On 9th November 1921 the Government of Mongolia decided to establish the “Institute of Literature and Scripts” and developed its mission and organization structure. The decision on foundation of the “Institute of Literature and Scripts” with proposed earlier structure was approved by the Government and officially established on November 19th, 1921. On December, 20th, 1930 the “Institute of Literature and Scripts” enlarged to the “Institute of Science(s)” in accordance with the decision of the Parliament,. The Division of Geography was established as part of the Institute of Science(s) in 1926 — a significant step towards developing geographical sciences in Mongolia. In early periods of its establishment the division was intended to collect and analyze all documents and scripts related to geography of the country. Between 1926 and 1933 the first expedition to study topographic relief, hydrology, vegetation and climate of the Khentii, Khangai and Gobi region was organized., The first scientific explanations on nomadic lifestyles, locations of relations and seasonality were developed along with studying the natural conditions of the region. The Division of Geography at the Science Institute was supervised by the Russian geographer A.D. Simukov since its establishment until 1937, when political repressions occurred. During the period of his work at the Division he collected a wide variety of data and information on geography and nomadic seasonal movements. Beside these developments he is an author of the Geographic Atlas of Mongolian Peoples’ Republic (1934), Physiographic map of MRP with scale of 1:2000000 (1937) and the book entitled “Geography of Mongolia” in two volumes, which is unfortunately unpublished. The first volume of the book is dedicated to physical geography and the second was about economic geography of Mongolia. The political repressions of the 1930s touched the lives of many people in Mongolia, including the leaders of the Science Institute, which restrained the activities of the institute. Despite of these situation, different specialized expeditions were organized within the country during World War II supported through the Mongolian Government, which is to be considered as a continuation of activities implemented by the Science Institute. Among these expeditions valuable results were obtained by the Eastern Geological Expedition (1931-1957), Expedition on Agriculture of Mongolia (1947-1951), Grassland Expedition supervised by I.A. Tsatsenkin (1940-1943). Beside these specialized expeditions, Russian scientists like E.M. Murzaev, A.A. Yunatov, N.D. Bespalov, I.P. Gerasimov, A.G. Bannikov and others worked in Mongolia and published a series of books on geography, soil, vegetation and wildlife. These contributions were fundamental for Mongolia’s development in geographic sciences.
Simukov Andrey Dmitrievich (1902-1942)
Development of national geographic science
In 1961, the Government of MPR decided to establish the Academy of Sciences. This drove the establishment of many specialized research institutions within Mongolia and as consequence different disciplines were developed.
In 1962 within the structure of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences the Institute of Geography and Permafrost was established, consequently this lead to the establishment of different branches of geographical sciences and the beginning of basic research in these fields.
Within the 40 years under the supervision of Dr. Sh. Tsegmid the institute broadened its research in the focus of Physical Geography. In this period, the fundamental research in the field of landscape studies, geomorphology and limnology were conducted; the results are published in various monographs. e.g. ‘Physical geography of Mongolia’ edited by Sh. Tsegmid, ‘Landscapes and natural zones of the Eastern Mongolia’ by Sh Tsegmid, N. Badarch, J. Tserensodnom et al., ‘Lakes of Mongolia’ by J. Tserensodnom, ‘Soil regionalization of Mongolia’ by D. Dorjgotov and many others. Beside this basic research, Mongolian geographers developed applied fields of geography to solve developmental, educational and socio-economic issues facing the country during this time. Here we can include publications such as, ‘Climate of Mongolia’ by N.Badarch, ‘Russian-Mongolian dictionary of geographic terms’ by O.Namnandorj, ‘Nature and resources of Selenge river basin’ by an authors collective and many others.
During the 1970s-1980s a series of basic research on permafrost studies were implemented, e.g. ‘Physical and mechanical features of frozen subsoils in Selenge river basin’ (1976-1980), ‘Research on phosphate ore in Khubsugul and permafrost situation in Khatgal region’ (1981-1985), ‘Research on geocryologic situation of Khangai and Khubsugul mountains’ (1986-1990). The results of these studies contributed essentially to the publication of various maps of the current status on permafrost and geocryology in Mongolia, e.g. ‘Map of the seasonal freezing and thawing of subsoils in Mongolia’ in the scale of 1:1500000, ‘Map of geocryology of Mongolia’ in the scale of 1:3000000. The results of these projects were used for planning and implementing various infrastructure and mining development until now.
During this period the institute was supervised by academician Dr. Sh. Tsegmid from 1951 till 1988 and Dr. S. Jigj from 1988 till 1994.
Development of fundamental and applied science
Based on the 31st decree of the Government titled, “The measures to be undertaken in science organizations” the Institute of Geoecology and The Institute of Informatics were established within the structure of the Mongolian Academy of Science in 1997. This decision was linked with the willingness of the Mongolian Government to develop applied sciences in-line with fundamental research.
The Institute of Geoecology existed between 1997 and 2014 and originated from three different institutions belonging to the specialized ministries namely, Institute of Water Policy, Institute of Land Policy and Institute of Forest and Hunting. The government decision from 1997 aimed to unite specialized environmental research institutions to support the enforcement of the newly developed environmental legislations in the country at that time.
The aim of the Institute was to support sound environmental economic growth of the country through elaborating and implementing policy, programming and plans for sustainable use and management of natural resource, specifically to ensure sustainability of forests, grasslands and water. The following is the list of projects implemented by the institute:
During 14 years Dr. J. Tsogtbaatar supervised more than 28 research project as the director of the Institute of Geoecology. Academican Dr.D.Dorjgotov headed during this time the Institute of Geography.
According to the 27th decree of the Government of Mongolia on ‘Measures to be undertaken within scientific organizations’ from 26th January 2016 the Institute of Geography, Institute of Geoecology and the Institute of Informatic’s Geoinformatics laboratory were merged into the Institute of Geography and Geoecology.
Today, the Institute has 10 divisions and 3 laboratories/Research stations in its structure and employs 158 staff members.
We are aiming to support sustainable development in a country through implementing research and development studies of nature, society and economy.
©The Institute of Geography and Geoecology. 2016.