Wednesday, 17 December 2014

GA Study Tour to Russia 2015

Details of the latest GA Study Tour have now been released, and if I had £2000 spare, I'd be signing up.
It's a 2 week long tour of Russia.

It includes the following:
  • The Russian Geographical Society and the geography of St. Petersburg
  • Preservation of historic cities and World Heritage sites, including Hermitage, Petergof, Alexandria and Petrodvorets
  • The Leningrad blockade and the geography of a city’s survival in the Second World War
  • The historic Mariinskaya Water Way system and Losev’s Rapids
  • Valaam Island and the monastery- the role of the Orthodox Church in Russia. Monastic farming and the local soils
  • The geomorphology of Lake Lagoda
  • Woodcarving decorative art and a master class by KronidGogolev
  • Geology and tourism - visit to abandoned marble quarries and waterfalls at Ruskeala, Lake Ristiyarvi
  • Tour of Kizhi Island including World Heritage site of KizhiPogost
  • Medical geography - Martial Water Resort
  • Industrial geography - ore and copper smelting plants
  • Kivach Reserve and waterfall. The negative effects of building the Girvass Dam
  • Boat travel to Solovetsky Islands in White Sea - history and architecture of monastery
  • Eco-dozor and their work to protect the ecological path “Babylon” in Kandalaksha
  • Polar Botanical Gardens and MGU Scientific Field Study Institute.Geological museum – “Apatity”
  • Olenegorsk, Lovozero Village - reindeer farming in former Kolhoz. History and culture of the Sami
  • Management of Ukrainian immigrants at Regional Headquarters in Murmansk
  • Visit to Nuclear Power Icebreaker “Lenin”
  • School 9 in Murmansk and their WW2 Project.
  • Marine Museum and WW2 Convoy
  • Transport geography – the rail journey from Murmansk to St Petersburg
The tour will explore the physical geography of the region through visits to world famous glacial areas including Valaam, Kizhi and Solovki islands, the Ladoga, Onega and Lovozero lakes and the tundra landscape. The region’s economic activity in primary and secondary sectors will be examined through visits to a marble quarry, a historical geological mining site near Sortavala, the fish canning industry, and a hydroelectric station. There will be opportunities to meet representatives of the local indigenous population and to learn about their cultural and economic activities. From another perspective, the region provides numerous examples of the impact of major historical events upon physical features and human activity, illustrating how human activities have interacted with natural systems, for example the Leningrad Siege and the Arctic convoys of the Second World War, and the construction of the White Sea - Baltic Canal using labour from the GULAG in the pre-war Stalinist period. The Tour will also visit major cities in the region, including St. Petersburg (the former imperial capital), Petrozavodsk (capital of the Republic of Karelia), Kirovsk (located at the spurs of the Khibiny Mountains), Apatity (a city named after the local abundance of apatite used in production of phosphorus mineral fertilizers), and Murmansk (the largest city north of the Arctic circle). Northwest Russia is a vast territory and our visit will meet the interests of geography educators through its variety of themes.

A fairly awesome itinerary and perfect introduction to a country that is new to many and appears on new curriculum documents...

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