From the history of the department


V.B. Mikhno
PhD, Dr.habil. in Geography

The department of Physical Geography and Landscape Optimization (up to 1994 was called the department of Physical Geography) was founded in 1934 on the base of the newly created Geology and Geography Faculty at the Voronezh State University. The department received the status of the independent faculty in 1938. Boris Petrovich Dietmar (1878-1948), who was a famous geographer and geomorphologist, became the first chairperson of the department. He graduated from the from the faculty of Physical Geography, the department of Physics and Mathematics, of the Moscow State University (1906); became a candidate of Geography and a professor (1935), was a lerner of D. N. Anuchin.
From 1939 to 1950 Ivan Nikolaevich Ezhov (born in 1907) held the chair of the department. He was a talented teacher, a scientist, a geomorphologist, a doctor of Geography, a professor (1957), and worked in the Voronezh State University until 1965.

In the early period the department set the foundation for methodology and methods of regional physical and geographical studies. At those times the highest value was given to the geomorphological observations. A natural boundary type, a type of locality, a type of landscape became the working units of landscape characteristics for key sites of the Central Black Earth Region. From 1950 to 1988 F. N. Milkov, an honoured worker of science of the RSFSR, a doctor of Geography and a professor, was a chairperson of the department. Under his leadership was created Landscape Academic School in Voronezh. In the Great Soviet Encyclopedia the city of Voronezh was named one of the centers of physical-geographical research in the USSR. At this point, some individual authors (F.N.Milkov, A.V.Berezhnoy, K.A.Drozdov, V. B. Mikhno, V.I.Fedotov) published more than 30 monographs about the nature of the Central Russian forest steppe. Under supervision of F.N.Milkov were defended 21 Candidate thesis and 7 doctoral thesis. By addressing the problems of physico-geographical regionalization, F.N.Milkov theoretically proved the existence of two new directions in geography: landscape-typological mapping and anthropogenic landscape. In the practical implementation and further development of these activities were involved all employees of the department. Since 1988 the department was headed by doctor of Geography, professor Vladimir Borisovich Mikhno. Under his leadership at the forefront of research was put studies related to the landscape and ecological condition of the Central Black Earth Region, the problems of ecological and geographical zoning and landscape reclamation. The staff of the department took part in realization of the program "The Universities of Russia" and carried out the large-scale landscape mapping of the Voronezh Region and the landscape and ecological zoning of the Central Black Earth Region.

Profile of graduates

At the present time, the students of the department is trained in Geography and specialize in landscape studies. The education is carried out in line with the State's educational standards. The department also provides a postgraduate course.
A significant amount of time of students education is dedicated to the field training and the industry internship. Most of them take place on the territory of the Voronezh Region. The interzonal internship takes place beyond the borders of the Central Black Earth Region - in the Crimean Mountains. The industry internship is also held in the Russian Federal Nature Preserve Kamennaya Steppe, in the Nature Reserve "Divnogor'e", in the Voronezh Nature Reserve and in the Khopyor Nature Reserve.
The training in the Landscape studies focuses on an in-depth study of the theoretical and practical aspects of structural and dynamic organization and differentiation of landscape of the Earth; the regional characteristics of Natural Regions, their status, forecasting, management, monitoring and optimization. For this purpose physico-geographical regionalization, landscape mapping and many other information data are widely used.

Career opportunities

Over the period of its existence, the department of Physical Geography and Landscape Optimization graduated a large number of professional physical geographers, that are successfully employed in the field of education, survey and research institutes, nature conservation organizations and many others. The absolute majority of graduates work as teachers of geography, head teachers and directors of secondary schools of the Central Black Earth Region.
More recently graduates are employed not only in general education schools, but also in the Central Black Earth branch of Federal State Unitary Enterprise Goszemkadastrsyemka - the All-Russia Research Institute of Agriculture and Agro-Geodetic; the Voronezh divisions of geodesy, tourism agencies, organizations involved in landscape design, etc.

Fields of research

The research work of the department take place in the following areas:

  1. Rationale of the landscape of the Earth.
  2. Practical aspects of physical-geographical zoning and landscape-typological mapping.
  3. The establishment of a third category of landscapes (along with regional and typological ones) - paradymanic and, in particular, paragenetic systems.
  4. Development of anthropogenic landscape studies.
  5. Creation of cross-cultural series "Landscapes of the Central Black Earth Region.
  6. Interrelation of flat terrain with landscape complexes.
  7. Geography and characteristics of karst-cretaceous landscapes.




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