Stephen Brain

It is the lure of the vast Russian forest that has drawn me to Moscow, where, alas, I'll spend nearly all of my time in archives reading about Russian forests, rather than visiting the forests themselves. I am a PhD student at the University of California, Berkeley, and I am currently conducting dissertation research about the Soviet attempt to alter the Russian climate using creative forestry, as well as the half-century of struggles and disputes in Russian and Soviet forest policy and forest science that led to this most Stalinist of endeavors.
I came to study this topic in an effort to combine my two main intellectual interests: environmental issues (my undergraduate degree is in Wildlife Ecology) and Russian history, which began to interest me when I read Solzhenitsyn's Gulag Archipelago, many years after graduating from college. In addition to hiking in the forest, music and photography, my wife and I enjoy hunting for those spots in Moscow--like the back half of VDNKh and Lenin's funeral train--that evoke the lost grandeur of the Soviet experiment.

The Fulbright Program in Russia. Institute of International Education.
Tverskaya St., 16 building 1, office 504, Moscow, Russia 125009
Tel: +7.495.966.9353 Contact: