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The former Soviet empire spanned eleven time zones and contained half the world's forests; vast deposits of oil, gas and coal; various ores; major rivers such as the Volga, Don and Angara; and extensive biodiversity. These resources and animals, as well as the people who lived in the former Soviet Union - Slavs, Armenians, Georgians, Azeris, Kazakhs and Tajiks, indigenous Nenets and Chukchi - were threatened by environmental degradation and extensive pollution. This environmental history of the former Soviet Union explores the impact that state economic development programs had on the environment.

The authors consider the impact of Bolshevik ideology on the establishment of an extensive system of nature preserves, the effect of Stalinist practices of industrialization and collectivization on nature, and the rise of public involvement under Khrushchev and Brezhnev, and changes to policies and practices with the rise of Gorbachev and the break-up of the USSR.

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Henry Albinson. Many of these events are integral components of the coursework. Dorms: Most students are housed in Dormitory No. While grocery stores and a local cafe or two will be nearby, the dorms are well outside the center. Homestays are available for additional cost and are minutes away.

Hosts in Irkutsk are more likely than other locations in Russia to have more space, a family rather than a single individual living in the apartment, including pets and are more likely to spend more time with you. Homestays in Irkutsk are recommended. Home stay supplemental costs in Irkutsk are based on posted program dates and include breakfast and supper. Intern, Volunteer, Research. There are opportunities during this program to intern or volunteer with local environmental NGOs or with the Botanical Garden. Summer students will spend two weeks with Irkutsk State University students for field studies.

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This program is hosted by Irkutsk State University which combines exceptionally strong departments in environmental studies and philology. About the Location. Siberia's great boreal forests are part of one of the world's largest biomes, one that accounts for nearly a third of the planet's forested area. It's also part of an important feedback loop driving global warming.

As temperatures rise, the hydrological system alters, drying the forest and leaving it more susceptible to insect pests. Declining forest health leads to greater fire risk, releasing more carbon into the atmosphere and further driving temperatures up. Irkutsk lies at the southern end of this boreal strip, near another great natural wonder, Lake Baikal. There, the massive confluence of three tectonic plates created a vast depression in the Earth's crust, which eventually swallowed the paths of several rivers. The resulting lake, with unique fluid dynamic properties due to its sheer depth, size, and purity, is also now home to several unique, endemic species.

With the Soviets' often reckless industrialization of the area, a major environmentalist movement formed in Irkutsk starting in s. The intellectual heritage of this movement and the city can be traced back to both the free-thinking Decembrists and indigenous local tribes who considered their surrounding nature to be sacred.