Lena Pillars” Summer Eco-Geographical School with International participation

We are happy to present our scientific and educational tour to the Lena Pillars Nature Park and its surroundings. The program allows participants of the school along with a unique opportunity to relax on specially protected natural area to explore northern wilderness, beef up knowledge on natural environment and master skills of field research.

Yakutia is one of the most amazing places in the world with boundless spaces of tundra, taiga, mountain ranges, and mighty rivers and mysterious lakes. Yakutia is striking for its natural beauty, originality and richness of culture of the people living here, which gives a lasting impression and a desire to visit the region over and over again. It is the coldest inhabited area on the planet. The Lena Pillars Natural Park is the real Yakutian diamond, which was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2012.

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The park is a testimony of one of the most mysterious stages of planet development - "Cambrian explosion", an evolutionary leap, which gave a birth to the representatives of modern animal species on the Earth. The Nature Park covers a total area of 1353 hectares and is endowed with unique natural sights, the most famous of which are the Lena Pillars, Buotama pillars, Sinsk pillars,  tukulans – the waving sand massifs- a piece of desert in the permafrost, and an archaeological monument of the ancient Paleolithic - Deiring Yuriakh. The territory adjoining to the park is interesting from history and ethnography point of view. On the way to the Lena Pillars there is a unique fusion of the Yakut, Evenk and Russian cultures. The Evenk, the indigenous peoples of Siberia, lives in the territory of the park, in the area of the traditional natural resource management. Evenk tribal communities lead almost the same lifestyle, which was led by their ancestors for thousands of years. They are engaged in reindeer herding, fishing and hunting. The descendants of the Russian immigrants, living in the villages of the Lena river bank, preserved their ancestors’ traditions, a special dialect, the unique song culture and customs. There are the Yakut people (endonym Sakha), the northernmost Turkic nation, living side by side with the Russian, who preserved and developed animal husbandry and horse herding in the harsh sharply continental climate. One of the most distinctive cultural heritages of Yakut people is an ancient heroic epic “Olonkho” included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. The traditional summer holiday “Ysyakh” and the Yakut khomus (mouth harp) are well known worldwide.  
Target group: Bachelor, Master and postgraduate students who are interested in Natural Sciences and Tourism, Geography issues, Geology, Paleontology, Biology, Tourism, History, Ethnography, etc.

Participation fee : 460 USD.
Partner rate 320 USD (for students from partner universities within bilateral agreements).
The participation fee includes accommodation, transportation, excursions and field meal.
DATES: July 18 to August 1, 2017
Language of Instruction: Russian (translation into English will be provided)
REGISTER BEFORE: June 30th, 2017
Credits: 2 ECTS
Number of participants (min-max): 10 - 20

Summer school program:

July 17. Arrival in Yakutsk. Accommodation of participants in the dormitory of the Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University.
July 18 - 19. Yakutsk, NEFU Institute of Natural Sciences. Opening of summer school. Introductory lecture: geography and tourism in Yakutia, the history of foundation, paleontology, geology, climate, vegetation and fauna of the Lena Pillars Natural Park.
1. Couch trip "Yakutsk sightseeing".
2. Museum of the History of studying permafrost and Underground laboratory.
3. Mammoth Museum and Archaeological Museum.

July 20. Departure from Yakutsk. Visiting the office of the Lena Pillars Natural Park in Pokrovsk and Museum of Khangalassky district. Drive to the village of Elanka. Visiting the Museum of the coachman. Departure from the village Elanka on a boat up the Lena River. First stop in 3 km above the village of Elanka. Construction of field camp. Spending the night in tents by the riverbank.
July 21. Examination of the ice cave (subject to club participation climbers of Yakutsk). In the afternoon departure by boat from Big Rock Arch - Batamay - Sinskaya. Construction of the field camp at the mouth of Sinyaya River.
July 22. Hiking along the Sinyaya River upstream to Sinskaya Pillars top. Rest and fishing.
July 23. Meeting with students and young people of the village Sinskaya. The popular science lectures by the participants of school "All of the Lena Pillars". Familiarity with the traditions of the sovereign coachmen.
July 24. Transfer to the boat on the right bank of the Lena River to the camp of Kurannaah. Construction of the field camp. Conducting comprehensive research area cordon:
- Microclimate shooting;
- Geobotanical studies;
- Landscape research;
- Soil sampling;
- Collection of paleontological material;
- Data collection for the preparation of the schematic maps of the cordon “Kurannaah” and its surroundings.


July 26. Trip by boat. Stop at the tourist center Labyda. Participation in an ancient Yakut rite Algys (the blessing of the spirits). Climbing ecological trail to the observation deck.
Departure for Samys Kumaga tukulans by boat. Overnight in a sandy desert.
July 27. Surveying Samys Kumagaya tukulans:
- Microclimate shooting;
- Geobotanical studies;
- Landscape research;
- Data collection for the draft camp site Samys Kumagaya.
July 28. Arrival at the camp “ Ust-Buotama”.
Excursions: nursery of wood bison in "Ust-Buotama" and rocks of the Buotama River.
Conducting a comprehensive research of the camp territory:
- Microclimate shooting;
- Geobotanical studies;
- Landscape research;
- Soil sampling;
- Collection of paleontological material;
- Limnological studies, data collection for the preparation of the passport of the lake;
August 1. Departure to the Bulgunnyahtah by boat and then to the Yakutsk city by bus.

1. In Yakutsk - NEFU dormitory.
2. At the Lena Pillars Nature Park – field camps in Sinskaya, the cordon “Kurannaah” and tourist center “ Ust-Buotama”. Accommodation in field conditions – tourist tents. Please, pay attention, it is necessary to have a tent, sleeping bags and other tourist amenities.

Meals: please note that the food will be prepared in the open-air and due to local circumstances we cannot provide a vegetarian menu.
School program includes a large number of hiking, participation in field scientific experiments, which implies a certain exercise. Please indicate whether you have medical contraindications or allergic to any medications, foods, insect bites. Remember that one of the features of the northern summer is the large number of mosquitoes and midges insects.
Contacts:  kgkfen@mail.ruinternational@s-vfu.ru

Alexandra Petrova, Department of Geography, Institute of Natural Sciences

office 734b, 48 Kulakovsky St, Yakutsk 677000 Russia 

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Phone /fax. + 7-4112-49-69-64