Alexander D. Karpenko alexk at aasei.spb.su
Thu Apr 13 14:00:00 EST 1995


Dear Sir/Madam:

Two NGOs, The American Association for the Support of Ecological Initiatives
(AASEI) based in Middletown, CT and its affiliate, The Center "Adonis" in St.
Petersburg, Russia are assisting Russian nature reserves "zapovedniki" in making
contacts with western universities, research institutes, scientists and
students. One of our goals is to ensure that the science departments of each
reserve be able to continue to carry out valuable research. During the last 50
to 70 years Russian reserves have gathered tremendous amounts of scientific data
on unique biospheres which have relevance to the entire international community.

According to Russian law, the 83 reserves in Russia that comprise  roughly 1.4
per cent of Russia's landmass are designated as specially protected areas and
have the following mandates:

- to protect ecosystems and the genetic base of these territories);
- to perform scientific research of existing ecosystems and conduct    annual
- to educate the public on the principles of environmental protection    and the
rational "use of nature". 

Each reserve has a small research department for territorial monitoring and
organization of research activities. Customary activities include:

- organizing research on nature;
- conducting field internships for college and post-graduate    students);
- organizing field practice for school/university teachers;
- carrying out environmental monitoring.

Founded more than 70 years ago, the first Russian reserves have collected a
large quantity of scientific material. Reserve science libraries contain decades
of observations and reports, different samples and collections. Unfortunately,
most of these libraries are not utilized properly due to insufficient staff
personnel and a lack of computer database equipment. These insufficiencies have
led to a shortage of potentially very important research publications.

The special statute of the reserves and their constant territorial protection
make them attractive to international scientific research. In the former USSR
Soviet scientists managed to convince the central government to periodically
single out territories for nature reserves as a compensatory measure for
environmental damage. This principle guided the creation of a special federal
network of reserves equal in combined size to Italy (in present-day Russia
alone). The establishment of such a diverse network has few analogies and its
results are of major interest to the international community.

Coinciding with other NGO efforts, in early 1994 AASEI/Adonis established a
system of E-mail and computer data bases on two Northwestern Russian reserves:
Laplandsky and Nizhnesvirsky. Our activities also include the following:
organization of communications and scientific contacts for reserves, nature
expeditions to the reserves, visa support, internships for students and
post-graduate students, assistance in purchasing train tickets, making
reservations at hotels in Russia and, if necessary, organization of inexpensive
cultural programs in St.Petersburg and in other cities, and providing
transportation, etc. AASEI/Adonis has reliable contacts with the Ministry of
Environmental Protection and Natural Resources, The Russian Socio-Ecological
Union (SEU), a large network of reserves and a variety of nonprofit
organizations that collaborate with the reserves. 

If you are interested in the work of the Russian reserves, we are ready to offer
you assistance in the following areas:

- identifying reserves that are interested in collaboration in the    following
scientific fields: ecology (also applied ecology), biology,    zoology, botany,
mammology, entomology, ornithology, soil science.
- organizing college and post-graduate student internships in the    reserves;
- organizing special expeditions, individual investigations;
- organizing different monitoring investigations and in making    monitoring
networks utilizing resource opportunities at the reserves;
- making arrangements during your stay in Russia.

We would be happy to provide you with further information depending on your
special interest. Please free to contact us by E-mail at the following

- alexk at aasei.spb.su 
 (Alexander Karpenko, Chairman of the Center "Adonis" in St. Petersburg)

- 100341.405 at compuserve.com 
  (William K. Wasch Jr., Executive Director, AASEI, Middletown, CT, USA)

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