TSU professor and INTERACT Scientific Coordinator received CMG at Buckingham Palace

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TSU professor and INTERACT Scientific Coordinator received CMG at Buckingham Palace
Professor Terence Vincent Callaghan

Professor Terence Vincent Callaghan received a C.M.G. (Companion of the Order of Saint Michael and Saint George) medal by Prince William at Buckingham Palace. The award is given to outstanding persons in the arts, business, education, health, peace and reconciliation, science and scientific research, security, etc.

THE QUEEN gave order for the promotion in, and appointment to the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (C.M.G.) to Professor Terence Vincent Callaghan for services to advancing knowledge and international collaboration in Arctic science.

Terence Vincent Callaghan, Tomsk State University Professor and head of the International Academic Council of TSU, Professor of Arctic Ecology in the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield receives a C.M.G. for services to advancing knowledge, Arctic science and scientific research.

On learning of his award Professor Callaghan said “I am deeply honoured and humbled by this recognition of my life’s work which depended on selfless support from my family and cooperation with inspirational friends around the world. Only by working together across national borders can we understand the world’s changing environment and how we should adapt. We owe this to future generation”.

According to Terence Vincent Callaghan, TSU has also contributed to his receiving this award, because there would be no new INTERACT projects in Russia without the university’s assistance. Tomsk State University, which is one of the leaders in the Russian Academic Excellence Project (Project 5-100), promotes research collaboration, encourages scientists from Britain to work with other Russian research centers, and enables him to create and implement new projects.

Over the last 50 years, Professor Callaghan has worked in every arctic country, led ground-breaking research, built impressive international teams, and delivered exceptional scientific results across the Polar Regions. His research focuses on relationships between the arctic environment and the ecology of arctic plants and animals, ecosystem processes and climate change. He played an extremely important role in the establishment of the UK Arctic Research Station on the west coast of Spitsbergen in the Arctic Ocean. He inspired several network projects. Network for Terrestrial Research and Monitoring in the Arctic (INTERACT), a successful infrastructure project and a circumarctic network of currently 82 terrestrial field bases in northern Europe, Russia, US, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands and Scotland as well as stations in northern alpine areas, is one of them. Three TSU research stations – Aktru, Khanymey, and Kajbasovo – feature in INTERACT’s field sites list.

As part of Project 5-100, TSU launched a unique academic unit and a center of excellence TSWW (Trans-Siberian Scientific Way): ‘Siberian Institute of the Future’, which is the only one in Russia. The project provides for further development and creation of the research, cultural and education hub involving the global and Russian scientific community in the study of the Siberian region. In 2016, Professor’s personal and professional influence creates enormous impact on establishing SecNET, an international consortium of universities, research institutes and other organisations, teams and individuals that are united by a common goal to support sustainable development of the North, including the Arctic.

During the award ceremony, Prince William asked why Professor Callaghan had chosen the Arctic for his research and what particularly valuable it has that makes it different from other territories.

“I love the Arctic – its wildlife, landscapes, and inhabitants. All of them are now subject to change. The events that take place in the Arctic today affect people living not only in this region, but all over the world, – says Terence Vincent Callaghan. – In fact, the more I study the Arctic ecology, the more questions arise, especially questions related to the future of this part of the planet. During the award ceremony, I briefly told the prince about the INTERACT program and about the fact that thanks to it almost a thousand scientists can conduct their research every year in different places of the Earth.”

Apart from science, Professor Terence Vincent Callaghan pays great attention to educational programs. For instance, a large-scale international educational project on the creation of a virtual model of the Arctic is being implemented under the Professor’s supervision at TSU. The interactive resource will contain the largest amount of texts, videos, and computer graphics about this unique region.

Currently, Terence Vincent Callaghan is at the high-altitude Aktru Research Station, where a summer school for studying  the transformation of the environment in Siberia and the Arctic is located.

Traditionally, Mr. Callaghan participates in it. As a part of the education course, he will give lectures to students from South Africa, the United States, Italy, Japan, France, and the Netherlands, who came to Siberia to learn how to understand the Arctic.

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Starting from 2013, Russia has been implementing Project 5-100, – a state support program for Russian universities. Its goal is to raise the standing of Russian higher education and have at least five member universities in the top-100 of three respected world rankings. Project 5-100 is enabling 21 Russian universities to move forward in terms of effectively strengthening their education and research, promoting innovations and R&D, facilitating international cooperation, streamlining administration, balancing the authority of the management and academics, nurturing a proactive academic environment, increasing internationalization, providing sufficient incentives for attracting the top professors from around the world and also for the existing faculty’s professional growth.