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Altai Republic, Russia

Project Description

In 1999, Gorno-Altaisk State University (GASU), Haskell Indian Nations University (HINU), Kansas State University (KSU), and the University of Kansas (KU) joined together to create a partnership to address water quality issues common to both the Russian Federation and the U.S. With initial funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development/Association Liaison Office, the partners began engaging in exchange activities to develop a model program for community-based drinking water quality monitoring in remote villages in the Altai Republic of Russia, which would be culturally relevant to indigenous populations living in remote areas. During the past three years, the partnership has provided training to Russia and U.S. partner institution participants in scientifically rigorous water quality assessment methodology, and in capturing and interpreting traditional ecological knowledge. It has also provided training modules suitable for use by elementary and secondary schoolteachers and community groups who will form a water quality monitoring network in the Altai Republic.

This project initiated a technical environmental extension capacity at GASU, and provided the first international student and faculty exchange opportunity for HINU.


Conclusions of the testing showed that the people of Altai have good water, with the exception of coliform bacteria.

Environmental Journalsim

In 2003, the institutional partnership between Gorno-Altaisk State University (GASU) in the Russian Federation of States, Kansas State University, and The Civil Society Group LLP, received funding from USAID/ALO to improve higher education leadership and facilitate administrative transformation at GASU, the only higher education institution in the Altai Republic. GASU was forced by difficult economic conditions to discontinue its programs in journalism. Despite the present lack of formal journalism training programs, several independent newspapers and television stations have been started in recent years which offer news in both Russian and the indigenous Altaian languages. With the serious environmental and economic problems currently facing the Republic there is an urgent need to improve the ability of journalists to communicate technical information to the public. We are addressing this need by working jointly to 1) design an online journalism and media relations curriculum focusing on science reporting and environmental advocacy for working journalists and university students, 2) create a model for professional internships for university students from underserved groups, and 3) improve GASU's capacity for media relations, including the dissemination of results from university environmental monitoring programs. The project will result in the improvement and extension of university course offerings through the use of information technology applications, development of a continuing education program to address local needs, and establishment of an internship program. Local media outlets and community representatives will participate in the design of the program at GASU to insure that the resulting curriculum and intern program will meet professional and community educational needs in the Republic.  

Publications & Multimedia

Related Websites


For more information about the project in the Altai Republic, Russia, please contact:

Wendy Griswold
Telephone: (785) 532-6519
Fax: (785) 532-5985


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