This article examines aspects of the environmental history of the Russian steppes in the long term and in a comparative framework by focusing on the work of the prominent Russian scientist Vasilii Dokuchaev in response to the drought and harvest failure that afflicted large parts of the steppes in 1891. Dokuchaev analysed the causes of the disaster in the long-term context of natural and human-induced changes in the environment. He drew up a plan to address the environmental constraints on agriculture in the region, and led a scientific expedition to examine the feasibility of putting parts of his plan into practice.
(READ 22 October 2004 AT THE UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST OF ENGLAND)
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