Richard Silverman silvermr at netcom.com
Tue Jul 26 12:13:12 EST 1994

Dear friends and colleagues:

The Ukrainian Academy of Sciences would like to share the following 

The UAS is currently organizing an International Biological Expedition
to the regions of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.  The goals of the 
expedition are very diverse since it is being put together by several 
scientific institutions of the UAS, such as the Institutes of botanics,
zoology, biology of the southern seas, hydrobyology, physiology of plants 
and genetics, cultivation of flora, etc.  One of the common goals of all 
the prospective members is to collect the samples of the flora and fauna 
of the regions in order to expand the existing gene pool of other regions
of the world, and to compose the new collections for the museums of 
botanics, zoology, marine life, etc.  Besides, each participating 
institution and scientist will be able to pursue their specific interests.

The expedition is going to leave Sevastopol (Russia) in December 1994 and 
sail along the following route: Sevastopol-Stambul-Alexandria-Lisbon-
-Boston-Caracas-Belem-Manaus-Belem-Rio de Janeiro-Capetown-Madagascar-
-Lome-Las Palmas-Haifa-Sevastopol with a lot of stops at various smaller 
sites in between.  The expedition should take around 4 months.  Right now
the Organizing Committee is working on the possibility of also visiting
Australia and several island groups of the Pacific, but the final 
decision depends on the availability of funds.

The major problem this venture is facing right now is the financial one.
Obviously, because of the crisis in the USSR the Academy of Sciences lost 
almost all governmental funding previously available, and now is looking 
for sponsors.  So far they were able to find some money from different 
organizations in Western Europe and in the US, but it still has not 
solved the problem.  That is why the Organizing Committee decided to 
offer a unique opportunity.  They are willing to take along anybody who 
has interest in the trip and can pay the required fee.

The expedition is guaranteed to be absolutely fascinating.  This is not 
the first expedition of that kind organized by the Ukrainian Academy of
Sciences.  A similar one was undertaken in 1991 and was internationally 
recognized as a big success.  The scientific body of the expedition will 
consist of 50 specialist, half of whom are from Russia and Ukraine, the 
other half - from Western Europe.  Besides, there will be approximately
70 sailors and personnel.

The boat itself is a very comfortable large vessel.  Every passeanger will 
occupy a separate cabin originally built for 2 people.  The boat has a big
canteen, buffet-bar, bakery, library, videosalon, pool room, gym, volleyball
grounds, ping-pong room, sauna with a swimming pool.  The service of a 
physician and the necessary medical supplies will be available.

The above-mentioned route reflects only the major stops of the expedition.
In reality, there will be many more.  A lot of smaller islands and cities 
are not specified yet simply because the exact route is still being drafted.
All the passengers of the boat will have entrance visas to all the 
countries the expedition is going to visit.  In cities and towns 
everybody will have enough time to do sightseeing.  As for the scientific 
part of the expedition, all the passengers are invited to join the 
specialists.  The scientists will spend a lot of time exploring the
jungle, ecosystems of various mountain ranges and underwater life.
The non-scientists are invited to participate in absolutely every aspect
of the expedition.  In the process of research members of the expedition 
will do a lot of rafting, horse-back riding, diving; will enjoy exotic 
fishing experience.  The scientists offer their help in composing private 
collections of unique minerals, plants, fish and even animals, as well as in
the legalization of the collections with the customs officials.

Besides simply participating, the non-scientific part of the crew are 
welcome to contribute their ideas to the general plan.  the route can be 
slightly changed on the location, and any suggestions regarding the sites of
scientific interest will be appreciated.

The organizers of the expedition believe the experience will be invaluable
for biologists, oceanologists, writers, journalists, film-producers, as 
well as for anybody interested in nature, anthropology, ethnography, and 
travel in general.  The fee for the participants who are the part of the 
scientific crew is $ 20 000.  Part of this sum covers a portion of the 
fee of one Soviet scientist on board.  The fee of $ 20 000 includes the 
room and board for the 4-months trip, medical assistance, visas fee, and 
the expenses directly connected with the scientific research (local guides,
transportation within the site of research, use of equipment.)
The air-fare to and from Sevastopol is the responsibility of the passenger,
but is inexpensive and in December costs around $ 400-500 for a round trip
from New York.

The expedition can accept not more than 25 additional passengers.  Groups
starting from 2 people get significant discounts (up to 30%)

The organizers of the expedition hope to attract American scientific 
institutions and organizations to participate in the expedition. 
Also, if any of you, friends and colleagues, have any ideas as for the 
ways to sponsor the expedition, we would really appreciate your help.
Please, address all you suggestions, comments, and requests for further 
information to Tanya Puchkova, tel. (517) 275 5121, ext. 392, 
fax. (517) 275 8745 or e-mail: pouchkot at mlc.lib.mi.us

On the behalf of the
Organizing Committee
Tanya Puchkova

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