Russia’s River Villages: A Tale of Two Countries
Amid sanctions and increasing tensions between the U.S. and Russia, Jon Waterhouse and Mary Marshall take the Network of Indigenous Knowledge (NIK) and its citizen-science effort to monitor water health deep into Russia. Along the way, they find a more peaceful journey and more friends than they ever imagined.
Ok. We can admit that given the current political climate between Russia and the U.S., a decision to fly from JFK to Moscow to begin a month of work within the remote Lena River Watershed of Siberia might make us look a bit “nutsy.” After all, over the summer, political tensions were on the rise as sanctions were quickly being put into place.
But for the four of us, two scientists (a Yukon Canadian and a Russian-American transplant with dual citizenship) and two Alaskan drop-outs, it was a no-brainer—pun intended. We are not political, and we know the lofty goal of NIK and this trip needed to happen regardless of political circumstances… provided we could get into Russia without our visas being revoked prior to our arrival, that is. We’d worry about getting back out again later.