City of TomskFounded in 1604 as a military fort, Tomsk was one of the first Russian settlements in Siberia. It is located on the Tom River approximately 160 miles northeast of Novosibirsk, the largest city in Siberia. Tomsk lines up with the western tip of Mongolia longitudinally and is located at 57 degrees latitude. Tomsk is the capital city of the Tomsk Oblast (region), and it is especially known for its wooden architecture and ornate latticework. The beautiful countryside surrounding Tomsk is heavily forested with cedar, pine, and birch trees.
Because of its great distance from any large body of water, Tomsk, as well as all of Siberia, experiences tremendous extremes in temperature. The Siberian winters are indeed long and severe with average temperatures in January at -40 degrees Celsius. The short summers in Tomsk are hot and humid with highs in the 30's.
After World War 2 Tomsk was transformed into one of the most significant industrial centers of Western Siberia. Still today, large plants and factories manufacture everything from ball bearings and electrical equipment to footwear and paint.
Tomsk is also an influential center for higher education with six major institutions. It is known as "The Siberian Athens." In fact, of the approximately 600,000 people living in Tomsk, nearly one out of every six is a student! Tomsk State University, the first Siberian University, was founded in 1888.
Tomsk is one of the well known educational and research center. Near 30 % of its population are involved into relevant activity (students, tutors, researchers and supporting staff). There is a division of the Siberian Branch of Russian academy of Sciences in Tomsk - Tomsk Scientific Center (TSC). It is located in the suburban area in Akademgorodok and has its own research and auxiliary infrastructure. It employs near 3.3 thousand specialists. Among those there are 100 Drs. of Sci. and more than 340 Cand. of Sci.
TSC (http://www.tsc.ru:8001/)integrates the following research institutions:
The city and region of Tomsk in western Siberia has been selected as the ISIREMM validation site due to several reasons: A key partner is located in its vicinity, which allows the consortium to rely on the available stationary remote sensors and relevant data archives.
The second reason is the active position that both the Regional Administration and the local population are taking in environmental issues. This active role is documented in the composition of the consortium.
The local interest in environmental matters is partly due to the existence of a very large nuclear plant and petrochemical enterprise in the area. In spite of the fact that current proposal does not directly address radionuclide monitoring, it will be an important step in this direction.
Also city streets of Tomsk are overwhelmed by cars, mainly second hand Japanese and European models which in their countries of origin are no longer in use due to environmental concerns. The third reason for the selection of Tomsk is that in spite of its provincial status and geography, 6 local Universities give Tomsk a quite modern and intellectual environment which is ready to exploit modern Information Technologies and is used to the Internet for work, study and ordinary life.
Tomsk is representative for many NIS cities that all but for Moscow lack a sufficient local net of environmental monitoring stations to provide conventional information systems with the necessary data for environmental management.
Last but not least is the fact that Tomsk is under strong influence of the heavily industrialised surrounding Kusbas Region, as well as the fact that under proper synoptic weather conditions the city pollutants easily reach arctic regions.
Being situated on complex hilly terrain and along a river Tomsk shows a wide range of climatic situations (summer temperature reaching +38, winter minima -45 degree Centigrade). Strong cyclones and anticyclones influence and the occurrence of temperature inversions will allow to test, validate and evaluate the system under conditions, which are quite typical for a number of NIS industrial centers.
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