Sumgin Mikhail Ivanovich
A scientist, one of the founders of the Soviet permafrost.
Born in the village of Krapivka, Lukoyanovsk district, Nizhny
Novgorod province, in a peasant family.
By nationality Mordvin.
Sumgin received his first education in a rural school and
Lukoyanovsk city school, which he graduated in 1887.
Immediately after graduating from college, he worked in
agriculture for hire, and in 1893 he moved to St. Petersburg, where
he got a job in zincography, while at the same time preparing to
receive a certificate of maturity.
He passed the exams with excellent marks and in 1895 entered the
Physics and Mathematics Faculty of St. Petersburg University.
At the university, while studying the basic course of physical
disciplines, Sumgin also studied history, philosophy, and natural
It was during these years that he was formed as a highly erudite,
However, after passing the entire course, he did not have time to
pass the exams, since in 1899 he was arrested and expelled for
taking part in a student strike.
He managed to return to scientific work only 12 years later, when
in 1911 he began working as head of the research station Bomnak on
the See River in the Amur Region.
His knowledge, abilities naturally did not go unnoticed.
A year later, Sumgina was appointed head of the Meteorological
Bureau of the Amur District in Blagoveshchensk.
In this post, he led not only scientific, but also great
organizational work: he was engaged in expanding the network of
meteorological stations, improving the quality of observations, and
attracting young scientific personnel.
In addition, he founded and edited the “Proceedings of the
Meteorological Bureau of the Amur Region”, which were accessible to
a wide circle of readers.
During these years, Sumgin turned his attention to the problem of
permafrost, the “Russian sphinx”, which had not been studied at that
time, as he later wrote.
It is very likely that the construction of the Amur railway,
which in practice faced a destructive influence on the construction
of a defrost of frozen soils, gave impetus to this.
12 line house 33.
Sumgin lived here in apartment 29 at the time of 1934
Pursuing the accumulation of facts, Sumgin developed a special
questionnaire with questions about permafrost, and distributed it
among wide circles of the local population.
Permafrost research has become his life's work.
By the beginning of the 1920s, there were 4–5 permafrost veterans
throughout the country who had been working on the problem before
the revolution and had not lost interest in it during the turbulent
military and revolutionary years.
About the same was the young researchers.
The factual material was separated by publications of various
departments, not analyzed, not generalized, not systematized.
This heavy load was shouldered by Sumgin.
Already in 1927, he published his fundamental work, The
Permafrost of Soil within the USSR.
This book was the impetus for the organization of systematic
research and helped to outline their main directions.
In 1930, the Commission for the Study of Permafrost, headed by
Sumgin became its scientific secretary, and later deputy and head
of scientific activities of the Institute of Permafrost, of the
Academy of Sciences of the
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
Special systematic permafrost studies began, young scientific
personnel were trained, primarily at Leningrad University, where
Sumgin gave the first course of permafrost lectures.
In 1936, he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Geological and
Sumgin described the state of affairs at this time: “... a
systematic research period began to study permafrost and frozen
soils in general, work began on creating a new branch of knowledge —
Sumgin's role here was leading.
The war has slowed this work.
On the very first Nazi air raid on Moscow, Sumgin was heavily
His already shaky health in those years was undermined.
In serious condition, he was evacuated to Tashkent, where,
nevertheless, because of his physical capabilities, he continued his
Sumgin began studying the seasonal freezing of soils in Central
Asia, but death interrupted his activities.
The peninsula in the
southwest of the Georg
of the Archipelago Franz Josef Land.
The name was given in the 1950s by Soviet cartographers.