For many years and all year around, at the camp of Shtormovoy
in the Russian Federal Children Center Orlyonok, children
and their teachers have gone to the seaside right outside
the camp to gather shells and algae, to catch fish, write
down observations, go out to sea and throw plankton nets.
They watch tiny marine animals through microscopes,
read, discuss, and carry out research projects.
And all this is
a lot of fun, because it is a children camp.
Besides getting knowledge about the Black Sea ecology, certain marine organisms
biology etc., most important tasks include:
to learn to discern, not just to look
to be curious, to ask questions and to try to
to think about what you are observing: to compare
observations and data, to find causes and consequences
to build your own vision of the world around
With regard to the Black Sea marine life, this means that
our main goal is not to memorize the names of many marine
animals, and many curious facts, but the goal is
to try to understand
how the Sea lives.
Next goal is mandatory for any biological education course:
of environmental awareness'. That
is, first you learn about nature, then learn to love it and
respect it, build a bond to it, and then care about it.
is a small hope that people of the current active generation
change their attitudes towards their native environment. Kids
of today - decision-makers of tomorrow - are worth teaching
efforts. They are more independent, not so easily submitting
under influence: they see flourishing poaching, illegal wastes
disposal, and forest cutting and construction sites in protected
areas - and understand why it happens. These issues - why
it happens and what to do - are discussed at children round
It was the Director and Captain of the camp 'Shtormovoy',
Dr. Alexey Soloviev, who brought with him the enthusiasm in marine life and started marine ecology teaching here ten years
ago. Today his associates and successors continue developing
marine environmental education in the RFCC 'Orlyonok'.
The program is running for 12 months a year, including three
ecological terms when young natural scientists from all over
Russia, selected on the basis of their excellence and merits
of their research projects, gather in Shtormovoy.
Children are offered first hand marine science knowledge
offered by Russian specialists from P.P.Shirshov
Institute of Oceanology RAS, NP Living Black Sea, other
research institutes and universities, and international experts
such as NOAA-National Ocean Service and the NOAA
Phytoplankton Monitoring Network.
Our teaching laboratory in Camp Shtormovoy is also utilized
by national and international researchers conducting scientific
investigation on the biology of the Black Sea. Ongoing research
program of IORAS and NP LBS with NOAA on phytoplankton ecology
and distribution since 2000, and other projects use Shtormovoy
laboratory as a field research facility, and curious kids
have an opportunity to take part in field stages of research
like sampling, plankton identification and counting.
In the last 16 years, over 160 000 children have attended Living
Black Sea and Marine Life Courses. Our textbooks, training
aids and visual aids on Marine Biology of the Black Sea are
used in many schools of the Black Sea region:
book Life of the Black Sea -
received a Special
2005 EMBO Award for Communication in the Life Sciences
- "in recognition of exceptional work in communicating
marine biology to the young in particular for the Living
Black Sea education initiative and book on marine science,
Life of the Black Sea".
Young Marine Explorer Diary
- 3rd edition already, made and published due to the enthusiasm
of the Shtormovoy camp counselors and the Living Black Sea
instructors. The Diary is now available for teachers to download
from this site.
Poster - identification guide
Underwater Life of the Black Sea
Poster - identification guide Black Sea Seashells
|Living Black Sea,
2007, Kogorta Publishers,
|DVD The Living Sea,
2008, Directmedia Publishers
|DVD Sea Life,
2010, Ciril and Methodius
“The Lving Black Sea”,
Second edition of the Living Black Sea book was published in 2007 in Moscow and Krasnodar; DVD The Living Sea (Directmedia Publishers) based on Living Black Sea book was published in 2008 - with videos, animations - so it was not what it was intended to be; DVD Sea Life (2010, Ciril and Methodius Publishers) was much better and included chapters not only on Black Sea but also on Mediterranean, Caribbean, Southern Ocean - all we discuss in our classes and excursions.
Mountain lakes and rivers were added to the scope of the summer study program
Since 2008, the Living Black Sea program is
active in all seven camps of the Russian Federal Children
A new book The Living Black Sea by Alexander Vershinin was published in 2016.
Acknowledgements: Some of the drawn
pictures on these pages are based on the originals made by
E.V.Bogomolova (School of Biology, Moscow State University)
for the book 'Life of the Black Sea'. Pirkko Kokkosalo, MSocSci,
Administrative Officer of EMBO Executive Director's Office
helped us correcting proofs of some pages of the English language version
of the site.