Ukrainian Geographical Society

Ukrainian Geographical Society (Українське географічне товариство; Ukrainske heohrafichne tovarystvo). An organization of professional and amateur scientists engaged in theoretical and applied research in geography. Its purpose is to co-ordinate geographical research and training, improve geographical education in secondary schools and postsecondary institutions, and popularize geographical knowledge. The society originated in 1947 as a branch of the Geographical Society of the USSR, which evolved from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society (est 1845). In 1958 it was reorganized into the Geographical Society of the Ukrainian SSR and placed under the jurisdiction of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR in Kyiv. In 1987 it had over 8,000 members grouped in 33 chapters throughout Ukraine. Its work was divided among 17 sections, specializing in such areas as physical geography, economic geography, cartography, paleogeography, geomorphology, meteorology and climatology, hydrology, medical geography, remote sensing, high-school geography, regional studies, tourism, and speleology. The society held scientific meetings and conferences, published collections of scientific papers, organized exhibitions of geographical publications and maps, and participated in organizing geographical contests for high-school students. In the absence of an institute of geography (the Institute of Geography of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine was created only in 1991), the society played an important role in linking the many specialists in the field, but it did not participate as a separate entity in international geographical conferences or the congresses of the International Geographical Union. In 1990 the society asserted its independence from the all-Union geographical society and changed its name back to the Ukrainian Geographical Society.

Ihor Stebelsky

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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