History of Akademik Vernadsky Station

History of Akademik Vernadsky station

Until 1996 the Ukrainian Antarctic Akademik Vernadsky station belonged to the United Kingdom and was named Faraday station.

During the Graham Land Expedition (1934-1937) the British founded a scientific base on the Argentine Islands (Western Antarctica). As a permanent meteorological observatory, the base began to work on the Winter Island from 1947. In 1954 the station was moved to the Marina Point, Galindez Island.

From 1994 to February 1996, the process of transferring the station to Ukraine continued. This was British Government gesture of goodwill. After the collapse of the USSR, Russia declared itself to be its successor, and then, at the request of Ukraine to transfer within the framework of the distribution of assets of the former USSR one of the five operating at that time Antarctic stations gave a negative answer.

On November 21, 1994 “Vidrodzhennia” international fund allocated 12000 dollars for the project “Ukraine goes back to Antarctica”. On December 5, 1994 four Ukrainian experts – Yuri Oskret (station life support system), Dr. Gennady Milinevsky (scientific programs), Оleksandr Lushnivsky (communications service) and Volodymyr Georgiev (diesel stuff) have arrived to Faraday station and worked there till February 15, 1995.

On July 20, 1995 in London the Ambassador of Ukraine to the Great Britain Academician Sergiy Komisarenko and British Foreign Secretary David Davis have exchanged diplomatic notes on the transfer of British Antarctic Faraday station to Ukraine. The same day Director of the Antarctic Research Center Petro Gozhyk and Director of the British Antarctic Survey Berry Heywood have signed the corresponding Memorandum of Understanding.

Thus, the preparation of the wintering team of the first Ukrainian Antarctic Expedition began. On November 28, 1995 and February 7, 1996 two groups of winterers and so, a team of 12 persons has started its work.

On February 1996 the British Flag was flown at half-mast and the State Flag of Ukraine was flown at the station.  The Ukrainian station was named after Volodymyr Vernadsky – a distinguished scientist, the founder of the biosphere and noosphere doctrine, the first President of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (1918).

Research undertaken by Ukrainian scientists at Galindez Island is determined by the Memorandum of transfer of Faraday research station to Ukraine (at the same time, they are constituents of the State Special-Purpose Program of Research in Antarctica for 2011-2020). In particular, long-term meteorological observations initiated by the British in 1947, are continuing.

During rotation of expeditions up to 24 people can work at the station; usually wintering team consists of 12 people.

The research complex of the station allows the implementation of comprehensive monitoring of environmental parameters in Antarctica at all levels of the geosphere – from tectonosphere to geospace.

A virtual visit to Wordie House historic site