Ms E. Lapshina. UNESCO Chair of Yugra State University and realization of the educational programs for sustainable development

UNESCO Chair in "The dynamics of the environment and global climate change" is one of the youngest inRussia. It was opened in December 2008 on the basis of Ugra State University (USU). The University is an active participant in the implementation of innovative educational programs for the young experts. It trains them for the most popularlabor market areas using international experience. The achievement of this goal involves the development of modern high-tech educational and productivegovernmental systems and experimentalpolygons, equipped with modernfacilities.

The  International “Muhrino” field station is this innovative platform for therealizations of scientific and educational projectsand programs of new generation in the field of studyingbiodiversity, ecology and conservation.The field station "Muhrino" is connected with theUNESCO Chair "The dynamics of the environment and global changes of the climate".

Currently the UNESCO ChairUSU functions on the basis of theResearch and Education Center (REC) inthe structure of which are also included: traininglaboratory facilities in the village Shapsha, inter-tional field station in "Muhrino"and Learning Department of Biology.

Teaching and laboratory facilities in the villageShapsha are equipped for scientificresearch, organization ofsummer schools, seminars and meetings. There are also educational and research laboratories, a conference room, and specialized scientific library.In 2009 with the support of the Department ofEcology in Khanty-Mansiysk AutonomousOkrug - Yugra, the company "Urayneftegaz"and in the "Petroleum Development N.V.V" an international experimental field station of the UNESCO Chair in "Muhrino" wasbuilt. Its purpose is the study of biodiversity, carbon balance,and the response of natural ecosystems to climate changes.

The main purpose of the internationalfield station is to provide conditionsto conduct researchpractice and work of students, post-graduates and scientists from domestic and foreignscientific centers. On the basis of itall the necessary conditions for year-roundwork were created.

The main objects of research are equipment by power supply system of the department. They are arranged in the immediateproximity to research facilities (700 mfrom the base), in the swamp, on which wooden bridges are built. Every year scientistsand experts from different countries visit the scientificdepartment. 

One of the attractions forresearchers is the established infrastructureof the field station and autonomous system of power supply (solarbatteries and wind power installation), that provides year-round work ofelectrical and instrumentation equipment.The satellite Internet aerial and system ofvideo observation were installed in 2012.

It provides the wireless access to the measurementresults and possibilities to look at thefield experiments from any point of Earth.Since July 2009 on the field station  functionsweather station equipped in accordance with state standardsof "Roshydromet". 

There are 2 weather stations at the field station(manual and automatic) at the peatland.Automatic meteostation has a Wi-Fi connectionand is able to send all measurements toInternet. Also the half-automatic methanemeasurementchambers are installed there.

Hydrology regime is automatically measuringfor the whole year by system of diver controllers.A lot of students visit our station on the base of UNESCO Chair since2009. There are 28 students doing theirpractice and 35 post-graduates from 12 universitiesdo their scientific research.

Master program “Geoecology and biosystemprotection” was launched on the basis of scientific-research centre in 2012. This programinvolves the modern research methods by internationalstandards. Also it includes the participatingof students for the actual Russianand international scientific projects on the basis of the  field station.UNESCO Chair staff does the organizingactivities besides the scientific and studyingwork. Among them: XI  Workshop for thestudy of macromycetes by the Commissionof Russian Botanical Society and MycologicalInternational School. Experts from Belgium, the Netherlands, and 30 scholars and mycologists from 11 regions of Russia, including young scientists,students and graduates participated in it .Traditionally the field excursion are held atthe field station for Russian and foreign scientistsin field of geo-ecology, environmentalmanagement and nature protection.International field symposium “West Siberianpeatlands and carbon cycle: past andpresent” was organized in 2011. 80 scientistsfrom 8 countries and 13 subjects of RussianFederation participated in it.Totally there was 14 international, 3 all-Russian и 5 regional activities for 4 year existingof a UNESCO Chair (2009-2012). They involved 480 people (including 260 foreign scientists andspecialists).

UNESCO Chair realizes the programs of internationalcollaboration in the field of the biodiversity,biosystem ecology and environmentaldynamic in conditions of global warming.International recognition andeffectiveness of the UNESCO Chair was proved byan inclusion of the field station “Mukhrino”into the international network of environmentalmonitoring SCANNET.The field station “Muhrino” of the UNESCOChair became a part of a consortium ofthe international networking project withinthe 7th Framework Programme “Internationalnetwork of ground-based research andmonitoring in the Arctic: INTERACT ( in 2011.

6 scientific-researcher projects on the basisof UNESCO Chair with participation of USU university have been realized only last year:

  • International  sociological  survey “Forestin the life of city and village people of KhMAO-Yugra”
  • Research of the water invertebratesproject by Radboud University andstudents of Yugra State University
  • French- Swiss-Polish experiment “Wetlandsystems functioning and its respond forclimate change”
  • Field seminar-practicum “Forestry servicemethodology” and creating the stationaryplots for monitoring of forest dynamic byScotland scientists
  • Genetic research to definegenetic and adaptive variability of pinepopulation by genetics from Edinburgh
  • International seminar-symposium“Climate impact on the chemical andphysical processes in peat” by PolishscientistsINTERACT project is of great  importance forKhMAO-Yugra and for all scientists from EU because a great variety of  widespreadareas of natural (undisturbed) wetlandsthat are located in Western Siberia. It has aglobal impact and it is necessary to take theseareas for calculation of the climate changingmodels.“Mukhrino” field station provides uniqueopportunity to realize scientific researches for EU and other countries.Also it is the ideal place for exchanging theexperience and knowledge which involvedstudents as well as specialists from differentcountries.

Activities of the UNESCO Chair, Yugra State University, contribute to the extensionof international collaboration in scienceand study, to realization of theteaching programs involving the internationalscientific society in the field of geo-ecologyand nature protection, in solving the biodiversityproblems and global climate change onthe international and regional levels.