Hydrometeorological Education

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Hydrometeorological Education


a system for training specialized meteorologists, hydrologists, oceanog-raphers, and agrometeorologists.

Prior to the 1930’s, because of the limited scale of hydrometeorological research, educational institutions in the USSR and other countries did not train specialists in the field of hydrometeorology. Working in the field were specialists from allied professions: from meteorology, geographers and physicists; from agrometeorology, agronomists; in hydrology, railway and hydraulic engineers; and from oceanography, navigators. In the 1930’s, along with the intensive development of productive forces, there was a sharp increase in the need for qualified specialists in hydrometeorology. In 1930 a number of institutions were established to train hydro-meteorologists, including the Moscow Hydrometeorological Institute (transferred in 1944 to Leningrad), and the Vladivostok, Moscow, and Rostov hydrometeorological technicums. The Kharkov Hydrometeorological Institute, which was transferred in 1944 to Odessa, was founded in 1932. These were the first specialized hydrometeorological educational institutions in the world. With the organization of these institutions, hydrometeorological education began to develop as an independent field of specialized education.

Among those who made significant contributions to the development of hydrometeorological education in the USSR were professors B. P. Alisov, B. A. Apollov, V. A. Belin-skii, E. V. Blizniak, M. A. Velikanov, L. K. Davydov, N. N. Zubov, B. P. Orlov, S. A. Sovetov, P. N. Tversköi, S. P. Khromov, and V. V. Shuleikin.

In 1970, 15 higher educational institutions were training specialists with advanced hydrometeorological education: the Leningrad and Odessa hydrometeorological institutes, Moscow University, Voronezh, Far Eastern (Vladivostok), Irkutsk, Kazan, Kiev, Perm’, Saratov, Tomsk, Kazakh (Alma-Ata), Tashkent, and Tbilisi universities, and the Admiral S. O. Makarov Higher Arctic Nautical School in Leningrad. More than 8,000 students were enrolled in these higher educational institutions in hydrometeorological specialities. Specialists with secondary hydrometeorological education were being turned out by eight technicums in Moscow, Kharkov, Kherson, Tuapse, Aleksin, Tashkent, Rostov, and Vladivostok and by the Leningrad Arctic School. (The enrollment of these institutions was 7,500.) In addition, arrangements have been made at the Ivanovo Industrial Technicum to train specialists at hydrometeorological radar installations. Observers at hydrometeorological stations and other personnel in mass vocations undergo training and improve their qualifications at one-year hydrometeorological schools (Rostov-on-Don, Sverdlovsk, and Alma-Ata), at the Novosibirsk Technical Vocational School (meteorological observers who are also trained as radiomen for weather stations that are not readily accessible), and in the regular courses for polar personnel. Staff scientists in the field of hydrometeorology receive their graduate training at scientific institutions of the Hydrometeorological Service and the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, at the Leningrad and Odessa hydrometeorological institutes, and at a number of universities. Engineers and technicians are trained in specialities including meteorology, land hydrology, oceanography, agrometeorology, and hydrography. Only technicians are trained for the specialized field of aerology. Future meteorologists specialize in synoptics, climatology, numerical methods of weather forecasting, aerology, and the operation of meteorological instruments.

Present-day hydrometeorological education calls for the study of three groups of subjects: sociopolitical, general scientific (higher mathematics, physics, theoretical mechanics, chemistry, principles of electronics and automation, use of computers, and foreign language), and specialized subjects. The specific subjects for the specialized field of meteorology include general, dynamic, and synoptic meteorology, methods of meteorological observation (including the use of artificial earth satellites and radar), aerology, principles of weather calculation, practical climate and weather control, and climatology. For hydrologists, specific subjects include general hydrology, hydrometry, meteorology, geodesy, hydrogeology, water-management calculation, dynamics of flows and stream processes, and hydroengineer-ing surveying. Among the specific subjects for oceanog-raphers are general oceanography, marine hydrometry, the physics and chemistry of the ocean, regional and applied oceanography, nautical hydrological forecasting, and general, dynamic, and synoptic meteorology. For agrometeorologists specialized subjects include synoptic and dynamic meteorology, agrometeorology, agroclimatology, agrometeo-rological forecasting, botany, soil science, agriculture and plant cultivation, and plant physiology and the principles of agrobiology. (Several of these specialized subjects have been introduced into the curricula of a number of geographic, construction, and other specialized fields.)

Approximately 50 percent of school time is allotted to practical training, which students take in school laboratories, study rooms, and weather forecast stations, in instructional field work, and in qualification apprenticeship on expeditions, in observatories, at hydrometeorological stations, and in designing and surveying establishments. Students enroll in the higher educational institutions for five years, and in the technicums (with the eight-year school as their base), for three years and six months.

Instruction in the higher educational institutions concludes with the defense of an engineering thesis, and in the technicums it concludes with state examinations. In 1970 there were 19 higher educational institutions and research institutes administering defense of dissertations in specialized areas of hydrometeorology for the candidate’s degree, and ten for the doctorate. As of Jan. 1, 1971, the Hydrometeorological Service of the USSR employed more than 30,000 specialists with advanced or specialized secondary education, and more than 6,000 persons were enrolled in correspondence courses at higher educational institutions of hydrometeorology and in hydrometeorological technicums (departments and divisions).

The training of specialized hydrometeorologists in the other socialist countries, as well as in the USSR, is the concern of the state and is conducted at universities (for example, Sofia, Budapest, Berlin, Leipzig, Prague, Bratislava, Warsaw, Belgrade, Zagreb, Bucharest, and Ulan-Bator), secondary specialized polytechnics, and other schools in Cuba, Poland, Rumania, the German Democratic Republic, and other countries, and in courses under the national hydrometeorological services.

In the capitalist countries specialized higher educational institutions of hydrometeorology similar to those in the USSR do not exist. Specialists with advanced hydrometeorological education are trained at the universities, primarily in the field of meteorology and with a course of specialized graduate training. In the USA basic graduate training is offered by more than 20 universities located in New York, Chicago, Arizona, Colorado, California, and Florida. In Great Britain hydrometeorological training is offered by the University of London, in Sweden it is offered by the University of Stockholm, and in Argentina, by the University of Buenos Aires.

A number of international organizations (the World Meteorological Organization and UNESCO) are concerned with problems of hydrometeorological education and assistance to developing countries in the training of hydrometeorologists.


Khzmalian, K. A. Podgotovka spetsialistov gidrometeorologicheskogo profilia v SSSR. Leningrad, 1966.
Meteorologiia i gidrologiia za 50 let Sovetskoi vlasti: Sbornik. Leningrad, 1967.


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