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Research interests
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Environmental protection projects

Environmental Protection Projects


Developer, coordinator and investigator in nature conservation projects


July 2019 – Present time

The developer and the chief coordinator of the “Stop the Harmful Forms of Prescribed Burnings!” public international campaign


  • International socio-ecological union, ISEU (Международный Социально-экологический Союз, МСоЭС)- the international public environmental organization and expert community, created in the Russian Federation in 1988. actual website, old website.

Internet locations of the “Stop the Harmful Forms of Prescribed Burnings!” campaign:

  • Website of the SHFPB Campaign ENG\ RUS

  • Position of the SHFPB Campaign (PDF) ENG \ RUS

  • Position of the SHFPB Campaign (Docx) ENG\ RUS

  • About the SHFPB Campaign on the ISEU website: ENG\ RUS

  • Prescribed Burning Watch ENG\RUS open facebook group devoted to the SHFPB Campaign and the entire prescribed burning problems around the world

About the “Stop the Harmful Forms of Prescribed Burnings!” campaign

I launched the SHFPB campaign in June 2019 by formulation the problems caused by prescribed burning practice around the world and objectives of the campaign and considering these issues in the campaign’s position on Russian and English languages. The position of the campaign had several modifications since the first version. The last version is available by links above, the date of the last correction is marked on the top of the document.

Later, after discussion of the prescribed burning problems and campaign’s goals with the coordinator of the International Socio-Ecological Union Svyatoslav Zabelin, the SHFPB campaign started to be conducted on the behalf of ISEU.

The public facebook group “Prescribed burning watch” which I also started in 2019, is devoted to the considering news of the SHFPB campaign and discussion of the entire prescribed burning problems around the world.

In July 2022, I have finished the SHFPB campaign website in English and Russian versions, where I published the position of the campaign and other materials.

Before the launch of the “Stop the Harmful Forms of Prescribed Burnings!” campaign I worked on the campaign “Just Stop the Grass Burning!” (2016-2018), which has similar goals, but was aimed only on Russia with its specific problem of vast illegal burning of dry grass in natural lands that cause fire disasters in many regions of the country every year. When the SHFPB campaign was launched, the JSGB campaign was temporarily stopped. The JSGB campaign is considered below.

* * *

The general purpose of the SHFPB campaign is to voice and put on the world agenda a set of the hard problems caused by the catastrophic negative consequences of the harmful forms of prescribed burning for biodiversity, natural ecosystems, climate, soils, natural waters, human health and the economy. Discuss these problems at the national and international levels, elaborate solutions to them, and start implementation of these solutions.

The position of the SHFPB campaign describes these problems and the reasons of their occurrence, which have become a consequence of the long-term practice of intentional burning used in many countries of the world. It has three parts, which also can be found on the website of the campaign.

PART I. Introduction Here we consider the negative characteristics of the prescribed burning industry in the world and their obvious destructive consequences for the biodiversity, natural ecosystems, climate, soils, natural waters, human health, and the economy . We give our definition of the “harmful forms” of prescribed burning. We explain why the harmful forms of prescribed burning should be considered as a phenomenon of intentional, large-scale, long-term ECOCIDE . We also explain why the practice of prescribed burning can lead to increase of the scale of severe wildfires (not to decrease in these scales).

This part of the position corresponds to two sections of the website. This section details the problems that have arisen as a result of prescribed burning practice around the world. This section defines destructive forms of burning and provides a justification for why such forms of burning is ecocide.

PART II. The objectives and proposals of the campaign Here we consider what steps should be implemented to start the solution of the complex of hard problems caused by prescribed burning industry around the world. This part can be found in this section of the website.

PART III. Misconceptions in the fundament of the prescribed burning paradigm We analyze here the erroneous concepts underlying the scientific and practical paradigm of prescribed burning. Under the paradigm we understand the entire sphere of prescribed burning – scientific theory, developed methods and practical implementation (i.e. the industry of vast regular controlled burning inside natural lands). Also we include here the sphere of propaganda and dissemination of the ideas of prescribed burning in different countries. By concepts we mean parts of the scientific platform on which the industry and the promotion of prescribed burning practice rely (statements and ideas, terms and methods). This part can be found in this section of the website.



February 2016 – December 2018

The developer and coordinator of the “Just Stop the Grass Burning!” (Просто перестать жечь траву!) public all-Russian campaign


  • International socio-ecological union, ISEU (Международный Социально-экологический Союз, МСоЭС)- the international public environmental organization and expert community, created in the Russian Federation in 1988. actual website, old website.

Website of the “Just Stop the Grass Burning!” Campaign (mainly in Russian)


Some links of the Campaign’s website which show the essence of the Campaign:

About the Public Campaign “Just stop the grass burning!”

I launched the Campaign in 2016 in order fight against the grass burning tradition in Russian Federation. The grass burnings every year become the main reason of wildfire catastrophe in this country. Wildfires are lunched by unauthorized (illegal) grass burning and, frequently, by legal prescribed burning, implementing for agricultural purposes and forest fires protection.

The main focus of the Campaign is the fighting against unauthorized grass burning (prohibited by law in Russia), which people conduct in vast areas at spring and autumn seasons. Those grass burnings give the largest percentage of wildfires in most regions of the country. The Campaign also aims to reduce the volume of legal prescribed burning, which are allowed to implement in forests lands for prevention them from wildfires. The authority of many Russian regions every year appoint such a huge area of prescribed burning in forest lands that they can't be implemented safety, i.e. using the methods of burning control recommended by specialists and set by law. As a result, the prescribed burning themselves often lunch of strong forest fires.

In 2015 the agricultural grass burning was prohibited by law across the entire country, but many farmers still continue to burn. The third focus of the Campaign is fighting against agricultural burning: to search of appropriate alternatives of crop residues and straws burnings, which would be understandable and convenient for farmers.

In total, all forms of grass burning give annually more than 90% of the causes of wildfires in Russia (forest fires, peat fires, grass fires, steppe fires and reed fires). The remaining 9-10% are caused by other forms of careless handling with fires in natural lands, like campfires which were not extinguished completely, smoldering cigarette butts thrown on dry grass, improper burning of garbage in garden areas, sparks from cars. The natural causes of wildfires can be only thunderstorms without rain (dry thunderstorms), but they are extremely rare in Russia. Almost all wildfires are caused by humans.

Since July 2017, the campaign “Just stop the grass burning!” has been operating as the public campaign of the International Socio-Ecological Union (Международный Социально-экологический Союз) , one of the oldest Russian environmental organization and the only international environmental organization which was born in the USSR. From this year the Campaign started the steps towards the international character of work. In June 2019 we launched another campaign - "Stop the Harmful Forms of Prescribed Burnings!" which is devoted to the solution of complex of problems caused by prescribed burnings practice around the world (you can read about this campaign above). At the same time, we temporarily terminated the work on the “Just stop the grass burning!” public campaign.



June 2016 – Present time

Administrator and developer of the digital web Library of Environmental Literature (Библиотека природоохранной литературы)


  • International socio-ecological union, ISEU (Международный Социально-экологический Союз, МСоЭС)- the international public environmental organization and expert community, created in the Russian Federation in 1988. actual website, old website.

Website of the Library (Russian)


About the Library of Environmental Literature

The project of the Library of Environmental Literature has been developing by me since June 2016. Since July 2021, the Library is conducted as a web project of the International Socio-Ecological Union. The chief coordinator of ISEU Svyatoslav Zabelin ) and I have joined two digital libraries of environmental literature which we developed separately in a single web project. However, since the day the projects were merged, I did not have enough time to transfer to the library's Internet database all the books collected by Svyatoslav Zabelin on his computer.

The purpose of the Library is to collect publications (books, articles, journals, newspapers) that can be used for various types of nature conservation and scientific work in a single Internet database with a thematic search principle. The collecting publications have methodological, educational, scientific, documentary, historical, as well as belletristic characters. They spread among people of different countries in digital forms. The publications are gathered both in the form of full text and (in case of legal impossibility of posting the full text in the Internet) in the form of annotation with information about where the publication can be purchased.:

The library has 4 sections: (i) General Library, (ii)Geotechnologies used for Conservation and Study of Nature objectives, (iii)Periodical issues (journals and newspapers), and (iv)Documents. Each of these sections has a separate search by sections, tags and authors. The description of each section can be found on the main page of the library's website. The largest section is the General Library, the main publications are collected there.

The library has a wide potential audience, which includes all people who are connected with environmental activities or interested in it. Because of this, we see the importance of the library in two aspects – professional (with benefits for direct environmental work) and educational (with benefits for the general population). Both aspects are related to each other because most people come to the professional environmental sphere after the stage of general familiarization with environmental problems, knowledge, values and ideas.

During the existence of the project, the library has had 4 updates (the arrival of new editions). The last, fourth update was made on January 15, 2021. The description of this event can be read on the Facebook page of the project (Russian).



September 2015 – September 2016

Administrator of the "Wetland Mammals of Eurasia" chapter of the Web-GIS "Faunistics" and GIS developer of the "Save Russian Desman" project (remote volunteer work via Internet)


  • Web-GIS "Faunistics" the open platform collecting the georeferenced data about findings of different animal and plant species from a wide community (professional zoologists, amateurs, tourists, etc) in a Web-GIS format and allowing to free download and use of collected information as geodata (shape files), attribute tables and georeferenced photos. (Coordinator – Dr. Igor Karyakin, NGO Siberian Environmental Centre, Russia).

  • The Russian Desman Lovers Community - community of professionals and enthusiasts amateurs searching and mapping of residual alive settlements of Russian desman in order to protect them and conserve this species in a wild nature. Coordinator – Dr. Marina Rutovskaya (Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russia).

The chapter "Wetland Mammals of Eurasia" was established in September 2015 by my proposal for collection information about alive settlements of Russian desman (endemic of Russia and endangered species), European beaver (threatened species), muskrat and other wetland species of Eurasia. Creation of this chapter was combined with launch of new stage of the “Save Russian desman” project, where I started to work as GIS and Web GIS developer since 2015 (after a break of 4 years of finish my coordination of the close project in NGO Biodiversity Conservation Center). As the input to both projects I supplemented and improved the unique georeferenced database of alive habitats of Russian desman, including data of most known sources from 1949 to 2015 (the database was started by me in 2010) and transferred it into two web-GIS:

  • 1.The “Wetland mammals of Eurasia" chapter of the Web-GIS "Faunistics" (for observe all data of the chapter it is necessary to be registered in the “Faunistics” system and to be approved by its administration)

  • 2. The Web-GIS map created on the ArcGIS Online platform for the internal application of the research groups of specialists of Russian desman. The Web-GIS is implemented in Russian language (attribute table, titles of objects) since it was made for Russian-speaking community. To enter in the Web-GIS press the image below (please, wait a bit for page download):

 download JPG



August 2015 – November 2015

Coordinator of the SCGIS e-conference for Russian audience


  • The Russian Regional Chapter of SCGIS The Society for Conservation GIS (SCGIS) is a non-profit organization that assists conservationists worldwide in using GIS through communication, networking, scholarships, and training. Coordinator of the Russian Regional Chapter - Ilona Zhuravleva (Greenpeace Russia).

  • GIS-Lab - the informal community of Russian-speaking GIS and remote sensing specialists

The SCGIS e-conference (Internet conference in text format) was implemented as part of the Second practical conference of SCGIS community in Russia entitled as the "Use of GIS and remote sensing data for environmental protection". It was conducted by Greenpeace Russia and Russian Chapter of SCGIS at 25-27 September 2015 in Moscow. The e-conference was implemented by my proposal and I worked as its coordinator. It became the first experience of e-conference of SCGIS community.

The result of e-conference was publication of the conference materials of participants of offline meeting (full texts of oral reports, presentations, images, papers, links) as files for a long acquaintance of a wide audience. Also by this manner it was realized the possibility of a long-term conversation between authors of materials and professional (green and geotechnical) community. The materials of e-conference are available on the permanent basis on the platform of forum of the geotechnical professional community “GIS-Lab” (in Russian).

More details:

Information about the “Use of GIS and remote sensing data for environmental protection” SCGIS conference on the SCGIS site: in short (in English); full information, links on video and SCGIS e-conference (in Russian).



November 2013 - April 2014

GIS developer in the project of elaboration of ecological corridors in the Campinas municipality

Campinas, Brazil


I participated as GIS and Web-GIS developer in the project initiated by the research team of biologists of Mata Santa Genebra Foundation, dedicated to elaboration of ecological corridors and passages for wild animals in the Campinas municipality. I created of GIS and Web-GIS maps of proposed ecological corridors and passages between two fragments of residual Atlantic forest: “Mata Santa Genebra” fragment (the largest and the healthy fragment of natural tropical forest in Campinas) and the “Mata do Quilombo” fragment. Also I mapped in GIS and Web-GIS the general network of ecological corridors for the whole municipality of Campinas elaborated by our team. The proposed ecological network was based on the existent carcass of natural areas, which was established in the beginner of Campinas building.

The result of the initial stage of the project were the proposal of elaborated and mapped (as shape files, pdf images and Web-GIS) ecological corridors and passages for wild animals for their inclusion into the Governmental Plan of protected areas expansion in the São Paulo state (Plano de Expansão das Áreas Protegidas no Estado de São Paulo) The proposal was sent to the Secretary of Environment of the Sao Paulo State at March 2014. The full text of proposal and link on Web-GIS elaborated you can find below

Prepared material:

  • Cristiano Krepsky, Natalia Novoselova, Patrik de Oliveira Aprígio. 2014. Proposta de Inclusão de Corredores Ecológicos do Município de Campinas no Plano de Expansão de Áreas Protegidas no Estado de São Paulo download PDF (in Portuguese)

For look only maps of proposed ecological corridors press the icon (13.7 mb):

 download JPG
  • The Web-GIS map of the proposed general scheme of ecological network for Campinas municipality. To enter in the Web-GIS press the image below (please, wait a bit for page download):

 download JPG



February 2007 – May 2010

Program coordinator of the Biodiversity Conservation Center

Moscow, Russia


Biodiversity Conservation Center (BCC) - the independent Russian nature conservation NGO (General director - Alexey Zimenko)

During three years I coordinated the “Protection of rare mammals species” BCC Program, including Russian desman (“Save Russian Desman” project), Saiga, Siberian musk deer and Caspian seal species and the BCC Public campaign “No — to fishing-line nets and electric rods!” devoted to struggle against the illegal use for fishing of fishing-line nets and electric rods. The program and campaign were implemented by support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

My accomplishments and responsibilities:

  • I prepared the materials for web-pages of BCC website devoted to issues of coordinated projects.

  • I collaborated with the Working Group of Russian desman protection, established by BCC in 2006 (organization and information support).

  • I prepared the official proposal and appeals authored by BCC about issues of coordinated projects to the heads of the federal and provincial government of Russia.

  • I authored the leaflet “Save Russian desman” with the brief information about drastic decrease of the Russian desman’s population and appeal to participate in its protection. The leaflet was placed on the website of BCC, it was distributed among various organizations and people. download leaflet “Save Russian desman” (in Russian)

  • I organized and carried out the competition among teachers of Russia and Ukraine entitled as the “The lesson about Russian Desman” dedicated to elaboration of plans for school lesson for different ages about this endangered species. The competition had a great interest among teachers. We received a large number of creative, professional and thematic diverse plans of school lesson for different ages from many regions of Russia and Ukraine. The projects were accompanied with excellent presentations, training games and creative tasks. The best plans were included in the “Materials for lessons about Russian desman” package and placed on the BCC web site.

  • I made the “Materials for lessons about Russian desman” information package intended for school teachers for help them in preparation of lessons about this species for children. The package consists from multitude of professional and thematic diverse plans of lessons, science-popular films and articles, video-social advertising, science monographs, maps of desman areal, recommendations for protection of species, questionnaire for children, photographs and some other materials. The package was placed on the permanent base on the BCC web site. You can find it here: Materials for lessons about Russian desman (BCC web site) (in Russian). The information about package and possibility to receive it on DVD disk free of charge was distributed through mass media.

  • About 80 DVDs were distributed by received requests from schoolteachers, museum employees and heads of children's ecological study groups from different regions of Russia and Ukraine. I encouraged people to expand DVD disk with materials by themselves, therefore the total number of people who received the DVD disk with “Materials for lessons about Russian desman” could me much more than 80.

  • The 35-second social advertisement video clip, agitating against the use and abandonment in water bodies of fishing-line nets was created. This work I made with collaboration of “Masterskaya Filmov” private company specializing in making advertising movies. The video advertisement was spread over the country within the DVD disk of “Materials for lessons about Russian desman”, by dint of BCC web-site (web-page of video materials)and through the Internet. I encouraged people to use it for demonstration in federal and regional TV channels and organizations dealing with video advertising (mails, supermarkets, railway stations, transport companies). You can see this video advertisement through the YouTube (in Russian):

The video advertisement which we made probably the only video advertisement, devoting to the gravest problem of Russia and some neighbour countries - the mass illegal use and throw-out in water bodies of fishing-line synthetic nets. Those nets left in water by poachers kill a lot of water animals. Their popularity - is the main reason of drastic reduction of Russian desman population in a wild nature (in fact in the world, because desman does not breed in captivity). At the same time this video clip is a single video social advertising attracted the people’s attention to the terrible situation with Russian desman.


  • I worked with volunteers of “Save Russian Desman” project. I contacted with various people and organizations which were interested in collaboration for desman protection, consulted them and helped with useful information. I participated in the field traineeships for volunteers learning young people of methodology of desman census, took part in the information company for attraction of new volunteers in universities, tutored of students in GIS technologies for study desman.

Awards and special presentations

  • I was awarded by the Laureate Diploma on the ХII Russian journalist competition “Ecology of Russia: The XXI century water resources” which was conducted in 2008 by the Civic Chamber of Russian Federation and Media Union (the independent organization joining all sectors of the mass media throughout Russia) for elaboration the information package for teachers “Materials for lessons about Russian desman” and its placement with free access on the web-site of Biodiversity Conservation Center.

  • The project “Save Russian Desman” (of “Protection of rare mammals species” BCC programme) was nominated among the five most interesting conservation projects of the 2008 All-Russian competition “We are responsible for our planet”, that was organized by the “National Geographic Russia” magazine. This project included developing of information package for teachers “Materials for lessons about Russian desman” and conduction of the all-Russian competition “The lesson about Russian desman”.

  • The experience of elaboration the “Materials for lessons about Russian desman” information package for teachers and conduction the all-Russian competition among teachers “The lesson about Russian Desman” were reported by me on the XV International Conference “Education for Sustainable Development” that have been conducted by Green Cross Russia, the International Independent Ecological-Political University and Green Cross International in 2009. This material was included in the Collection of theses of the Conference.


May 2010 - July 2010

Investigator and GIS developer in the project: “The identification of potential Areas for Special Conservation Interest (the Russian desman’s areal) for the Emerald network of the Bern Convention”, which was implemented in the frame of the Joint Programme between Council of Europe and European Union: “Emerald Network-ENP. Support for the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)'s Programme of Work on Protected Areas in the EU Neighbourhood Policy East Area and Russia”.



  • Biologists for Nature Conservation (Russian NGO, also known also as the Baltic Fund for Nature)

  • Biodiversity Conservation Center

Leaders of the project:

Rustam A. Sagitov (NGO Biologists for Nature Conservation)

Nikolay A. Sobolev (NGO Biodiversity Conservation Center)

The project was devoted to identification of the valuable natural areas as habitats of Russian desman (Desmana moschata), which is considered a key-species for Emerald Network as endangered species and endemic of European Russia. The objective of this project was only one of the working tasks for the Russian subprogram of the Joint Programme. I was principal developer of the project concerning Russian desman, other developers of Russian subprogram worked with another key-species. .

I determined and mapped in GIS (ArcView3.2 software) the territories inhabited by desman and included them into the database of potential areas for Emerald Ecological Network. For do this I collected all known information from majority of disposable sources for the last 20 years about water bodies settled by Russian desman into the georeferenced database (the georeferenced points and attribute table with description in GIS software). The applied sources were the following: data of desman’s census implemented at 2000-2001 in majority of regions settled by desman; regional Red Books; data from questionnaire about finding of desman conducted by BCC in 2009 via the Internet, research papers and information from recent observation of desman’s settlements from field groups. The topographical georeferenced maps with a scale 1:100 000 and 1:200 000 were used for georeference points near the water bodies detected in the sources as settled by Russian desman.

The georeferenced database of desman’s settlements was separate important result of this project. It became the unique database which can be used by specialists as the basis of collecting information about species in GIS and developing of measures for its protection. This database was supplemented, improved and placed in Web-GIS platforms by me in 2015 - when I started to work as a volunteer in another project devoted to Russian desman conservation: Read more about it

You can see examples of GIS maps constructed in 2010 by clicking the icons:

 download JPG  download JPG

About the problem

The available information about present-day conditions of Russian desman populations is very important for protection this species and restoration of its number. For saving Russian desman in a wild nature (in fact in the world, because desman does not breed in captivity) it is necessary to know territories where animals still inhabit and number of its local populations. It will help to elaborate the effective measures for species conservation. According to the experts opinion, the most effective measure for Russian desmans conservation is creation of ecological network – a carcass of large protected areas connected with each other by ecological corridors.



Participation in conservation projects as a volunteer


2010 (July – August)

The brown bear (Ursus arctos) fishing behaviour (research and conservation project)

Vostochny Reserve of Sakhalin Island, Russian Far East


Organizational leader: Dmitry Lisitsyn (Director of Sakhalin Environment Watch).

Scientific leader: Ivan Seredkin (Pacific Institute of Geography, Far Eastern Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences).

I worked as a volunteer-observer in the project conducted by NGO Sakhalin Environment Watch devoted to study of brown bear fishing behaviour and possibility of reduction the number of conflicts between humans and these animals. The project was implemented in 2009-2011 in Vostochny Reserve (the protected area located on the Okhotsk Sea coast of the middle part of Sakhalin Island) on a wild population of brown bears inhabited there. The project was conducted in collaboration with specialists from Russian and USA universities with involvement of volunteers.

One of the main objectives of the research was estimation the quantity of salmons expendable by brown bears during the spawning period. The principle idea of the project was compare the number of salmons which flow up to river for spawning and number of salmons which are eaten by brown bears.

During two months of my work in the reserve I and other volunteers observed of brown bears fishing behaviour in a wild nature. We watched animals from several stationary points through the binoculars, the distance between the observer and bears was about 100 meters. All important details of bears behaviour concerning the fish hunting and fish eating were registered in a special form.

Every day we counted the number of salmons that went up from the Okhotsk Sea to river for spawning. By this manner we registered the natural number of salmons which flow up to river (salmons that came in two rivers of the Vostochny Reserve (Vengery and Persh-Pursh) were not controlled by humans).

On the regular hiking routes within the reserve we gained different data about bears population: food composition, marking activity, movements, relationship of bears with each other and with humans.

The results of the project is supposed to be applied by Sakhalin Environment Watch to change the state standard of the number of salmons which are let pass into rivers for spawning by human control. Also the important scientific information about brown bear behaviour was gathered. More details about the project results (published papers, practical achievements) you can know from Dmitry Lisitsyn, the Director of Sakhalin Environment Watch (sakhalinwatch@gmail.com)

Just for illustration of incredible work in the Vostochny Reserve – look the video clips about the wild brown bears which we observed there:

 Look video Look video

About the problem

In Russia the number of salmons which flow up the rivers for spawning is controlled by human economic activity. In Sakhalin Island the state standard number of salmons which are allowed to go into rivers for spawning is 2 individuals per 1 sq. km. However, this norm does not consider the brown bears intake (brown bear – is the largest consumer of salmons). For this reason it is important to determine how many salmons are eaten by brown bears in a wild nature. The results of the research allow to determine the number of salmons which would be enough both for stable propagation of salmons and for the bears sustenance (by the materials of Sakhalin Environment Watch of 2010)


2009 (September)

Volunteer camp of swamp ecosystem restoration

Meshera National Park, Vladimir Region, Russia


Nature conservation group “Tochka Rosta” (Vladimir, Russia)

The project was devoted to restoration of natural peaty swamp ecosystem of the Meshera lowland in the Meshera National Park. The swamp was drained in 1970’s within the all-Russian state programme of forest and swamp draining.

The project was implemented during two weeks in September 2009 by volunteers. The objective of the project was building of dams in several drainage ditches that were dug in 1970 for drying swamp. We made the dams from plastic bags filled with peat, by tightly stuffing them up into the dam frames made from logs. According to the applied methodology, after a year after this work the territory should be refilled with water and natural swamp vegetation should be partly restore. Beavers which live here also could settle this territory and finish the human work. As the results, after several years the swamp ecosystem should return to its natural or nearly natural condition.

The applied methodology of swamp ecosystem restoration is widely used in Russia and Europe.

About the problem

During the XX century the swamp and forest draining in Russia and some other countries was a widespread practice. Forest and swamp melioration took place on vast areas. These works have serious negative consequences for nature ecosystems. Most probably it was one of the main reasons of the drastic forest wildfires in 1972, 2002, 2010 and 2015 in Russia. The restoration of drained swamp and forest is very important objectives, however it is very difficult task, because of the huge area of drained territories.


2008 (March - April)

Volunteer camp of WWF-Russia devoted to saving the birds injured in the Kerch oil spill incident

Taman Peninsula (the Kerch Strait zone), Krasnodar Territory, Russia



Scientific leader:

Oleg Tsaruk (the Head of “Russian Caucasus” Regional WWF Branch).

The volunteer camp of WWF-Russia was devoted to saving the birds injured in the oil spill in the Kerch Strait occurred in November 2007: medical treatment, rehabilitation and release to nature. Also the volunteers estimated the catastrophe consequences, found parts of the sea coast most polluted by oil products and gave this information to the State Russian Saving Services.

I worked in the camp as a volunteer during two weeks (in March and April, 2008). In this period there were only a few alive injured (mudded by masut) birds. However there were many dead fish and birds that died in the autumn 2007 and in the early spring 2008 due to the spring masut emersion.

I and two other volunteers treated the last birds that were living in the camp, examined and mapped the consequences of the catastrophe on the parts of the coastline of Taman Peninsula, Chushka and Tuzla Spits that were impacted by oil spill. The important information of our observation and our conclusions about the situation we gave to WWF-Russia and administration of Krasnodar Territory. The results of our study were used to illuminate the consequences of the oil spill in mass media and for making decision for liquidation the consequences of catastrophe by the Government of the Krasnodar Territory.

About the problem

On 11 November 2007 in the Kerch Strait (the strait connecting the Black Sea and the Azov Sea) due to storm the Russian tanker Volganeft-139 was damaged, causing a large oil spill – over 2000 tons of masut were spilled to the sea water. Four other boats sank in the storm, resulting in the release of sulphur cargo.

WWF-Russia organized the volunteer camp for saving birds injured by oil spill. The camp operated in the region of ecological disaster from November 2007 to May 2008.

The oil spill in the Kerch Strait is considered one of the strongest world ecological catastrophes in 2007. Specialists thought that the consequences will be noticed for many years.


2008 (April)

Volunteer work for InterRidge statement translation


InterRidge (international corporation in ridge-crest studies)

Organizational leader:

Dr. Stace Beaulieu (InterRidge Coordinator)

In April 2008 InterRidge Coordinator Dr. Stace Beaulieu looked for volunteers to translate the InterRidge website homepage and the InterRidge "Statement of Commitment to Responsible Research Practices at Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents" into other languages. My husband (Alexey Novoselov, Ph.D. in Geochemistry) and I came forward to help him.

We translated together the InterRidge website homepage and the InterRidge "Statement of Commitment to Responsible Research Practices at Deep-Sea Hydrothermal Vents" into Russian. Dr. Stace Beaulieu remarked our work in the footnote on this page.


2001 (June)

Study the young population of aurochs (Bison bonasus) of the “Orlovskoe Polesye” National Park

National Park “Orlovskoe Polesye”, Orel Region, Russia


National Park “Orlovskoe Polesye”

Scientific leader:

Leonid M. Baskin (Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution Russian Academy of Science)

Scientific consultants: The staff of the scientific department of national park “Orlovskoe Polesye”

It was a student research project devoted to study of aurochs population which were reintroduced into the Orlovskoe Polesye National Park at 1996-2001. The objective of the research was to identify the number of aurochs in the population, study which plants are eaten by aurochs and determine the character of movement of aurochs groups within the territory of national park. For these purposes we made the regular hiking routes where mapped by GPS all signs of aurochs activity and gathered data about plants consumed by these animals.

The results of the research were reported to the national park administration. Our work was the first scientific research of the young population of aurochs in the national park.


1999, 2000, 2001 (January)

Student volunteer expeditions dedicated to winter calculations of large mammals in nature reserves and national parks

Meshera National park (Vladimir region, Russia)

Les-na-Vorskle Nature Reserve (Belgorod region, Russia)

Orlovskoe Polesye National Park (Orel region, Russia)


Lomonosov Moscow State University, Geography and Biology Faculties

Organizational leader:

Olga Leontyeva (Geography Faculty)

Boris Vasilyev (Biology Faculty)

The winter student expeditions coordinated by Lomonosov university are devoted to large mammals calculations in Russian protected nature areas (nature reserves and national parks). The protected areas of Russia have to conduct census of large mammals every year. However, because of small staff, very often they can’t realize the necessary observation by themselves. Students and other volunteers help them in this work.

For census the methodology of winter mammals calculations by footprints was applied. Each mammal species was identified by the shape of its footprint on the snow. On daily hiking routes within the protected area we registered all met mammals species and calculated of theirs footprints. According to these data we determined the list of species inhabited in the area and their approximate number. The results of the research were given to administrations of protected areas. Also they were used for writing student term papers.