The P.P.Shirshov Institute of Oceanology is the oldest and the largest Russian research center in the field of oceanology. The main objectives of the Institute lie in a complex study of the World Ocean and the Russian seas based on the idea of entirety of physical, chemical, biological and geological processes observed in them, laying scientific foundations for forecasting the Earth's climate variability, rational use of marine resources and safeguarding ecological security in the interests of stable development of mankind.
The Institute was established by a resolution of the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1946 on the basis of the Laboratory of Oceanology set up in 1941. P.P.Shirshov became the Institute's first Director. Together with P.P.Shirshov, the well-known scientists like L.A.Zenkevich, V.G.Bogorov, S.V.Bruyevich, A.D.Dobrovolsky, P.L.Bezrukov, I.D.Papanin, V.B.Shtockman and others took an active part in the formation of the new scientific center.
Today, the P.P.Shirshov Institute of Oceanology is an ensemble of 1,300 employees numbering 110 doctors of sciences and 276 candidates of sciences of various disciplines. Among the members of the Institute's staff there are 3 Academicians and 3 Corresponding Members of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The P.P.Shirshov Institute affiliates the Atlantic Department in Kaliningrad, the Southern Department in Gelendjik, a branch in St.-Petersburg, the North-Western Department in Arkhangelsk and the Caspian branch in Astrakhan.
Scientific directions of Institute of Oceanology:
- Physical research - hydrology, hydrophysics, hydrooptics, acoustics; the formation of physical structure and water motion systems of the seas and oceans as they accumulate solar energy and interact within the ocean-atmosphere-continents system.
- Biological research - anthropogenic ecology, primary production and the ways of its monitoring, commercial populations; development of fundamentals of the organization and functioning of the ecosystems of the Russian seas and the World Ocean and biodiversity conservation.
- Geological research -mineral resources, paleooceanology, global tectonics, geophysics, elucidation of peculiarities of the geological structure and evolution of the ocean floor, geophysical fields and geochemical process
- Chemical research - biogeochemistry of organic matter, oil and gas genetic characteristics of the World Ocean, physical-chemical state of sea water; determination of the chemical composition of the major elements of the ecosystems of the oceans and seas, biogeochemical transformation and evolution processes
- Marine engineering - technical means for ocean studies and for ocean information retrieval, development of technical methods and means for long-term observations of physical, chemical and biological parameters of the ocean based on distributed intellectual networks of self-contained bottom, submerged and remote-operated scanning stations.
- Underwater researches