From the new lab facilities

Yesterday we were given a tour of the new laboratory facilities here at the station (and I am in fact blogging from there right now). This is a significant event for the Zimov’s and for us and for the scientific community in general. The Northeast Science Station has already been the backdrop for some significant scientific contributions, from scientists from Russia, America, and several other countries, and has been the subject of a number of news stories and documentaries. And they have done this on a shoe string budget with a small staff, mostly the two families, the Zimovs and Davidovs. The lab facilities have been sufficient and well-run, but a bit rough and lacking in some equipment that could expand the scientific capabilities here. It has already been a remarkable achievement.




Now they are improving both lab and living facilities, opening up space for new equipment as funding becomes available. What this means for future productivity is uncertain, but will make the station even more attractive to scientists around the world. I feel like we are making history here, as the first scientific group to use this facility. And I am the first blogger. Quite an honor. The result of all of this could be a scary high level of scientific productivity right where we need it and at just the right time. We are excited to contribute to this scientific work, and feel privileged to be here.

Exterior of the new lab
For the PI’s, we saw the inside of this building last year before the work was done. We can see clearly what an amazing accomplishment this structure represents. Walking into this building last year felt a bit hazardous (although it was perfectly safe), and it was a mess. I think we saw the potential, but didn’t imagine the level of improvement that we saw when we moved our equipment in yesterday.


The facility has outstanding living quarters (currently set up for a half dozen folks with room for a dozen more), a large common area, rooms for computer work, and two rooms currently built with benches for lab work.

Common room

moira in new lab I think Sergei Zimov and son Nikita are justifiably proud of their accomplishment. So now, we have moved into our own lab space, 5 of us are now sleeping in the new beds, and we are enjoying our life in Siberia.

2 Responses to “From the new lab facilities”

  1. July 11, 2009 at 5:37 pm, Bryan Spencer said:

    Great Tundra Technology… What a surreal juxtaposition – and what an amazing world we live in. Thanks for your research! My thoughts have been with the ‘Polaris’ crew and your travels and experiences often; looking forward to checking back. Be well. I will find it more humbling to complain one bit about these Upper Peninsula ‘skeeters.

  2. July 11, 2009 at 8:12 pm, andy said:

    Thanks Brian. I’ve come a long way since staying at your place in the UP a few weeks ago. Thanks for keeping up with us. -AB