Moscow Ecology Course

efenster at cdp.UUCP efenster at cdp.UUCP
Sat Jan 26 01:52:00 EST 1991

Cc: conf:sci.environment conf:talk.pol.soviet
Subject: Moscow Ecology Course

                         Information-Application Form
                           Ecology Course in Moscow
                             02 June-09 July 1991
     The ecology program of Moscow State University's biology department has
invited a group of up to fifteen people to Moscow in June for a 5-week ecology

     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 contacts with people and groups in the
Soviet 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 in the.  I'll also supply 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 trip.  I am scheduling an overnight in
Brussels so we can meet before we arrive in Moscow.

     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 arrangement 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)                       $ 960
Brussels: bed & breakfast, airport-city train                                30
Room and board, course, supplementary program                             1,000
Organizational fee                                                          350
Visa                                                                         15
Misc. (eg., postage & readings)                                              45
Total                                                                    $2,400

This doesn't include cost of a passport, travel to/from the gateway city
(because of connections, we may fly from Boston and return to New York), a
supper in Brussels, incidental and gift purchases in Brussels or in the USSR.
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).

Transatlantic travel is on Sabena Belgian Airlines to Brussels, then Aeroflot
to Moscow on 04 June.  Travel originating in Atlanta (same airplane as Boston)
can be arranged.

Send your application and $200 deposit (check or money order payable to TEPC
Travel Courses) to:

                                 Eric Fenster
                                679 W. Hancock
                             Detroit MI 48201 USA

Telephone/Fax: 1-313-831-8364 any day until midnight EST.  Telex: 6504019039.
Compuserve: 71450,1223.  From Internet and other systems:
71450.1223 at
     As soon as 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.  Final payment ($2200) and completed visa applications will be due
22 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.

     There may be more applicants than spaces, so acceptance cannot be
guaranteed, but 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 how to make wire (Swift) transfers, and later the Reader
about the contemporary Soviet situation.


Prior to 22 Feb       full refund, less $ 100   administrative fee
(I can be flexible when it is necessary to take account of problems beyond your
Prior to 22 Mar       full refund, less $ 300   ($100 if replacement possible)
22 Mar onward         full refund, less $ 500   ($100 if replacement possible)

I think this schedule will protect the host, which will be investing time and
certain costs which are "incompressible" whatever the group size, yet leave
time to find alternates.  In addition, once your Sabena ticket is issued the
airline imposes a $75 cancellation penalty.  This might be 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 within a
university setting 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 organized participation of teenagers from
North America and Europe at Soviet computer and ecology camps.  I can refer you
to participants in of previous trips who may be able to give you advice about
living in Moscow.  Along with your group, there should be a second group coming
for an intensive Russian language course.

                                                        Eric Fenster, Organizer

                                 Draft Program
 1.  General ecology (Ecology as a science: population & ecosystem approach)
     Profs. A. Ghilarev & Dr. J. Romanovsky  (20 hrs)
 2.  Philosophy of nature management (Relations between man and nature: Russian
     and Western views; Ecological ethics)   Dr. L. Vasilenko   (10 hrs)
 3.  Limits of growth   Dr. N. Marfenin   (10 hrs)
 4.  Biosphere: Vernadsky's concept and modern views (Biogeochemical cycles)
     Prof. V. Maksimov   (4 hrs)
 5.  Mathematical models in ecology   Dr. A. Smurov   (8 hrs)
 6.  Ecological monitoring   Prof. V. Maksimov   (4 hrs)
 7.  Soil science in Russia  ---    (6 hrs)
 8.  Biological production in water ecosystems   Dr. L. Polischuk   (6 hrs)
 9.  Radioactive pollution  (Chernobyl and other cases)   Prof. J. Kudrjashov
     (6 hrs)
10.  Urban ecology   Dr. D. Kavtaradze  (4 hrs)
11.  Protection of endangered plant species in the USSR   Prof. V. Tichomirov
     (4 hrs)
12.  Protection of endangered animal species in the USSR    Dr. S. Smirensky
     (4 hrs)
13.  National reservations and parks in the USSR  ---  (2-4 hrs)
14.  Business game in applied ecology  Dr. D. Kavtaradze    (10-12 hrs)
15.  History of Russian culture  ---   (10 hrs)
16.  Meeting with representatives of informal ecological movement
17.  Meeting with representatives of Government Environmental Agency
18.  Excursion to Prioksko-Terasny National Park in the Oka Valley  (one day)
19.  Excursion to Zagorsk: Trinity monastery and museum  (one day)

                        1991 ECOLOGY COURSE APPLICATION

Name: ____________________________________  Sex  M  F
Date of birth: _______________
Address: _______________________________________________

City: ___________________________________

State/Prov ______   ZIP/Code _____________  Country _____________

Home phone: (_____)_______________________

Work phone: (_____)_______________________

Electronic mail/fax address(es):

Do you own a Walkman-style FM radio receiver?    Y   N

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: ______________

Make $50 flight deposit?   Y  N       Smoker?   Y  N

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 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.)

Are there proposals for the non-course part of the program which you would like
to transmit to our hosts?

No promises, but are there particular meetings you would like to have while in

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

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 early.  The
extra cost of this "deviation" will be $50 for flights returning on Mon, Tue,
Thu, Fri--or $75 for Sat or Sun.   Changes in the return date from Brussels
once the ticket is issued cost $100.

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

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