This year, one of the oldest departments of Irkutsk State University, the Department of Soil Studies and Land Resources Assessment, celebrates its 90th anniversary.
Opened at the geology-soil and geography faculty in 1931, it is still the only university’s department from Tomsk to Vladivostok, which trains specialists in research and rational use of land resources and ecological assessment of the environment.
The first head of the department was Professor Ivan V. Nikolayev, a famous Siberian soil scientist, who founded the scientific school of Eastern Siberian soil scientists. The East-Siberian Museum of Soil Studies under the Faculty of Biology and Soil Studies was named after him. Later, the department was headed by famous scientists who made a significant contribution to its development. Among them O.V. Makeev, N.I. Karnaukhov, M.A. Korzun, A.G. Sazonov, I.N. Uglanov, G.A. Vorobyova. Since 2005, the department has been headed by Natalya I. Granina, Ph.D. in Biology, Associate Professor.
The main scientific directions of the department include Theoretical Soil Studies, Soil Ecology, Paleo-Soil Studies as well as integrated interdisciplinary research.
Over the long history of development, more than a thousand specialists-soil scientists have been trained, scientific and personnel potential has been formed.
This year to celebrate its anniversary the ISU Department of Soil Studies and Land Resources Assessment held the International Conference "Soil as a Connecting Point in the Functioning of Natural and Anthropogenic-Transformed Ecosystems" (with the support of the Institute of Geography named after. V. B. Sochava, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Irkutsk branch of the Dokuchaev’s Soil Studies Society). It was attended by specialists in the field of Soil Studies, Agriculture and Land Management from Russian institutions as well as from neighboring countries.
The second anniversary event was the day of Soil Studies - a traditional event held at the Department for 28 years annually on December 10th, the date of the "birthday" of the scientific discipline of "Soil Studies", the founder of which is Professor Vasily V. Dokuchaev. Lecturers, students and graduates of the department took part in the event.