UTMN: UTMN takes part in International Arctic project

The new Arctic project of the University of Tyumen and scientific organizations of Norway, Germany, India, and the United States is named after a constellation — URSA MAJOR. The project is funded by a grant from The Research Council of Norway. URSA MAJOR is an acronym for URban Sustainability in Action: Multi-disciplinary Approach through Jointly Organized Research schools. The project will take 5 years to implement, from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2026.

The project coordinator is the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center (NERSC) named after M. F. Nansen (Bergen, Norway). Participating organizations: Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway); Institute of Meteorology and Climatology of University of Hannover (Germany), George Washington University (USA), Nansen Environmental Research Centre (India), Digital Learning Department of SINTEF Company (Norway), Arctic Frontier non-profit public relations company (Norway) and University of Tyumen (Russia).

Professor Igor Ezau is the project manager. The professor is a leading researcher at NERSC, a cryptology expert at the UTMN X-BIO Institute, a professor at the Geophysical Institute of the University of Bergen (Norway), and a specialist in the field of meteorology.

Professor Andrey Soromotin represents the University of Tyumen. The professor is the Director of the Research Institute of Ecology and Rational Use of Natural Resources of UTMN and an Honored Ecologist of the Russian Federation.

A team of specialists will also join the project on the behalf of UTMN. Experts of XBIO institute will participate: Andrey Yurtaev, Head of the International Integrated Research Laboratory for Climate Change, Land Use and Biodiversity; Pavel Smirnov, Head of Laboratory for Sedimentology and Paleobiosphere Evolution. As well as Professor Elena Gladun from the UTMN Institute of State and Law, winner of the Fulbright Arctic Initiative (2018-2019) will join URSA MAJOR.

Ivan Romanchuk, Rector of the University of Tyumen, commented:

“Developing Arctic research is a priority for the University of Tyumen. Being a part of a project of this scale and integrating into a large international research network is another step forward to archiving our goal.”

The project is directed to transforming the economy under the Green Deal. URSA facilitates the switch from the use of fossil fuels to renewable energy and raw materials, which will achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions and zero total pollution of the environment.

URSA MAJOR prioritizes the training of personnel for “smart” management of Arctic cities and settlements. Creating a capable team will ensure sustainable development and environment preservation.

Within the framework of the project, new training programs will be developed for mastering the new web tools, augmented reality extensions, and Earth remote sensing (ERS) technology. Specialists will learn about the application of FAIR data management principles, city modeling, analysis, and interpretation of sociological data. Civil architects, landscape designers, specialists of smart urban environment management, will use the new courses.

An educational course will be created under the program – Climate, Environment and the Smart City Community. In addition, two summer schools will take place during URSA MAJOR. The first one is the Path to the North, which is a well-established program launched in 2015. Path to the South School will be organized for the first time together with Indian partners.

URSA MAJOR is not the first largescale project of the University of Tyumen. Since 2018, UTMN Financial and Economic Institute have been implementing the international project Smart Communities in the Arctic Region or TN SmartNorth. The project manager is Professor Irina Liman. The Prince of Monaco Albert II Foundation supported the project of UTMN – Arctic Academy for Sustainable Development: Environmentally and Socially Responsible Development of the Energy and Resource Base in the Arctic (2022-2024). The project coordinator is Alexander Seryakov, Head of the International Relations Department.

UTMN took part in other international projects, in particular, PEEX, СlimEco, GBIF, Chronicles of Nature, SODEEP, and NORMEMO.

Researchers of the University of Tyumen and partner organizations in the West Siberian Interregional Scientific and Educational Center (SEC) have joined to study closely the land and water zones of the Arctic.

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