4 августа 2020  |  
9:23 AM  July 13, 2020

Arctic and Siberia under a microscope: TSU invites to "eco-master's"

© предоставлено Сергеем КирпотинымArctic and Siberia under a microscope: TSU invites to eco-master's

TOMSK, Jul 13 – RIA Tomsk. Tomsk State University invites students for the only in Russia master's degree program in Siberia and the Arctic. According to the university, its graduates are in demand and are engaged in solving problems around the world arising from the changing climate and technological disasters, for example, such as the leak of diesel fuel in Norilsk.

The head of the "Study of Siberia and the Arctic" program, Sergey Kirpotin, told RIA Tomsk more about the master's degree program and prospects for students.

From courses to practice

It was previously reported that TSU opened this master's degree program in 2016. Its goal is to train professional researchers of the region. The program includes more than 20 courses, including bog study, hydrology, climatology, environmental research methods, management of research stations.

The orientation of the master's degree program – is to train highly qualified specialists in the field of ecology and environmental management of Siberia and the Arctic, who own modern methods of environmental research and the methodology of scientific research.

© предоставлено Сергеем Кирпотиным
Work on a swamp buggy
First, students study Siberia and the Arctic from a geographical point of view, then there are courses on methods for studying the biological, physical and chemical properties of natural environments. At the same time, master's students can additionally choose engineering, pedagogical and even humanitarian specializations.

Students undergo practical training at TSU research stations in the Ob floodplain, in Altai and Yamal. In addition, students participate in real scientific projects, including research under grants from Russian and European scientific foundations.

Some of the courses are taught by world-famous scientists and foreign experts. Among them there are Terry Callaghan, a professor at TSU and University of Sheffield, who has been working in the field of Arctic ecology for more than 40 years, vice-president of the International Permafrost Association Vladimir Romanovsky, the largest polar researcher from Warsaw Institute of Geophysics, Piotr Glowacki.

© предоставлено Сергеем Кирпотиным
Terry Callaghan, TSU and University of Sheffield professor

From admission to employment

According to Kirpotin, graduates of bachelor's and specialist's degrees can enter the master's degree program without being tied to a specific field of study: "Wherever they study before – ecology, science departments and others – we still give them new unique knowledge about Siberia and the Arctic. Therefore, the background of applicants can be very different. Even teachers who want to become ecologists come to us".

© предоставлено Сергеем Кирпотиным
Funnels due to permafrost thawing
Kirpotin notes that the master's program is one of a kind – in other universities or large scientific centers of Russia there are no specialized programs devoted to Siberia and the Arctic. Moreover, interest in this topic throughout the world is quite high.

"Everyone understands that the Russian sector of the Arctic has not been sufficiently explored. The Arctic – is a huge land mass on which many processes in our world depend. There are many formulations about the Arctic, for example, it is called the "weather kitchen". In a word, this is a huge field for studying and research", – the professor said.

© пресс-служба Томского государственного университета
As the agency’s interlocutor said, after graduating from a master's degree program, its graduates can choose at least two areas for further development: go to science or work in the field of ecology, including engineering and production.

"Of course, we expect that some of the masters will then go to postgraduate school. The master’s degree is partly a transitional step to science. Another way for the graduate is employment: a huge number of enterprises need specialists who know the ecosystems of Siberia and the Arctic", – says Kirpotin.

He adds that the demand for graduates of this master's program is growing amid problems associated with climate change and man-made disasters. 

"For example, a large-scale catastrophe in Norilsk – ecologists with knowledge of this territory are needed here to work with the consequences as efficiently as possible. <...> Also, in my opinion, graduates can work in independent and industrial environmental services. There will always be jobs and worthy projects for them in every country", – believes the professor.

The conditions for admission to the program are published on the website of Tomsk State University.

© предоставлено Сергеем Кирпотиным
Swamp in Moryakovka

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