Russian Ecology Trip

Eric Fenster efenster at
Sun Dec 1 00:57:00 EST 1991

From: Eric Fenster <efenster>
Subject: Russian Ecology Trip

                        Ecology Course in Moscow
                          12 June-11 July 1992
      The ecology program of Moscow State University's biology
department has invited a group of up to fifteen people to Moscow for a
4-week ecology course.  The course will focus on the science of ecology
and will emphasize both what is particular to the ecology on Soviet
territory (especially Russia) and those aspects of the science of
ecology in which Soviet education is strong--including the view of or
approach to nature there.  In other words, they aren't suggesting that
people come to Moscow to learn what could more effectively be learned at
home.  There will also be sessions on environmental problems and
contacts with people and groups in the Russian environmental movement.

      The course will aimed at anybody whose usual activities would be
better informed by knowledge of the ecology of that region and by the
other information and contacts which would be gained.  The level will
assume the basic knowledge of biology such as might result from a
college biology course; that is, it will not require people to be
specialists, but somebody who never heard of DNA or didn't have a notion
of the scientific method would probably be quickly left behind.

      In addition to the course, there will be a cultural program and
opportunities to learn about the current economic and political
situation in the "USSR" first-hand.  I will provide participants with
background readings on those conditions and also the practical
information you need (travel, packing, getting around Moscow, etc.).  It
is possible that several group members will be identified via computer
networks, and that means we can meet and talk to each other before the

      The group will live in Moscow State University's residence hall.
In general, it is set up in "apartments" in which two rooms share a
bathroom.  This housing will make it easy for participants to meet
Soviet citizens from the very beginning of the trip.

EXPECTED COST BREAKDOWN:  (Figures here are in US$.)
Air fare, Boston-Moscow (inc. taxes & customs fees)               $1,045
Room and board, course, supplementary program                      1,000
Organizational fee                                                   350
Visa                                                                  30
Misc. (eg., postage & readings)                                       60
Total                                                             $2,485

This doesn't include cost of a passport, travel to/from Boston,
incidental and gift purchases or in Russia.  You should check on the
coverage abroad, including repatriation, provided by your own health
carrier and investigate supplementary medical insurance, sold on a per
diem basis, by such agencies as Health Care Abroad (800-237-6615), which
also offers lost/stolen baggage coverage.

Transatlantic travel is on Sabena Belgian Airlines to Brussels, then
Aeroflot to Moscow on 13 June.  Departure from Chicago for $50 more may
be possible.

Send a $200 deposit--check or money order payable to TEPC Travel
                             Lynne Standley
                              7346 Ternes
                         Dearborn, MI  48126 USA
                Fax (313)577-5577  ATTN: Lynne Standley
     Electronic mail: efenster at or lstandle at

      Once we have enough applications for the trip to go, a $50 flight
deposit will be made to protect the fare between Boston and Brussels
against increases. Demand for space is heavy in June and the airline is
watching closely to see if groups blocking seats are "real."  Our
group's status will be reviewed about 31 Dec, so as many deposits as
possible are necessary by then to hold our reservations.  Final payment
($2285) and completed visa applications will be due 06 March, and by
certified check, money order or wire transfer so that airline tickets
can be paid without clearance delays.  Candidates who can't be accepted
will have deposits fully refunded.

      You should apply for a passport now as it MUST be available at the
time of the payment in March because visa applications will be due at
the same time.  USA: You can prepay Express Mail return for "Rush"
processing of passports.  Many post offices have passport applications
and can tell explain how to apply.  A copy of your birth certificate and
two photos are necessary, and four additional photos should be made for
the visa.  New passports are $42, renewals $35.  The passport
application asks when you will travel.  Reply 01 March so that your
application will be processed in time for the visa.  (Non-US citizens
should make appropriate adjustments in this information.)

      When I receive the application and deposit, I'll send detailed
practical information, including visa materials and instrucitons on
making wire (Swift) transfers, and later the Reader about the
contemporary Soviet situation.

      $200 deposit                                   As soon as possible
      Deposits can be made by personal check or money order.
      Balance ($2285) & visa application                          06 Mar
      Final payment must be by money order or certified/cashiers check
      or by wire (add $6) to avoid clearance delays prior to ticket
      purchase.  Each person should bring $100 to Moscow for
      unanticipated expenses.


Prior to 06 Mar       full refund, less $ 100   administrative fee
  (This can be flexible when there are problems beyond your control.)
06 Mar-03 Apr         full refund, less $ 300   ($100 if replacement
After 03 Apr          full refund, less $ 500   ($100 if replacement

The schedule is not meant to be punitive, but to protect the host who
will be investing time and costs which are "incompressible" whatever the
group size, yet leave time to find alternates.  In addition, once your
Sabena ticket is issued there is a $125 cancellation penalty which is
waived if the cancellation is caused by certifiable illness.

      As a personal introduction, I was formerly a biochemist and left
science for adult higher education some years ago.  Part of what I did
while a university professor was to organize foreign study trips, first
to France and then to the USSR.  The Soviet trips started in 1980, and
I've continued them independently since 1984.  They look at the
economic, political and social situation in the country.  In 1989 I organ-
ized participation of teenagers from North America and Europe at Soviet
computer and ecology camps.  Since this trip is independently
organized, I understand that potential applicants may want to verify
the information in this announcement, and I can provide phone numbers
of previous participants for that purpose.  At the same time as your
group, there should be a second group coming for the politically-
oriented course and another group participating in a Russian language
                                                Eric Fenster, Organizer

                             Draft Program
1. General  ecology (population and ecosystem approach). Prof.
A.Gilarov, Dr. S.Romanovsky.
2. Radioactive  pollution (Chernobyl and other accidents). Prof. Ju.
3. Plant bioenergetics: fundamental and applied aspects. Dr. L.
4. Environmental problems of northern regions  Dr. T.Krasovskaya
5. Pollutants in the boreal environment. Dr. T. Krasovskaya
6. Elementary calamities and technological catastrophes (social and
economic aspects). Prof. S.Myagkov.
7. International environmental management (environmental security and
environmental risk). Dr. R.Perelet.
8. Environmental problems of Middle Asia and Kazakhstan. Prof.
9. Predicting environmental consequences in Northern Hemisphere high
& middle latitudes and climate change. Dr. Muratova.
10. Natural  resources and environmental problems in Russia. Dr.
11. Palaeoecology and environmental management. Dr. Kiselev.
12. Environmental GeoInformation Systems (GIS). Dr. V.Tikunov.
13. Computer techniques in environmental mapping. A.Simonov.
14. General forest ecology. Dr. O.Smirnova.
15. Methods  of mathematical modelling of soil degradation and
rehabilitation. Prof. S.Pachensky.
    The list can be modified and enriched according to participants'
interests.  Visits such as the following are proposed:
  - Some institutes of the Russian Academy of Science including the
    Biological Research Centre in Puschino city
  - Ecological excursions on horseback around the MSU field station
    near Moscow (Zvenigorod) with living in comfortable hotel
  - Faculties and departments of Moscow State University
  - Paleontological and Zoological museums
  - Museums of Art    - Moscow Circus     - Opera and ballet
performances in the best Moscow theaters

                 1992 ECOLOGY COURSE APPLICATION
             Send with deposit to Lynne Standley, as above.

Name: ____________________________________  Sex  M  F

Date of birth: __________________ (day/monnh/year)

Address: _______________________________________________

City: ___________________________________  State/Prov ______

ZIP/Code _____________  Country ________________________________

Home phone: (_____)______________________

Work phone: (_____)_______________________

Electronic mail/fax address(es):

Formal science background: kind, level & duration of courses; degrees:



Do you plan to use this course for college  ______ or other _______
credit?  Will you need a supporting letter from me? ______

If you already have a passport: No.____________________
Expires: ______________

Smoker?   Y  N   Diet restrictions?

Do you now anticipate financial __________ or time ____________
problems? If so, when might they be solved?

Use as much space (separate page) as required for the following:

Professional/educational background, current affiliation, reasons/goals
you have for taking this course.  (This is information I would like to
share with all participants so that we can "meet" before the trip-and
with our hosts.)

If unable to go on this trip, but still interested, what time(s) might
you be available?________________________________________

Previous travel abroad, if any, and whether for work, as a tourist, in
the military, other?

Anybody who wishes to stay longer in Europe should let me know by 06
March.  The extra cost of this "deviation" will be $25 for flights
returning on Mon, Tue, Thu--or $50 for Sat or Sun.   Changes in the
return date from Brussels once the ticket is issued cost $125.


Deposit        _____________    Balance   ________________
Info sent      _____________    Readings  ________________
Health form    _____________    Waiver    ________________
Gateway        _____________    Visa      ________________

More information about the Bioforum mailing list