I learned a new word this week: полярник, polyarnik, which is Russian and translates roughly as “polar explorer.” This word, along with another set of interesting thoughts on dedication to science and the polar regions, comes from a beautiful photo essay in the New Yorker. In it, photographer Evgenia Arbugaeva shows us a glimpse of the life of Vyacheslav Korotki, a Russian meteorologist and polyarnik, whose job is to live, alone, for long stretches, on the shores of the Barents Sea, recording weather observations and relaying them to Moscow via a set of Soviet-era radios. If this is not dedication to science, I’m not sure what qualifies.
But according to Arbugaeva, “He doesn’t get lonely at all. He kind of disappears into tundra, into the snowstorms. he doesn’t have a sense of self the way most people do. It’s as if he were the wind, or the weather itself.”
Go check out all the photos.