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Magna Carta Universitatum

Yuriy Fedkovych
Chernivtsi National University,
2 Kotsjubynskyi Str.
Chernivtsi 58012,
Tl. +380-372-526235,
Fax +380-372-552914,


Formation and Development of Geographical Scientific and Educational Trends and Schools in Chernivtsi National University

Geographical science and education in Chernivtsi National University had taken start 129 years ago. The period of over a century includes epochs in the history of university geography – Austrian (1876 – 1918), Rumanian (1918 – 1940), Soviet (1940 – 1991), and the period of independence of Ukraine (since 1991).

Geological-geographical studies in Chernivtsi University proceed from 1876 – 1877 academic year, when a laboratory of mineralogy was created at the Department of mathematics, Faculty of Philosophy. It was only a second year of Chernivtsi University existence (founded in October, 1875). Professor of mineralogy Karl Vrba headed the laboratory. He had worked out the course in minerals physical properties, and, which is more important, the course in minerals (fossils) physical geography. K. Vrba managed to engage mineralogists-practitioners in lecturing and practical studies, among whom we see mineralogist Friedrich Beck, geologist Karl Alfons Pennecke, ethnographer O. Lenz, and geographer Oleksandr Supan, who had later become a prominent personality in the development of geography in Chernivtsi and other universities. At the same time with the creation and the development of physic-geographical (geological-geographical, to be more precise) cycle, university gives birth to economic-geographical cycle. In this same academic year (1876 – 1877) professor Friedrich Kleinwaechter from Faculty of Law, a well-known scientist of his time, started lecturing in economic history and world trade. Professor Julius Platter (Faculty of Law) introduced his course in statistics and seminars in this discipline.

Geographical course itself was founded by Doctor of philosophy, professor Alois Haindl, who started lecturing in meteorology in 1877 – 1878. Oleksandr Supan, Doctor of philosophy (since 1880 – professor of geography), introduced and organized in 1878 branch geographical courses in physical geography, orography, geomorphology, climatology, oceanology, ethnology, as well as regional courses in geography of Europe, Danube basin countries, Africa and Asia. In 1888 – 1889 academic year Ferdinand Loewl Lenkwer, Doctor of philosophy, professor of geography, started lecturing in basics of geography and glaciology, and geography of Asia. In 1888, on his initiative and under his guidance, a cabinet of geography began its work at the Department of mathematics and natural sciences, which was up to 1907 – 1908 the center point of teaching disciplines of geographical cycle.

In 1878, in Jena, J. Platter, professor at the Department of statistics, published one of the first economic-geographical essays about Bukovyna. The work was dealing with the analysis of social (economic-geographical) studies of and performed at Bukovyna. General and regional economic-geographical courses had been provided by Doctor of philosophy and law, professor of statistics and law Franz von Juraschek, professor F. Kleinwaechter, Doctor of law, professor of statistics Vincent Jog and Doctor of law, professor Julius Roman von Herburg. The name and the activity of Ernst Miller, Doctor of law, professor of statistics, should be distinguished among all these lecturers, since he was guiding seminars in economic links of Bukovyna in 1888 – 1889 academic year, i.e., seminars in economic geography of our land.

F. Beck, Doctor of philosophy, professor of mineralogy, Dean of Faculty of Philosophy (1887 – 1889) and one of the leading university scientists, headed mineralogical laboratory in 1882. It was him and his students who provided lecturing in mineralogy, petrography, crystallography, some sections of geology, as well as conducted seminars and field work. Rudolph Scharizer, Doctor of philosophy, professor of mineralogy and a prominent scientist, was heading the laboratory in 1891 – 1910. Heading Faculty of Philosophy in 1896 – 1898, and being a university professor in 1903 – 1904, he had become an outstanding organizer of educational process. The geographical profile gained stability since 1907, after foundation of geographical laboratory, directed by professor Ferdinand L. von Lenkwer. Geographical courses were lectured by a well-known scientist, Doctor of philosophy, professor of geography August von Bemerscheim, who had later become a head of geographical observatory. Scientists’ society had done honor to his scientific achievements: he was selected to be a member of German Academy of Naturalists, a corresponding member of state geological institution in Vienna and Edinburgh geological society.

To sum up the Austrian period of geographical studies in Chernivtsi University, it is worth noting that naturalistic trends were characteristic feature in their development, among which geological-physic-geographical trends were prevailing. Some achievements, gained in the processes of education and studies, were highly assessed by scientific establishment. However, 44 years of German-speaking university in Chernivtsi had shown irregular interest in preparation and given a relatively little percentage of specialists in geography. No more than 100 graduates out of 4 000 obtained geographical education through these years. Germans and Jews had constituted more than a half of all graduates, who were later working in Bukovyna, Galychyna and other Austro-Hungarian provinces.

The university status had changed after Bukovyna was included into Royal Rumania. Instead of German, it was transformed into a Rumanian university. Only a smaller part of Austrian professorship gave consent to continue pedagogic and scientific activities in Rumanian university. Economist Friedrich Kleinwaechter, naturalist Karl Alphons Pennecke and some others were among those few who agreed.

Geography as specialty was preserved at the Faculty of Natural Sciences as a sub-section to natural history. The Department of Ethnology and Bio-geography was among the most known faculty departments, headed by Honorary Member of Rumanian Academy of Sciences professor Constantin N. Hamurzaki. Geographical section was a part of the Faculty of Natural Sciences. The section provided courses in general geography (general physical geography), physical and economic geography of the world and the world biggest states, and cartography. The half of auditorium work was a seminar work. A cartography practical work was 2,5 times longer than a lecturing time. Geographical studies mostly concerned some Bukovynian place-names, geography of population and mineralogy. Being among the most prominent European museums of their profile, mineralogical museum of Chernivtsi University had at that time become a center for geographical scientific studies. Specialists of high qualification, whose scientific developments were of wide resonance in geographical circle, conducted the process of teaching. Constantin Bretescu, a titular professor of geography and human’s geography, was the most famous scientist at that time. He was selected to be a corresponding member of Rumanian Academy, member of editorial board of the Bulletin of Rumanian geographical society. In 1930 – 1932 he was heading Faculty of Natural Sciences in Chernivtsi University.

A 20 years’ period of Rumanian University in Chernivtsi is distinguished for, when compared to Austrian period, its cessation of being a scientific and cultural center of poly-ethnic Bukovyna. The departments were basically engaged in the study of Rumanian ethnosis. The contingent of non-Rumanian nationalities was steadily decreasing.

In August 1940 the Rumanian University was re-organized into Chernivtsi State University with Ukrainian language of teaching. Geological-geographical faculty was among the first 6 university faculties. The first year of faculty life had become remarkable for preparation of “Scientific notes”, dealing with the problems of regional fossil studies. The faculty was headed by assistant professor G.A.Vankov. After the war, in October 1944, Chernivtsi State University had renewed its work. Beside geographical, a new, geological-soil science faculty, was among 7 university faculties. A well-known geologist, professor M.P. Kanibolotskiy, who headed the university at that time, together with known soil scientist, assistant professor P.O. Kuchinskiy, deputy rector of the university, as well as the attraction of serious scientists from other universities, in particular, professor A.S. Synyavskiy, were the persons and the factors that contributed to the rise of activity at these faculties.

Faculty of Geography had renewed its work since the end of 1944. The Faculty was at different periods headed by assistant professors G.A. Vankov, P.S. Kurilov, K.I. Gerenchuk, A.P. Novytskiy, S.I. Prokhodskiy, V.G. Lebedev, O.I. Tokmakov, M.V. Kurylyuk, professors M.G. Ignatenko, Y.A. Zhupanskiy, assistant professors Y.A. Burka, V.O. Dzhaman. Today it is headed by professor V.P. Rudenko. The faculty contained departments of physical geography, geomorphology, hydrology and climatology. Seismic and meteorological stations had also resumed their work.

Professor A.S. Synyavskiy (1866 – 1951) – V.B. Antonovych’s student, a friend and companion-in-arms of M.S. Grushevskiy, D.I. Yavornytskiy, K.G. Vobliy, D.I. Bagaliy – was among the authorities in geographical science and education in the university. His contribution to different trends of Ukrainian geographical science and culture is immense. The period of his work in Chernivtsi University was considerably fruitful. The scientist and pedagogist, he payed great attention to local lore, history and economy studies, Bukovynian ethnography, ethno-genesis of gutsuls, and links with the school. He was heading the Department of geography, later – the Department of physical geography. Assistant professor K.I. Gerenchuk was also among the known faculty authorities in geographical science. He was heading the Department of physical geography and it was during his work at Chernivtsi University when he started his fundamental research in landscape lore that was thereinafter given a powerful push in Lviv University. In Lviv, K.I. Gerenchuk had later become a Doctor of Sciences, the Professor, and headed the Department of physical geography. In 1956, a soil laboratory was founded at the faculty, headed by a known soil specialist P.O. Kuchinskiy.

The Department of physical geography was founded in 1945, and the Department of geomorphology was joined to it in 1954. It was functioning as the Department of physical geography and cartography in 1983 – 1992; today it is the Department of physical geography and rational nature utilization. The department was during these years headed by professor A.S. Synyavskiy, assistant professors K.I. Gerenchuk, V.G Lebedev, professor V.M. Robinson, assistant professors M.M. Rybin, M.S. Kozhurina, L.I. Voropay, professors Y.I. Zhupanskiy, M.O. Kunytsia, M.I. Kyrylyuk, V.M. Gutsulyak. The department staff was being formed from among the specialists from Kyiv, Kharkiv, Moscow, Leningrad, Odessa and other big centers. Beginning from the early 60-s, it was supplemented by the Faculty of Geography graduates in specialty “physical geography and rational nature utilization”. A departmental post-graduate school started functioning in 1968. Six department members (K.I. Gerenchuk, M.G. Zeland, M.O. Kunytsia, V.G. Lebedev, S.I. Prokhodskiy, E.M. Rakovska) and six department graduates (V.M. Andreychuk, M.D. Voloshchuk, V.M. Gutsulyak, G.I. Denysyk, I.V. Melnychuk, G.I. Rudko) had at different times defended their doctoral theses, and over 20 graduates had become Candidates.

The present-day research work of the Department is directed to study of natural systems of Ukrainian Carpathians and Podillya, aiming at their rational utilization, optimization and protection. The work was ordered by the Academy of Sciences establishments, project institutes, ministries, administration of Dnister cascade of hydroelectric and hydro-atomic electric stations, ecological centers, sanitary-epidemiological service, etc. Processes of morpho-genesis were being studied since early days of department functioning. During the work geo-morphological maps and the maps of Northern Bukovyna geo-morphological regionation were composed; a concept of relief genesis was elaborated (K.I. Gerenchuk, M.S. Kozhurina, V.G. Lebedev, S.I. Prokhodskiy); Chernivtsi administrative region gypso-metric map was composed (S.E. Yushchenko); neo-tectonic move peculiarities were disclosed (M.S. Kozhurina). K.I.Gerenchuk’s manuscript “Tectonic regularities in orography and river net of Ruska valley” had become a significant contribution into development of structural geo-morphology.

Basics of landscape studies, in particular, study of natural-territorial complexes, regularities in their organization, functioning, dynamics and social-economic significance were given birth in the works of K.I. Gerenchuk and P.O. Kuchinskiy. The complexes’ anthropogenic changes were studied by L.I. Voropay, V.M. Gutsulyak, V.P. Korzhyk, M.M. Kunytsia, V.M. Andreychuk, M.V. Dutchak, structural-morphological landscape peculiarities – by K.I. Gerenchuk, M.M. Rybin, P.I. Chernega, M.V. Dutchak, geo-dynamical peculiarities – by M.S. Kozhurina, V.M. Andreychuk, G.I. Rudko, M.M. Proskurnyak, M.S. Lukasevych, V.I. Yasenchuk.

Department of economic geography continued its work right after the war. It was headed by assistant professors G.A. Vankov, A.P. Novytskiy, V.V. Onykiyenko, professors B.M. Vyshnevskiy, M.G. Ignatenko, Y.I. Zhupanskiy, V.P. Rudenko. During its first years the department was majoring in branch structure and allocation of Chernivtsi regional economy. The conditions for deepened research increased with organization of stationary complex expedition on the Carpathians and Prykarpattia nature and economy observation and study. The leading subject matter of the department is revealed since early 60-s: scientists study economic-geographical problems, connected with elaboration and motivation of the location and perspective development of the Carpathians and Prykarpattia productive forces. It is here and for the first time in Ukraine that methods of cartographic modeling of industrial-territorial complexes were introduced (Y.I. Zhupanskiy, S.I. Kopchak). Y.I. Zhupanskiy, V.O. Dzhaman et.al. are the authors of the Atlas of economic complex of Chernivtsi region. The Atlas was later re-issued as educational manual. The department is remarkable for introduction of a new research trend in Ukraine – economic evaluation of natural resources potential (V.P. Rudenko, M.G. Ignatenko).

Scientific studies were conducted in three department educational-scientific laboratories: laboratory of Ukrainian Carpathians and Prykarpattia complex nature utilization and resources preservation, cartographic laboratory and the laboratory of natural resources potential evaluation. Post-graduate school resumed the work since 1960. 5 department members (V.O. Dzhaman, M.V. Zhuk, Y.I. Zhupanskiy, M.G. Ignatenko, V.P. Rudenko) and 6 department graduates (M.O. Dzhaman, O.V. Krasnopolskiy, K.M. Misevych, S.M. Pysarenko, M.D. Romanyuk, O.I. Khomra) had defended their Doctoral theses, over 20 workers and graduates had become Candidates.

Department of geography and cartography of Ukraine was founded in 1990. Y.I. Zhupanskiy was its first Head. Principal scientific themes of the department are Ukrainian geographical land lore, history and economy (Y.I. Zhupanskiy, V.P. Krul); history and methodology of Ukrainian geographical science (Y.I. Zhupanskiy); structure and utilization of landscapes of Karpatsko-Podilskiy region (K.Y. Kilinska, Y.P. Skrypnyk); peculiarities of temperature regime and precipitation in Karpatskiy region (V.S. Antonov); regional water economic problems and nature preservation (V.G. Yavkin, M.V. Tsependa, O.O. Pechenyuk); settling system, labor resources pendulum migrations (V.O. Dzhaman); organization and specialization of agro-industrial complex in present-day conditions (P.O. Sukhiy, M.D. Zayachuk); cartographic provision of land cadaster work (S.M. Bilokrynytskiy, M.P. Ranskiy); methods of teaching geography in secondary and higher schools (Y.I. Zhupanskiy, P.O. Sukhiy, K.Y. Kilinska). The department includes a post-graduate school. Assistant professor V.O. Dzhaman defended his Doctoral thesis, 7 department workers became Candidates, together with 7 post-graduate students and competitors.

Department of hydrology and climatology (ceased functioning in 1990), had also considerably contributed to the development of geography in the university. It was headed in different years by assistant professors O.T. Kuznetsov, M.S. Andrianov, O.I. Tokmakov, V.S. Antonov, M.I. Kyrylyuk. Study of hydrological and climatic resources of Karpatsko-Podilskiy region was a leading theme of scientific research of the department. Studied also were after-flood sink zones (Y.O. Deyev, M.I. Kyrylyuk, P. Lyutyk, O.M. Melnychyk, V.V. Yablonskiy), river feeding (M.V. Lalykin), river run-off and transportability (Y.P. Matveyeva), run-off fluctuations and water balance (M.I. Kyrylyuk), water resources and riverbed processes (Y.S. Yushchenko, V.G. Yavkin, M.V. Tsependa).

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