Field Stations on the Coast of the Arctic Ocean in the European Part of Russia from the First to Second IPY
This chapter is a first attempt to study the development of different kind of field stations in the western sector of the Russian Arctic in theperiod from the First to Second International Polar Years (1882 - 1933). As more or less independent entities, marine biological and polar meteorological stations were on different sides of the process but were interconnected through the people involved and the filed research practices implemented.Three major concerns influenced the development of field studies in the Russian Arctic – navigation, demands for the efficient use of natural resources and the political–military strategy of keeping land and their surrounding seas under Soviet control. Stations gradually moved further north from the sub-Arctic to the Arctic islands.The scientific network in the Arctic was initially established through the confrontation between interrelated sites of knowledge – field stations and research vessels – before their merger and placement in the same centralized network, which subsequently became very efficient with the introduction of aviation. The stations were not just crucial places for knowledge production but also places for the transfer of scientific, primarily tacit, knowledge about observations and laboratory analysis. They also maintained a specific culture of field sciences. By the time of the Second IPY in the Soviet Arctic, a distinct shift could be seen from broad international cooperation to a centralized national network and from scientific, educational and local economic objectives to military, geopolitical and broader economic interests.