Russia’s River Villages: Yakutsk Hospitality

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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, amid sanctions and tension between the U.S. and Russia, they find a more peaceful journey and more friends than they ever imagined.

After an eight-hour plane ride from our last stop in Moscow, we finally landed in the Sakha Republic in eastern Russia. Our first experience of the Lena Watershed began in Yakutsk, the Sahka Republic’s vibrant capital. There we were greeted by an amazing couple—educator Tatyana and her husband, Vasili, a forester who has worked for three decades in the Boreal Forest.

Me in a classroom, discussing geographical relationships with Yakutsk students. (Photo by Mary Marshall)

Tatiana and Vasili introduced us to their good friend, Gricia, a well-known local veterinarian who is in the early phase of raising cattle and goats. We also met Kliment, an innovative and notably successful advocate for at-risk youth. These individuals, their varied backgrounds and the fields of work they represent exposed us to a wonderfully surprising side of Russia’s immense persona.

With Tatyana, we visited an engaging group of students focused on environmental issues within their community. Jody and I —> Read More Here


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