Station Aktru is included in the INTERACT network

A new catalog of research stations has been published of the combined INTERACT network. The new edition includes TSU’s station Aktru in the number of full members of the international association whose creator is Professor Terry Callaghan, Nobel laureate, scientific consultant of the TSU Centre of Excellence BioClimLand. The International Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic is one of the largest associations in the scientific world, and Tomsk State University has become a part of it.

In 2011 Tomsk State University and the station Aktru (Gorny Altai) entered the INTERACT network as an observer. Since that time, collaboration of the University and the Arctic international network has been strengthened considerably. Terry Callaghan, coordinator of INTERACT, became co-chairman of the International Academic Council of Tomsk State University. He is actively involved in the development of BioClimLand - Biota, Climate and Landscape Research Centre.

- INTERACT started in 2010 as a circumarctic network of 32 terrestrial field bases in arctic and northern alpine areas of Europe, Asia and North America. However, by 2015, it had grown to 73 research stations. Its main objective is to build capacity for identifying, understanding, predicting and responding to diverse environmental changes throughout the wide environmental and land-use envelopes of the Arctic - says Professor Callaghan in the foreword to the reference edition. - Together, the INTERACT stations host many thousands of scientists from around the world working in multiple disciplines, and INTERACT collaborates with many research consortia and international research and monitoring networks. Already in its first years of operation, INTERACT made many advances. One particular achievement was to bring together for the first time descriptions of the major terrestrial research stations of the north and their activities in a Station Catalogue. This Station Catalogue was an important one stop resource for information useful to scientists, policy makers and others. However, the impressive doubling of INTERACT has made it necessary to up-date the original Catalogue which proved to be a great success. We are proud to commend this up-dated INTERACT product to a wide user community, and we have no doubts that a greatly increased use of activities will follow with significant and important innovations.

The catalog contains information about the location of stations, biodiversity in the region, and ongoing research. Also, there is a brief historical background and description of transportation. The catalog of 2015 contains descriptions of 18 Russian stations where scientists conduct research in the Arctic, Subarctic and high mountain regions.

TSU’s Aktru station is one of the most southern in the INTERACT network. It is located in the south-eastern part of the Altai Republic, near the border with Mongolia - in the heart of the Euro-Asian continent. Its research objects are concentrated in the mountain-glacial valley at a height of 2150 meters above sea level. Research in glaciology, hydrology, meteorology, geomorphology, botany, zoology, soil science and other sciences has been conducted there for over 50 years. The main area of transdisciplinary research is the impact of the changing climate on the dynamics of the glaciers, hydrological regime, landscapes and biota of the region. The station implements international projects, including the TSU International Summer School on Climate Change. In 2014, the station Aktru was visited by Dmitry Livanov, Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, and a group of scholars and travelers under the direction of Frederik Paulsen, the Honorary Consul for the Russian Federation (Switzerland).