The Eastern Arctic Seas Encyclopedia

2016 Edition
| Editors: Igor S. Zonn, Andrey G. Kostianoy, Aleksandr V. Semenov

Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, Federal State Budgetary Institution (“AARI”)

Reference work entry

Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, Federal State Budgetary Institution (“AARI”) belongs to the Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring (Roshydromet) in St. Petersburg and presents the only research institution in Russia which conducts comprehensive research of the polar regions of the Earth. It dates back to the Northern Research and Trade Expedition of the Technical Society at the Supreme Council of National Economy (1920); since 1925, it was called the Northern Studies Institute, since 1930 the All-Union Arctic Institute, and in 1936 the institute got the name of the Arctic Research Institute (ARI). In 1958 the institute got its current name. In 1932 the institute came under control of the Northern Sea Route Authority at the USSR Council of People’s Commissars (Glavsevmorput) and became its main scientific institution. This institute is a leader in polar science. Its main task has been comprehensive studies of the Arctic seas in order to maintain the Northern Sea Route.

Since 1994 the Institute has had a status of the State Research Center of the Russian Federation. AARI is a research and coordination center for hydrometeorological, aerological, ice, ionospheric, and magnetic observations as well as for control over the hydrometeorological and geophysical network in the Arctic and Antarctic; hydrometeorological support to the economic sector and defensive activities in the Arctic; for keeping a state water cadastre in the Arctic; for the sea ice of the World Ocean and the freezing seas of Russia; for keeping the state database of polar regions environmental states in several disciplines and divisions.

The Institute has arranged more than 1,000 research expeditions. It controls the work of drifting ice stations “North Pole” and the Arctic polar stations. AARI is responsible for the organization of the comprehensive scientific Russian Antarctic Expedition (RAE). In 1969 the AARI scientists completed the first two-volume Atlas of the Antarctic in the world. Its authors were awarded the USSR State Prize (1972).

AARI includes 21 research subdivisions, the Murmansk Branch (1972), the Arctic high-latitude expedition, the Russian Antarctic expedition (1955), the Centre for Ice and Hydrometeorological Information, the Centre for Polar Medicine, the Engineer and Ecological Centre, research and expedition fleet of six research vessels (among which is the research ship “Akademik Fedorov” equipped with top notch research tools), the motor boat “Professor Multanovskiy,” a unique specialized ice tank, research and experimental facilities – “Ladozhskaya,” and “Gorkovskaya” stations (in Leningrad Region), the World Ocean and Ice Data Center.

At the premises of AARI, the specialists opened the Russian-German Laboratory for Sea and Polar Research named after O. Y. Shmidt and the Russian-Norwegian Laboratory for Arctic Climate Research named after Fram.

Many Soviet researchers and polar explorers have worked in the Institute: O. Y. Shmidt, P. L. Samoylovich, Y. M. Shokalskiy, V. Y. Vize, M. M. Somov, A. F. Treshnikov, and others. There is the Arctic and Antarctic Museum, which is a unique museum in Russia and the biggest in the world.

Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (Source:

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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016