The Arctic Floating University heads for Franz Josef Land
© RIA Novosti. Ramil Sitdikov

The Arctic Floating University heads for Franz Josef Land

On July 8, the Arctic Floating University expedition set off for Franz Josef Land, says the Lomonosov Northern (Arctic) Federal University (NArFU) website. This year's crew includes 58 people from Russia, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Cuba, the Netherlands, France and Germany. The expedition is a joint venture of the NArFU and the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring.

The Professor Molchanov research vessel will visit Cape Zhelaniya and the islands of Hall, Heiss, Jackson, Rudolf, Hooker, Northbrook and Bell islands.

According to Director of the Arctic Center for Strategic Research and expedition scientific supervisor Konstantin Zaikov, this year the expedition will focus on exploring the Franz Josef Land Archipelago.

"The archipelago has been underexplored as it was opened to research only recently. We plan a wide range of hydrometeorological, hydrological, biological, geological and archaeological studies. In the autumn we'll publish a report on the expedition," noted Konstantin Zaikov.

Eric Hoesli, professor at the Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, said Swiss involvement in the expedition was due to a keen interest in Arctic issues.

"In this expedition, our students will gain invaluable experience for their professional activities. The Arctic has been interesting to us from the point of view of climate studies and the melting ice. Since climatic change in the Arctic has also been recorded in the Alps, the expedition has been extremely interesting to us," said Eric Hoesli.