Unique Ecosystems of Central Siberia

  1. Area and University Description
  2. Professors
  3. Program Description
  4. Contacts
  5. Dates and Enrollment Procedure
  6. Visa
  7. Russian Language
  8. Cultural Program
  9. Number of Students
  10. Costs
  11. How to apply

1. Area and University description

The Krasnoyarsk region, an area five times the size of France and 33 times the size of England, sits close to the center of Asia and spans from the very north of Russia to the very south. The Yenisei river, one of the largest and longest north-south flowing rivers, runs through the whole region.

The climate of the Krasnoyarsk region is continental, but conditions are also influenced by the anthropogenous impact of the reservoir cascade. You’ll find a range of climate zones throughout the region, from tundra to steppes and semi-deserts, each with its own unique vegetation.

Vast territories of the region are rich with forests; in fact, Krasnoyarsk has a greater forest area than any other region of Russia. The taiga — thick forests of spruce, fir, and cedar — covers the northern and mid-Yenisei parts of the region, while the south is characterized by light, piny forests and meadows.

The region’s unique geological systems are characterized by caverns of all types, some of which are among Russia’s largest and the longest. There are two uplands in Krasnoyarskii Krai: Kuznetskoye Alatau and Sayany. Natural resources are in wide abundance in the region as well. The soil holds nearly every type of known minerals, and sands. There are large coal and oil and gas beds that form the basis of large industrial zones.

The Krasnoyarsk region also features a diversity of bodies of water, from pure freshwater lakes to salty lakes. Lake Tus, for example, is similar to the Dead Sea in its water structure and is known for its therapeutic effects. Mineral water in the region is extracted from local wells.

There are several nature reserves in the region. Among these is the well-known Stolby Nature Reserve, where visitors can touch rocky outcrops of the Devonian period. Also worth noting are the Central-Siberian Biospheric Nature Reserve; the two-million-hectare Taymyrsky Reserve, the largest in Russia; and the Eloguisly Reserve, which is home to a dwindling indigenous group numbering only 47 today.

Krasnoyarsk, the capital of the region, is a major industrial and cultural center of Siberia. The Yenisei river cuts through the city, dividing the city into districts as well as marking a geographical distinction: the right bank is considered taiga, while the left bank is part of the steppe.

Siberian State Aerospace University named after academician M.F. Reshetnev was founded in 1960 as a branch of Krasnoyarsk Polytechnic Institute. Today it is an institution of higher education offering educational programs in more than 30 different areas and having graduated over 11,000 Bachelor’s-, Specialist’s-, and Master’s-level students. However, SibSAU is constantly expanding its endeavors both in terms of training specialists and in carrying out research and development projects for various companies and organizations. A top priority is internationalization; the University is very eager to work with students and professionals from different parts of the world.

There are currently 11,000 students enrolled at SibSAU, studying in eight different schools including the Institute of Civil Aviation, the Institute of Computer Science and Telecommunications, etc. Image The Institute of Space Techolody is a home to departments such as Physics, Technical Mechanics and Electrical Engineering. Total number of teaching staff is over 800. More than 150 of them are doctors of sciences and professors, and more than 400 are docents and have PhD.


2. Professors

Highly qualified instructors head the program. The staff consists of SibSAU professors from the Department of Engineering Ecology teaching science courses such as General Chemistry, Ecology, Nature Management, Economics of Nature Management, etc.


3. Program description

The Department of Engineering Ecology of SibSAU provides a unique program for foreign students in the areas of hydrobiology, landscape research, speleological biology and biogeosystem ecology. It allows students to discover the unique natural and artificial ecosystems of the Central Siberia; to observe the behavior of flora and fauna in their natural habitats; to explore deep inside caves populated with amazing creatures; to adventure to Khakassia, a vast expanse of lakes, steppes and holy antiquity; to feel the power of the full-flowing river Yenisei; and to see with their own eyes the striking differences between five climate zones.

The program totals 144 academic hours or 4 cps (ECTS points).

Students have 8-12 class hours per week, excluding field studies and excursions.

The language of instruction is English.

Eligible participants:

The program is targeted at science students or students with a basic background in biology.

Content of the program:

  • Introduction: geographical definitions (Central Siberia, Khakassia), climatic zones, vegetation zones, traces of glaciation, soils.
  • Development of communities and ecosystems: climax communities, successions, fires, restoration ecology.
  • Zones of increased anthropogenous pressure: industrial zones of Krasnoyarsk.
  • Changing habitats, mosaic landscapes: forests, wetlands, coasts and shores, lakes and rivers, farmland, urban areas.
  • Forests of central Siberia: deforestation and reforestation, types of forest; structure, composition, changes, life in boreal forests, forest fires.
  • Old-growth forests: identification, natural dynamics of taiga forests, geography of remaining intact natural landscapes, methods of study, anthropogenic influence on forests, economic importance, level of threat.
  • Grasslands of central Siberia: diversity, sustainability, conservation; ecosystem boundaries (taiga zone, steppe zone).
  • Lakes and rivers of central Siberia: types, changes, nutrients and species, widespread eutrophication, acidification, restoration, lake life, river life; artificial water ecosystem (Krasnoyarsk Water Reservoir); Yenisei, largest Siberian river.
  • Coasts and shores of Central Siberia: types, geomorphology, vegetation, changes, shoreline developments, protecting shores.
  • Khakassia, area of lakes: freshwater and salty lakes in Khakassia; background, geomorphology and landscapes, vegetation, relict species; protected areas (threats, zoning); features of formation and functioning water ecosystems of different salinity.
  • Vegetation of Stolby Nature Reserve: high diversity of forests and unique geological objects; methods of study.
  • Caves of Krasnoyarsk region: cave formation, speleological biology, research of caves’ microflora, biodiversity of cave fauna, cave algae, cave fungi, cave bacteria, cave ecosystems structure, evolution and mathematical modeling of cave ecosystems, cave protection.

Scientific areas:

  • Promoting biodiversity: history of nature conservation, administrative and legislative actions, biodiversity strategies and programmes, protected areas, their categories, conservation priorities, principles and conflicts.
  • Biotesting: use of bioindication to estimate levels of anthropogenous pressure.
  • Landscape research: comparative analysis of different natural and artificial landscapes of Central Siberia.
  • Speleobiology: bat monitoring, microscopy, microbiological analysis.
  • Definition: microcenosis and phytocenosis.

Field studies:

  • Stolby Nature Reserve: rock ecosystem, wild taiga ecosystem, unique natural composition; old-growth forests, rare plants in their natural habitat.
  • Lakes of Khakassia: lake and shore ecosystems, rare species, diversity of landscapes; freshwater lake Itkhul, lake Tus, analog of the Dead Sea.
  • Krasnoyarsk Water Reservoir: large artificial water ecosystem, the history and uniqueness of its creation, plant introduction, microclimate.
  • Yenisei: the changing of climate zones from steppes to tundra, diversity of landscapes due to rugged relief of the territory, rich flora.
  • Caves: students will be part of a research team studying cave ecosystems and take part in bat monitoring, sampling, and laboratory analysis of cave biota.
  • Research Laboratory of SibSAU: biotesting laboratory, chemistry laboratory, methods of study (microphotography, cytogenesis testing, computer modeling, reconstruction etc.).


Field monitoring, field sampling, microscopy, microbiological analysis, monitoring.

At the end of the course, students will take exams and receive a certificate.


4. Contacts

Contact person:

Natalya V. Ivleva

Senior Specialist, International Cooperation Department, SibSAU

Tel.: +7 (391) 291-90-64

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Этот e-mail защищен от спам-ботов. Для его просмотра в вашем браузере должна быть включена поддержка Java-script


Lyudmila A. Gerasimova

Associate Professor, Engineering Ecology Department, SibSAU

Tel.: +7 (391) 262-95-62

e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Этот e-mail защищен от спам-ботов. Для его просмотра в вашем браузере должна быть включена поддержка Java-script.


5. Dates and enrollment procedure

Application deadline – May 15, 2012


6. Visa

To obtain a visa to enter Russia you need to receive an official invitation from SibSAU. As soon as we get a package of documents from you, SibSAU will send you an invitation by mail or e-mail. (depending on requirements of Embassy/Consulate of the Russian Federation in your country). After you receive an invitation, you can apply for the visa at the Embassy/Consulate of the Russian Federation in your country.


7. Russian Language

Your level of Russian is not important, as the program is conducted in English and an introductory Russian course is available. Students will receive a certificate upon completion of this course.


8. Cultural Program

The program includes a variety of cultural activities. Students may enjoy visiting the Nature Reserve "Stolby", the salty lakes of Khakassia, the Krasnoyarsk Hydroelectric Power Station, the Fun-Park "Bobrovy Log", the Krasnoyarsk Regional Museum of Local Lore, and the Brewery "Pikra" as well as the house-museums of a famous Russian artist Vasily Surikov and a famous Russian writer Viktor Astafyev. Students will also have a tour around the city of Krasnoyarsk getting to know its landmarks, sculptures and fountains.


9. Number of students

The minimum number of students for the program is 8; maximum is 15.


10. Costs

The program cost is 990 euro. This includes tuition, cultural program, accommodation, breakfast and dinner. Accommodation will be provided in the Krasmashevsky Sanatorium, which is near the university. Double rooms are available. Camping facilities will also be available for students during field studies at lakes and caves. Students may need about 150-200 euros to cover lunch expenses. Travel expenses are not included.

All the applicants have to provide initial payment (200 euro) until May 30, 2011.

Cancellations after May 30 will have a 150 euro - service charge deducted from the amount paid.

Total amount (990 euro) has to be paid until July 15, 2011.

Payment details:

Name of the account: (R. Bryan Holden) SIBSAU
Account number: 0249-FY101180.0
IBAN: CH16 0024 9249 FY10 1180 0
Name of Bank: UBS
Address of Bank: Avenue du Casino 41
CH-1820 Montreux, Switzerland


11. How to apply

  1. Step 1 - register on-line.
  2. Step 2 - receive a confirmation e-mail from a coordinator.
  3. Step 3 - send a package of documents to the International Cooperation Department of SibSAU by mail:
  • printed out registration form with a signature,
  • copies of all passport pages.

We will inform you on receiving all the documents by e-mail.


Additional information