritime territory of Russia — from regions in the west and seas in the south to the eastern coast. Murmansk Arctic State University was invited to the Consortium as a representative of the northern Arctic waters and coastal territories of the marginal seas of the Russian Federation.

The University Consortium for the World Ocean studies is a research and educational cluster of international standard designed to study the World Ocean and coastal zones, as well as to train qualified specialists. A partnership of such kind allows creating a nationwide university system for studying the World Ocean.

'Unlike the majority of Consortiums established under the geographical principle, the Consortium for the World Ocean studies is theme-oriented,' commented George Gogoberidze, MASU Vice Rector for Research Affairs. 'The consortiums of this kind prove to work more efficiently due to the clear definition of the study subject.'

Later in January, representatives of MASU and Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University discussed the key areas of collaborative work.

They plan to create a joint bachelor's degree program in Ecology and Nature Management, as well as develop two joint master's degree programs: Geo-ecology of the Ocean and Coastal Zones and Natural and Cultural Maritime Heritage.

In terms of research, the collaborative work will be divided into three areas. The first area implies opening of a carbon polygon in Murmansk region with the support of the Consortium's members. The polygon is to be partially offshore. This way, it will be possible to share data between offshore and onshore facilities of the polygon and analyse it as a whole.

The second area focuses on marine spatial planning. Such an approach to the spatial planning and the development of marine and coastal zones helps to respect both the interests and concerns of various nature users: from ports, piping systems and the navy to protected areas, therefore providing an opportunity for effective spatial ecological, social and economic development.

The third area deals with the monitoring of cumulative environmental damage within coastal zones of the seas in Russia. Murmansk Arctic State University suggested this specific project as the university has Monitoring and Preservation of Arctic Nature Ecosystems Laboratory at its disposal. The lab concentrates on the issues of studying the Arctic ecosystems' pollution along with the possibility of reducing the negative impact on nature. The lab's researchers work closely with the regional authorities and stakeholders.

Moreover, there are two additional areas for the future, both of which oriented on marine biotechnologies and marine robotics.

'These two areas are extremely relevant and interesting. Our university will act here primarily as the platform for testing the techniques and tools under the climate conditions of the High North, and their adaptation to Arctic,' added George Gogoberidze.

The roadmap for the collaborative work within the Consortium implies joint field research and summer schools for students and young researchers. It is planned that MASU students take will part in summer schools this year.

To know more about the Consortium, watch the full version of George Gogoberidze's interview in Russian here.

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