Sibirtsev, Nikolai Mikhailovich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sibirtsev, Nikolai Mikhailovich


Born Feb. 1 (13). 1860, in Arkhangel’sk; died July 20 (Aug. 2), 1900, in Ufa. Russian soil scientist. Student and colleague of V. V. Dokuchaev.

After his graduation from the University of St. Petersburg in 1882, Sibirtsev remained at the university to work. From 1885 to 1892 he directed the natural history museum, which he himself had founded, in Nizhny Novgorod. During this period he also carried out soil studies and geological research in Nizhny Novgorod, Vladimir, Riazan’, and Kostroma provinces. In 1892 he joined the Special Expedition of the Forestry Department on the Testing and Evaluation of Various Techniques and Methods for Forestry and Water Use Management in the Steppes of Russia, which was led by Dokuchaev. From 1894 he was head of the soil science subdepartment at the Novoaleksandriia Institute of Agriculture and Forestry (now the Kharkov Agricultural Institute).

Sibirtsev wrote his major works on geology, soil science, and agronomy. He developed the genetic classification of soils and the theory of soil zones. He wrote the first textbook on genetic soil science, in which he systematically expounded Doku-chaev’s views (Soil Science, 1899; 3rd ed. 1913).

In 1900, Sibirtsev directed the compilation of a soil map of European Russia (scale 1:2.520,000). He introduced the practice of including agriculturally significant information on soil maps, such as the classification of land as arable and forest or as fertilized, unfertilized, and abandoned and the indication of relief, parent rock, and other factors related to soil formation.


Izbr. soch., vols. 1–2. Moscow. 1951–53. (Bibliography.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.