State Research Center "Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute" - leader of Russian Polar science

Ivan Frolov, Alexander Danilov, Viktor Dmitriev and Tatiyana Gerasimova

State Scientific Center of the Russian Federation the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute - AARI (institute building) belongs to the Russian Federal Service on hydrometeorology and environmental protection. AARI is the oldest and the largest Russian research institution in the field of comprehensive studies of the Polar Regions.

The history of the Institute begins since 1920, when the Northern Research and Trade Expedition was organized. In 1925 the Northern Research and Trade Expedition was reorganized into the Institute for Northern Studies. Since 1930 the Institute was named as the Arctic Research Institute. In 1958 according to the Resolution of the Government the organization and coordination of national Antarctic exploration were laid on the Institute and it has become the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI). Further changes brought the AARI in 1963 under the Main Administration of the Hydrometeorological Service (now the Federal Service of Russia for Hydrometeorology and Monitoring of the Environment). In 1994 the AARI has obtained the status of State Research Center of Russia. From 1992 to the present Dr.Ivan Frolov is the director of the AARI. 

In the AARI there are 17 Scientific Departments and Arctic and Antarctic Museum. Besides the Scientific Departments and Laboratories, the AARI has the Center of Ice and Hydrometeorological Information, World Data Center-B on sea ice, Russian Antarctic Expedition (RAE), scientific research and experimental base: the station in the Arctic and Antarctic, "Ladozhskaya" and "Gorkovskaya" Stations (near St.Petersburg), research vessels including the unique vessel of icebreaker type "Academic Fedorov", specific ice tank, experimental producing complex for the development and production of research devices. 

The AARI performs the complex investigations in the Arctic and Antarctic in the field of oceanography, physics of ice, ocean, and in- land water, meteorology, ocean/air interaction, geophysics, sea ice studies, glaciology, polar geography, hydrochemistry, hydrology of river mounts and water resources, ecology, interaction of the ship's hull and other engineering constructions with ice, polar medicine.

The AARI fulfills scientific and applied developments, natural experiments. This activity is directed to: 

  • complex development of basic scientific knowledge about the processes occurring in the Arctic and Antarctic environment (ice cover, ocean, island water, river estuaries, atmosphere, upper atmosphere, ionosphere) and interaction between these media; 
  • creation of the new technical means and technologies for the contact and remote-sensing measurement of parameters of the media under study;
  • collection, concentration, analysis and distribution of the data on state and variability of medium including ones under antropogenic influence, long range transport and climate changes; 
  • hydrometeorological, hydrophysical and ecological provision (including the operative one) of economical and defensive activities of Russia in Polar regions including works on Arctic shelves; 
  • planning, coordination and provision of complex scientific research in the Arctic and Antarctic using research vessels, aircraft, polar stations etc.;
  • training of hight-skilled scientific staff.

The AARI has comprehensive scientific, technical and informational resources and hight-skilled scientific staff. The activity of the AARI is based on the large data massifs on ice, ocean, atmosphere, geophysical and other processes, which have been collected since the early 20th century. They are available in the form of automatic reference system including databases, models, calculative and forecasting methods of state and variability of environment and assessment of climate change and ecological state of Polar regions. Using the multi-year experience of scientific and expeditionary works in the Arctic and Antarctic, the AARI can perform at the modern level essentially all tasks for polar environmental research and satisfy the requirement of different branches of economy and defense of the country.

The AARI develops relations with scientific and economical organizations, companies and associations working in the Arctic and Antarctic. The AARI is well-known in the world that allows it to mutually cooperate with the centers and institutions of the USA, Canada, Norway, Germany etc. and participate in the international projects, expeditions, symposia, working groups, committees and commissions engaged in the investigations of the Polar regions of the Earth.


Photo Gallery(jpeg-format, 50-200k)
  1. AARI director,Dr.Ivan Frolov
  2. Photo of the AARI main building
  3. Hummocked ice in the Bering sea
  4. Satellite Information reception Station at the NP drifting station
  5. AARI Research Vessel in Antarctic
  6. Scheme of Operational Support for Navigation
  7. Cargo upload from aircraft on the drifting ice
  8. Solar radiation observations near North Pole
  9. Iceberg near Ostrii peninsula, Lasarev Shelf, Antarctic
  10. Expedition camp in the Arctic Basin

Our Address: 38 Bering str., St.Petersburg, 199397, Russia, tel. (812)337-3123 fax: (812)337-3241 Teletype: 321660 NILAS SU