Training course

Training program will be conducted for the main course "Ecology and environmental management ", as well as related courses "Hydrometeorology", "Geography" and "Soil science".

Language of study – English.The main partners for the program realization are Saint-Petersburg State University and Hamburg University. Also is planned to invite in the program other European universities from Germany, Finland and Denmark.

Education in the Master program will take two years. There is a possibility to have one semester study in partner universities (Hamburg University etc) during the Master program.

As part of scientific research students participate in expeditions to the polar regions (the Lena River delta, Yamal Peninsula, Kolyma and Tur Rivers deltas and others) and (or) are undergoing field training under the guidance of teachers. There is a possibility of training on the bases of the Institute of Earth Sciences, St. Petersburg State University in the Leningrad region, in Finland on the basis of Lammi Biological University of Helsinki and on Svalbard in the University UNIS.


Information about teaching staff

Teaching staff conducting the program have the qualification level of leading Russian and world universities, which are carrying out comparable in level and orientation of educational programs. All the teachers, that are providing the formation of professional competencies, have basic education and academic degree corresponding to the profile of taught discipline and experience of field work in Polar Regions.

The staff of Russian and German universities and research institutes (SPbSU, Arctic and Antarctic research institute, Institute of Physics of the Earth of RAS (Moscow), Forest Institute of RAS (Krasnoyarsk), Kazan Federal University, Hamburg University, University of Potsdam, Alfred-Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Helsinki University and others) will be invited for teaching the program.


Areas of professional activity of graduates

For the graduates of the program it is possible to apply their competencies in scientific, industrial, planning and surveying, educational and administrative areas corresponded with use of geoecological, hydrometeorological, paleogeografic and pedological methods in study of polar and mountain regions.


List of the courses and credit points (СР):

Core 1: English in Environmental Science; Writing up Research and Academic English (2 CP)

Core 2: Philosophic Problems of Natural Science and History of Cold Regions Research (1 CP)

Core 3: Special Aspects of Higher Mathematics (Object-Oriented Programming for Science; Soft Skills; Statistic) and GIS (3 CP)

Core 4. Research Project (7 CP), including:
• Soil, Water and Vegetation Processes
• Methods of investigation of soil organic matter of litter and detritus origin
• Methods of Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology
• Training of Geochemical Analyses

Teaching (3 СР):
• Career Development in Science
• Polar science communication and outreach

Research Internship:
• Expedition on Permafrost Sites;
• Hydrometeorological, Soil, Geomorphological, Ecological, and Climate Field Methods and Measurements

Module 1. Basics on Cold Regions Sciences (12 CP)
• Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Climate Dynamics (2 CP)
• Cold Region Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology (2 CP)
• Permafrost Hydrology and Hydrometeorology (2 CP)
• Permafrost: Definitions, Properties and Development (2 CP)
• Particularities of Cold Region Geology (2 CP)
• Glaciology (2 CP)

Module 2. Periglacial landscapes (7 CP)
• Landscapes of Periglacial Regions (2 CP)
• Trace gas fluxes in Permafrost (1.5 CP)
• Humic substances of permafrost affected soils and sediments (1.5 CP)
• Biogeochemical Cycles in Permafrost Landscapes (2 CP)

Module 3: Quaternary paleogeography of Cold Regions (7 CP)
• Paleolimnology and paleoclimatology of Cold Regions (2 CP)
• Methods of Geochronometry and Micropaleontology in Cold Regions studies (2 СР)
• Geomorphology and Subaerial Quaternary Deposits of Permafrost (1.5 CP)
• Paleo soils of periglacial zone of high Pleistocene (1 CP)
• Isotopic methods in paleogeography (1 CP)

Module 4: Geochemistry and geoecology of Cold Regions (7 CP)
• Hydroecology and Sustainability of Cold Regions Aquatic Ecosystem (1 CP)
• Polar Medicine (1 СР)
• Carbon Transformation in Land-Ocean connection Zone (1 СР)
• Regional policy in permafrost regions (1,5 CP)
• Heat exchange in atmosphere surface layer and soil active layer (1 СР)
• Different Scale Modeling (1.5 CP)

Module 5: Permafrost Soils (7 CP)
• Permafrost Soils and Landscapes in the Climate System (2 CP)
• Soil Mapping, Field course (2 CP)
• / Soils and Land Use of Wetlands (seminars) (1,5 CP)

Module 6: Biogeochemistry of Cold Regions (7 CP) (teaching in Germany, list of courses could be changed according to program of particular German university)
• Terrestrial Ecosystem Processes within Earth System Models (2 CP)
• Application of Stable Isotopes in Terrestrial Ecosystems (3 CP)
• Using the Eddy Covariance Method (2 СР).

Preparation of student research project and the final qualifying work (master's thesis) defense.


Admission test for the program

For Russian applicants the exam consists of portfolio competition and written part. Portfolio should obligatory include motivation letter, copy of education certificate (Bachelor or Specialist Degree) and document confirming English language knowledge. Essay on the chosen theme of master thesis and documents confirming participation of the applicant in science projects, expeditions, summer schools, conferences as well as publications are optional. Written part of the exam consists of two questions. First is about basic knowledge of processes in atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, pedosphere, biosphere: second – about special qualities of polar and mountain areas of Earth as well as ecological and geoecological tasks of environmental science.
For the foreign applicants only the portfolio competition is carried out, but all the documents should be provided in English.