Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute

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The Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, or AARI (Russian: Арктический и антарктический научно-исследовательский институт, abbreviated as ААНИИ) is the oldest and largest Russian research institute in the field of comprehensive studies of Arctic and Antarctica. It is located in Saint Petersburg.

The AARI was founded on March 3, 1920 as the Northern Research and Trade Expedition (Северная научно-промысловая экспедиция) under the Scientific and Technical Department of the All-Union Council of State Economy. In 1925, the expedition was reorganized into the Institute of Northern Studies (Институт по изучению Севера) and five years later - into the All-Union Arctic Institute (Всесоюзный арктический институт). In 1932, the institute was integrated into the Chief Directorate of the Northern Sea Route (Главное управление Северного морского пути). In 1948, they established the Arctic Geology Research Institute (Научно-исследовательский институт геологии Арктики, or НИИГА) on the basis of the geology department of the All-Union Arctic Institute, which would subordinate to the Ministry of Geology of the USSR. In 1958, the All-Union Arctic Institute was renamed Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute. In 1963, the AARI was incorporated into the Chief Administration of the Hydrometeorological Service (Главное управление Гидрометеослужбы) under the Council of Ministers of the USSR (now Federal Service of Russia for Hydrometeorology and Monitoring of the Environment).

Throughout its history, the AARI has organized more than a thousand Arctic expeditions, including dozens of high-latitude aerial expeditions, which transported 34(?) manned drifting ice stations Severniy Polyus ("Северный полюс", or North Pole) to Central Arctic. In 1955, the AARI participated in the organization of Antarctic research. In 1958, it began to organize and lead all of the Soviet Antarctic expeditions, which would later make many geographic discoveries. In 1968, the institute engaged in research of the areas of the Atlantic Ocean contiguous to the Arctic and Antarctica.

The AARI has numerous departments, such as those of oceanography, glaciology, meteorology, hydrology or Arctic river mouths and water resources, geophysics, polar geography, and others. It also has its own computer center, ice research laboratory, experimental workshops, and a museum (the Arctic and Antarctic Museum).

Scientists, such as Alexander Karpinsky, Alexander Fersman, Yuly Shokalsky, Nikolai Knipovich, Lev Berg, Otto Schmidt, Rudolf Samoylovich, Vladimir Vize, Nikolai Zubov, Pyotr Shirshov, Nikolai Urvantsev, and Yakov Gakkel have all made their valuable contributions to the work of the AARI.

In 1967, AARI was awarded the Order of Lenin.

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