Geographic Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Union of Soviet

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Geographic Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics


a scientific institute that conducts research on theoretical and practical problems in physical and economic geography.

The institute came into being in 1918 as the industrial-geographic section of the Commission for the Study of Natural Productive Forces (KEPS) within the Russian Academy of Sciences in Petrograd. In 1930 the section was reorganized into the Geomorphological Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. In 1934 the institute was moved to Moscow and then renamed the Institute of Physical Geography. In 1936 the name was changed to Geographic Institute (IGAN). Academician A. A. Grigor’ev was the organizer and leader of the institute until 1951.

The Geographic Institute has (1971) departments of physical geography and the geophysics of landscapes, geomorphology and paleogeography, climatology, hydrology, glaciology, interior water reserves, biogeography, the geography of soils and the geochemistry of landscapes, the economic geography of the USSR and of other socialist countries, the geography of capitalist and developing countries, regional economic problems, and cartography. The institute also has the Kursk experimental field station, as well as a number of laboratories, including a spore-pollen laboratory and a stereophotogrammetric laboratory. The work of the Geographic Institute is directed primarily toward working out the interconnected problems of transforming nature for the effective use of natural resources and toward scientifically predicting anticipated changes in natural conditions. The institute also researches economic-geographic problems in the regional development of production and provides economic evaluations of major projects for transforming nature. This practical scientific work is organically connected with the investigation of general theoretical problems that substantially influence the development of a system of geographic sciences.

The institute organizes expeditions to various regions of the USSR and participates in international congresses and conferences. From 1931 to 1960 it issued the journal Works of the Institute of Geography of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. It publishes monographs on the physical and economic geography of the USSR and foreign countries, as well as the series Natural Conditions and Natural Resources of the USSR.


Kamanin, L. G., G. D. Rikhter, and N. G. Fradkin. “Iz poluvekovoi istorii Instituta geografii AN SSSR.” Izv. Akademii nauk SSSR. Seriia geograficheskaia, 1968, no. 6.
Izdaniia Instituta geografii AN SSSR: Bibliograficheskii ukazatel’. Moscow, 1959.
Izvestiia AN SSSR. Seriia geograficheskaia: Sistematicheskii ukazatel’ (1951-1966). Moscow, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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