Education in the interests of sustainable development.
Russian State Hydrometeorological University is specialized on the Earth Sciences therefore the greatest attention in RSHU is given to a problem of modern and future state of environment. As a training and scientific centre the RSHU is committed to information dissemination on environmental issues, as well as on natural resources effective usage to ensure that present and future generations’ needs are granted. The university curricula are designed for researchers, engineers and managers with the use of an integrated approach that is addressed through dissemination, education and science. Today the main goal of RSHU is to achieve an image of ecologically friendly institution.
RSHU carries out dissemination in the interests of sustainable development among students, university staff and among stakeholders. University mass media services provide information for students, teaching and administrative staff about ecological events and actions which are carried out in the city and within the university. Regular seminars, competitions and exhibitions are hosted in RSHU. The target of these events is to attract the attention of the public and professionals from various areas sustainable development problems. As a result of sustainable development attitude guidance in RSHU undergraduates and postgraduate students are active participants in public ecological organizations activities (The Russian geographical society, the Nature Conservation commission, etc.). For example, the RSHU students have carried out a special event which resulted in introduction of separate collecting household waste in one of municipalities of Saint-Petersburg (Krasnogvardeisky district). RSHU students are motivated to take part in students' scientific conferences in RSHU with scientific reports related to the sustainable development.
The education activity of the university is carried out in two directions. First one is to provide education on sustainable development problem in a form of complete syllabi, and also the syllabi elements are included in syllabi structure of other professional courses which are taught within bachelor and masters curricula. The other one is to provide fully sustainable development oriented professional curricula.
Therefore, "Social Ecology" is an example of an environmental syllabus which was designed and implemented at the faculty of Ecology and physics and utilizes joint approach of science and knowledge. The syllabus is taught as a part of Ecology and environmental management curriculum, and Geoecology and physics curriculum. Also the Sustainable Development of Mankind syllabus is taught at a number of faculties as an obligatory or an elective subject. This syllabus is obligatory for students of Ecology and environment physics faculty, Economics and social-humanitarian faculty. The course "Sustainable development" is rather popular among both full-time and distant learning students as well as graduate students.
Master degree curricula in RSHU include such subjects as History and methodology of ecology, Environmental management, Modern environmental issues and environmental management, Regional environmental problems of Russia, Ecology of a big city, Regional aspects of global ecological safety, The Non-governmental ecological organizations and movements.
Since 2012 the syllabi "Globalization and Sustainable Development" is included in postgraduate study curricula that also give a chance to introduce sustainable development concept for economic activity applications and for research recommendations elaboration. Practice of the sustainable development syllabi integration in to university curricula has found its continuation in educational programs of the third generation at all levels of study that ensures the knowledge consistency.
Continuation of programs directed at professional ecological education finds its reflection in a new stage of cooperation within TEMPUS Programme. The outcome of the programme is a launch of new integrated courses between participating universities at the levels of bachelor degree, master and postgraduate studies (eMaris project). Within the program the international relations are strengthened, as well as the exchange of experience is stimulated. All together these actions develop the education in the interests of the sustainable development, in the broad sense of the term. The international programmes raise degree of awareness on ecological and cultural complexes of the participant countries and create a favourable basis for mutual understanding and effective cooperation for a sustainable development.
Carrying out education on sustainable development problems yields certain practical results. For example, graduates of various faculties defend qualification works on the especially protected natural territories problems, presenting the territories changes as environmental violation identification; Graduation qualification works also study and develop the indicators of the state and actual usage of the biosphere. Students are involved in technology development for effective use and preservation of planet ecosystems, in development of concepts and recommendations for sustainable environmental management.
The UNESCO chair in Remote Sensing and Modelling in Oceanography has been established at the university and is successfully developing. The interests of the chair include operational, scheduled, long and short-term monitoring of environment. The scientific work of the chair largely consists in scientific work such as new technologies of monitoring design фтв state indicators for ecosystems of the land, coastal zone and water objects development. Together with Satellite Oceanography Laboratory, founded in 2012, the chair carries out educational activity through research, participates in the organization and delivery of the open lectures, including subjects on satellite monitoring of environment and stimulates the experience exchange. Bernard Chapron is the head of the chair and is leading the laboratory. RSHU students successfully defend qualification works on scientific problems that are under the chair supervision and are related to the strategy of sustainable development at levels of bachelor, master and postgraduate study.
Important outcome of RSHU activities is that the university undertook initiative to establish a technological platform. in July, 2011 by the resolution of the Government Commission on High Technology and Innovation the "Technologies of Ecological Development" technological platform was added to the list of approved by the Governmental commission technological platforms. The establishment key objective is to unite representatives of various spheres of activity, including state and municipal authorities, business sector, higher educational institutions, science, international projects and organizations. Activity of the platform is focused on formation of efficiency improvement mechanisms and competitiveness of the Russian Federation economy on the basis of efforts coordination of science, state authorities, business and society; on introduction of ecologically effective and energy saving technologies; solution of the accrued environmental problems, and ensuring ecological safety. The technological platform is intended to combine efforts necessary for introduction in practice principles of sustainable development and for creation of ecologically friendly law-based society.