Azerbaijan National Academy of Science

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Samur-Divichi lowland
Gusar district, Laza village
Minor Caucasus, Murovdag mountain ridge
Major Caucasus, Afurja waterfall
Major Caucasus, Rustov depression
Coast of Caspian Sea
Canyon of Gudialchay river
Nakhchivan AR, Batabat lake
Nakhchivan AR
Shollar lowland, forest
Gudialchay river
Chukhuryurd depression
Nakhchivan AR, Duzdag cave
Mud volcano
Mud volcano’s field
Major Caucasus, Shakhdag-Gizilgaya massif
South-Eastern Shirvan
Kura river


Brief historical information: In 1937 was organized a sector of Geography in the structure of Azerbaijani branch of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR and thereby was laid the foundation of Azerbaijani geographical school,

always occupying a particular place in the scientific sphere of the former USSR. The geographical science completed its descriptive function by forming the given sector and began systematic geographical researches in Azerbaijan.

The researches were carried out in physical and economical geography, soil geography, cartography, seismology and astronomy under the leadership of such great scholars as I.V. Figurovsky, H.A. Aliyev, R.B. Kovalyev and H.B. Aliyev during eight years of their activity in this sector. The Geography sector was founded according to the resolution of the Central Committee of Azerbaijan “On the study of natural resources of republic and regionalization” dated 1925.

1st May 1945, on the basis of given sector was organized the Institute of Geography of the Academy of Sciences of the Azerbaijan SSR, whose director was appointed H.B. Aliyev.

During 60 years of its activity, besides H.B. Aliyev, the Institute was headed by A.M. Shikhlinsky (1948-1951), A.A. Madatzade (1951-1957), G.K. Gul (1957-1964), S.H. Rustamov (1964-1967), H.A. Aliyev (1967-1988) and B.A. Budagov (1988-2012). Since 2012 the Institute is headed by academician R.M.Mammadov.

Since July 1945, the departments of physical and economical geography, and cartography began to function at the Institute. One of the main themes of researches becomes the geography of mountainous countries.

Despite the fact that in the early years, none of employees had any scientific degree, in 1947, 11 persons out of 20 were already candidate of sciences, and 3 persons entered the postgraduate studies.

In 1975, the employees of the Institute had worked on 8 scientific problems. The same year, 273 persons including 123 scientific employees worked at the Institute: 45 PhDs, 9 doctors of sciences and 21 graduate students.

During 70 years of its activity, besides H.B. Aliyev, the Institute was headed by A.M. Shikhlinsky (1948-1951), A.A. Madatzade (1951-1957), G.K. Gul (1957-1964), S.H. Rustamov (1964-1967), H.A. Aliyev (1967-1988) and B.A. Budagov (1988-2012). Since 2012 the Institute is headed by academician R.M.Mammadov

Structure of The Institute. The structure of the Institute consists of director, deputy directors on science and common affairs, scientific secretary, accounting, library and 13 following research departments: Landscape and landscape planning, Climatology and Agroclimatology, Hydrology of land, Geomorphology and Natural Risks, Paleogeography, Soil geography, Ecogeography, Economic geography  and Social geography, Population of Azerbaijan and Geography of Social Development, Cartography and Geographic information, History of Geographic Thought, Pirgulu Geographical Researches Station, Caspian Sea Problems.

211 people are working at the Institute, including one Academician, 1 academician, two Corresponding Members, 10 Doctors of sciences, 53 PhDs and 36 graduate students. Many young people are admitted to the post-graduate study every year.

At the Institute operates the Dissertation Council D 01.091, which awards degrees of doctor of sciences as well as of PhD.

        The Scientific Council acting at the Institute of Geography discusses the internal questions of the Institute and takes decisions. The Scientific Council determines the priority directions of scientific researches, approves themes and works, discusses and accepts completed works. The most important scientific results out of completed scientific works are determined by the Scientific Council and submitted to the Section of Earth Sciences and Presidium of the ANAS. The Scientific Council discusses and adopts field scientific-research works.

  According to the decree of President of the Azerbaijan Republic dated on May 4, 2009, the Coordination Council on “Geography” of the Republican Council of Organization and Coordination of Scientific Researches is acting at the Institute. The task of the Council is to coordinate the activities of scientific research in geography, and to ensure the organization of development of the science.

During Council meetings are reviewed research themes in all fields of geographical science and then reports are examined; are identified priority development directions of geography; each year are discussed the programs of doctoral candidates. In case of repetition they are returned back.

The “Council of the Caspian Sea problems” acting at the Institute is founded on 22 December 2009 by the decision numbered 6/4 of the Republican Council of Organization and Coordination of Scientific Researches. This Council determines subjects and priority directions of fundamental scientific researches. It discusses the implementation of planned activities in this direction in research and higher education institutions functioning in the country, recommends the development of current and promising issues.

   According to the decision dated October 17, 2013 of the ANAS, since November 2013 the Council of Young Scientists and Specialists functions at the Institute. The Council serves to increase the scientific potential of young specialists, to stimulate their inventions and discoveries, initiatives and proposals in various fields of science. Since2014, the Science and Education Center is acting at the Institute of Geography trying to create and develop the cooperation on scientific research between the Baku State University and the Institute, to associate scientific researches with education in geography department of the University.

The main research directions

After obtaining the independence by the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Institute of Geography has built the scientific activity on two important scientific problems:

 1. Regularity of the development of Azerbaijan nature; study of natural resources and their ecogeographical peculiarities; economic and geographical problems of production, social infrastructure and territorial organization of population; constructive and regional problems of the republic; desertification processes.

 2. The factors causing the Caspian sea-level changes, study of the ecological conditions.

   For solving these two complex problems the basic direction of scientific activities of the Institute are given below: complex study of formation of stability and changeability regularities of geographical cover and its development in regional scale; reconstruction of natural conditions of past geological periods; estimation of geomorphologic structure of the territory as a factor of resource generating; landscape evolution; genesis of climate and its forecasting; methods of struggle against the desertification; rational utilization of natural resources; regional forecasting of changes of environment under the influence of global and anthropogenic factors; settling of population of Azerbaijan and territorial organization of production; hydrometeorological conditions and ecogeographical problems of the Caspian Sea.

Scientific-research works on the study of development of natural, economical and social-geographical processes, their interrelations; regularities of the distribution of natural resources, ways of their rational utilization are carried out in the Institute. A number of scientific problems on the study of biosphere, atmosphere, and marine natural resources in the territory of republic, their rational utilization and protection of environment are worked out.

 The landscape-geochemical maps (M 1:500 000) displaying the level of pollution by toxic salts and heavy metals are prepared. The correlative relation between the degree of concentration of biologically active elements with some human diseases (cancer, rickets, gout, anemia, craw, tooth decay etc.) has been revealed.

The center was founded in 1957 with the aim of complex study of the Caspian Sea and rational utilization of its resources. The first head of this department was professor Q.K.Gul.

In 1971 within the frames of Program of UNEP of the UN began the realization of international project “Investigation of Global Atmospheric Processes”. Within the frame of the program in 1972 as a result of joint forces the Institute of Geography of the Azerbaijan AS, Institute of Oceanology and Atmosphere of the USSR AS and Institute of Radio-Physics of the Ukraine AS was created a marine observatory on stationary basis in the open part of the Caspian Sea for the first time in the world. The works in marine observatory were devoted to the study of interactions of atmosphere and sea wave and wind regimes; investigation of turbulence and eddy diffusion by the help of static and spectral methods; working out their result by semi-empiric models.

International relations. Close creative relations exist with Russia, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Ukraine, Moldova, Turkey, Iran, France, USA, Poland, India, Bulgaria and other countries, firstly in the field of structural geography, regional development of natural resources, structural-geomorphological and paleogeographical problems.

The international relations of the Institute of Geography have been extended. The Department of Caspian Sea problems has received grants programs of the US foundation of civil researches and development, Copernicus of European Union, FP-6, FP-7 and Science for Peace under the NATO. The cooperation has been realized with scientists of Europe, USA and countries around the Caspian Sea in connection with study of the Caspian Sea in the frame of mentioned programs.

Important dates: A number of employees of the Institute have been assessed by the government; some of them have won international competitions. So, one of them was awarded to the Lenin Order, one person received the Order of the Glory, 5 people was awarded the State Prize. Scientists of the Institute were awarded to gold, silver and bronze medals of various professional competitions and of National Economy Achievements Exhibition of the USSR, gold medals of Geographical Societies named after P.F. Litke and M.M. Prjevalski.

Publishing activity. During 70 years more than 500 monographs, atlases, maps and schoolbooks have been published. There are thousands of scientific articles. The Institute employees have compiled more than 100 maps of Azerbaijan on different subjects. Some of atlases prepared by the Institute are mentioned below: Atlas of the Azerbaijan SSR; Atlas of the heat balance of the Azerbaijan SSR; Agroclimatic and ecological Atlases of the Azerbaijan Republic; Hydrometeorological Atlas of the Caspian Sea.

 Development of perspectives of the Institute and priority directions. Creation of ecogeographical monitoring systems, broadening the study of development regularities of geodynamic processes taking place in natural complexes of mountainous areas under the influence of natural-anthropogenic factors.

Estimation of the level of ecogeographical risk of natural-destructive processes in the territory of republic and elaboration of scientific-theoretical and practice bases of the landscape planning for the nearest future;

Continuation of researches in new information scientific-inquiry system on the problems of desertification, which can exert influence on development of economy;

Creation of different model variants of the global and regional climatic changes influence of anthropogenic factors on environment;

Investigation of dynamics of the relief development depending on endo- and exogenic processes;

Investigation of constant increasing influence on environment of the natural-destructive processes (mud streams, landslides, and avalanches) and compiling of maps of ecogeomorphological prognosis; working out the National Atlas of the Republic and electronic variants of geographical maps of different contents in accordance with the demands of modern GIS.

In accordance with regulations of the Development Program of the Regions approved by President of the AR to study the geographical problems of social-economic development, labor resources and rational utilization of local natural resources of different regions, to work out the scientific-practical suggestions and introduce them to executive organs;

Taking into account the great importance of the Caspian Sea in political-economic life of the country to continue its complex investigations, including to work out the model of prognosis of level changes of the sea, investigating the ecological changes taking place in coast and in sea, to compile a map of risk-prognosis of their influence on the Caspian Sea and coastal zone.


Academician Ramiz Mammadov

                            Director of the Institute of Geography of the ANAS