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Summer school

Summer school 2022

International Summer school 2022

Station "Aktru"

The main goal of International Summer School Programme is to study a unique natural region Gorny Altay, lifestyles of native ethnics groups and their adaptation to the rapidly changing climate.

The objectives of this Programme are:

♦ to analyze the better practices of complex interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research in Life Sciences, Earth Sciences and in social anthropology;

♦ to learn about natural objects, processes and interactions between humans and landscapes;

♦ to improve field research skills and to develop complementary skills, such as team work and partnership.

The School offers its students the most up-to-date scientific background into environmental issues and sustainable development.

The School brings together eminent international researches in various fields, young researchers and students. This team will explore the major ecoregion of the Altai Republic (Russia, South Siberia).

All the participants get the opportunity to see The Golden Mountains of Altai – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – with their own eyes.

The group travels by bus along Chuiskiy Trakt (Highroad), which goes through the Altai Republic. National Geographic included it in the list of 10 most beautiful roads of the world . On our way, we see a wide range of amazing landscapes, from mixed deciduous birch and dark-coniferous forests on the foothills and humid low-mountains of the Altai, to the semi-arid steppe and semi-desert of the Kurai intermountain depression in the heart of the Altai. Then the group boards all-wheeldrive ex-military vehicles and climbs through the mountain coniferous forests to Aktru station which is located at the upper altitudinal tree-line, at about 2200 m above sea level. Within a short walking distance, the group goes up almost 1000 more meters to be able to reach alpine meadows and high-mountain tundra, and finally, glaciers and the nival environment. There are few places on Earth where it is possible to go through such diverse environmental space within a short time and so easily. The participants also travel in time: from fascinating lectures and field trips which explain the formation of the landscape following a mega-flood some 25,000 years ago to compelling evidence of current climate change. This is the area where a dynamic tree-line is above glacier snouts. Glacial retreat here has been monitored for about 100 years, and intensively for about 50 years. In the vicinity, there is also an impressive area where a large palsa plateau (a peatland with permafrost in the peat deposit) was rapidly degrading into an original landscape complex of thermokarst lakes and mire while trees were taking root in small thaw depressions.

The scale of the various phenomena is enormous: the expanses of the taiga forest are vast; the palsa plateau is an analogue of what Fennoscandian palsa plateaus might have looked like at the beginning of the Holocene. The mountains rose from the semi-arid steppes to around 2500 m into a climate regime that supported glacier formation; and the after-effects of the mega-floods such as diluvial terraces (giant bars) and giant ripples on the steppes were of staggering proportions.

Furthermore, the diversity of Altai and Aktru ecosystems is impressive. The centre of plant species evolution of the Northern Asia and biodiversity hot-spot are situated here as the region is a host to many endemic species, some of which are on the verge of extinction.

The Aktru International Research Station of NR TSU

Feedbacks from the participants of the Summer School

Who can participate?

We welcome international students and young scientists aged 18–35 years old

Registration fees

For international participants 800 EUR (include field trip expenses, accommodation, transfer service, camping, and food)

IMPORTANT! Camping outfit

Due to high-mountain field conditions of the Summer School, all participants are advised to have personal sleeping bags and tents, as well as the right outdoor clothing and shoes. Please let us know if you have any problems with the above mentioned.


School graduates will obtain the certificate of National Research Tomsk State University

Contact School Managers for registration support:

Olga Shaduyko e-mail: dolcezzamia@mail.ru