Published 11th March 2022

Inspired by Ukraine

As part of a regular series on the meaning of place-names in the Territory, this latest edition highlights our neighbours on the Antarctic Peninsula: Akademik Vernadsky Station on Galindez Island, operated by Ukraine.

Antarctic place names map
Credit: British Antarctic Survey

Previously UK’s Faraday station for almost 50 years, it was handed over to our polar colleagues in 1996. This is the only Ukrainian Antarctic station and is named after mineralogist Vladimir Vernadsky, first president of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Nearby, the Kyiv Peninsula is named after the capital city of Ukraine, in connection with the Ukrainian Antarctic base.

Vernadsky Station supports a wide range of scientific activity and operates year-round, with 12 wintering staff. Over summer the station supports up to 24 staff members at a time. This station has the longest continual meteorological observations on the continent (logged daily since 1947), and scientists based there study biological, geophysical and geological processes.

The Noosphere icebreaker (previously the UK’s RRS James Clark Ross) set off on its first expedition from Odesa to Antarctica in January this year. The term ‘Noosphere’ was popularised by Vernadsky himself, and is described as the development of humankind’s rational activity in biospheric development.

For information about British Antarctic Territory place-names and guidelines on how to submit new proposals, visit the Committee website.


With thanks to the British Antarctic Survey for the image and text.