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Asia Center of The Academy of Natural Sciences

Funding and Accomplishments

Funding for the Academy’s research program in Asia (with its initial focus on Mongolia) has supported capacity building and collaborative research between international and Mongolian scientists. (Funding Sources are presented below.)


Collaborative Research accomplishments include:

  • Conducting biodiversity and limnological studies of Lake Hövsgöl, an ancient and remarkably pristine lake in northern Mongolia;
  • Conducting biodiversity surveys of aquatic insects in several aquatic systems in Mongolia;
  • Establishing of the Hövsgöl Long-Term Ecological Research Site (LTERS) and its inclusion in the International Long-Term Ecological Research Network (ILTER);
  • Investigating the impact of climate change on forest and grassland systems in a mid-continental setting;
  • Formulating sustainable practices for livestock production in the Eurasian Steppe;
  • Providing opportunities for scientists from the China, Czech Republic, Japan, Lithuania, Norway, Russia, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United States for collaborative research with Mongolian colleagues;
  • Publishing more than 100 scientific papers on the biodiversity and ecology of the Hövsgöl region and the Selenge Drainage;
  • Publishing a book on the geology, limnology and ecology of Lake Hövsgöl;
  • Conducting biodiversity surveys of fishes and rotifers in Mongolia.

Capacity Building accomplishments include:

  • Training Mongolian scientists and students in ecosystem studies, environmental monitoring and aquatic entomology. (Many of these young scientists have now become professional scientists, or are working in critical government and university positions where they are having positive impacts on the training a new generation of scientists.);
  • Conducting workshops on nomadic pastoralism and climate change, and ecosystem modeling at Hövsgöl, Mongolia;
  • Developed physical and administrative infrastructure, staff training and community outreach program for Hövsgöl National Park, Mongolia;
  • Creating an aquatic environmental monitoring lab in Mongolia.
  • Facilitating travel by Mongolian scientists and students to visit foreign research scientists and their study sites;
  • Facilitating travel by Mongolian scientists and students to attend international scientific meetings in Europe, North America and elsewhere in Asia;
  • Developing an educational outreach program for Mongolian pastoralists.

Funding Sources

Global Environment Facility

The Global Environment Facility ( has provided major support for long-term ecological research at the Hövsgöl ILTERS:

  • 2001: Supported the preparation of a proposal to the World Bank for studies at Lake Hövsgöl;
  • 2002-2006: Supported research and capacity building at Hövsgöl ILTERS. (See Hovsgol GEF/WB for a web archive of

Government of the Netherlands

The Netherlands has supported travel for over 100 Asian and Mongolian scientists and students to visit numerous foreign research scientists and their study sites and to attend international scientific meetings elsewhere in Asia, Europe and North America.

Morris Fund

The Morris Fund is providing funding for the Mongolian Aquatic Insect Survey.

National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation, United States ( has provided, and continues to provide significant support for work at Hövsgöl and the Mongolian Aquatic Insect Survey:

  • 1994: Supported biodiversity and limnological research in Lake Hövsgöl.
  • 1995-1997: Supported international biodiversity and limnological research in Lake Hövsgöl.
  • 2003-2006: Supported biodiversity research in the Selenge River Basin (Mongolia) by the Mongolian Aquatic Insect Survey.
  • 2007-2011: Supports Long-Term Ecological Research at Hovsgol ILTER (with emphasis on Climate Change and Sustainable Herding) through a grant from the NSF's PIRE (Partnership for International Research and Education) program to the University of Pennsylvania. (The Academy's Asia Center is a Partner Instutition).
  • 2008-2011: Supported biodiversity research in the the Altai and Hangai Mountains (Mongolia) by the Mongolian Aquatic Insect Survey.


  • 1999: Land cover map of Hövsgöl National Park as a baseline for future changes in the region as the climate continues to change.

Trust for Mutual Understanding

The Trust for Mutual Understanding ( has provided five awards for work at Lake Hövsgöl and one for work at the Institute for Biological Problems of the North:

  • 1994: Supported initial visit by Clyde Goulden to Lake Hövsgöl
  • 1999: Funded development of the Mongolian LTERS and submission to the Mongolian Prime Minister and Council of Ministers for approval as an important program for coordinating environmental research.
  • 2000: Funded travel by Mongolian minister and President of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences to meet with leaders of NOAA, DOI, National Academy of Sciences, World Bank, USAID and other institutions in Washington, DC.
  • 2001: Supported travel by US scientists to present workshops for training of young Mongolian scientists for the GEF research.
  • 2005: Supported travel by US and Mongolian scientists to participate in an Ecosystem Modeling Workshop in 2006.
  • 2008-09: Supporting travel and exchanges between scientists at the Institute for Biological Problems of the North at Magadan (Russian Far East) and the Academy of Natural Sciences.


  • 1999-2001: Funding for a Park Improvement Program for Hövsgöl National Park that improved facilities, including construction of a Visitor’s Center, and funded training of rangers and Park administrators in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Interior (who directed most of these aspects of the program).

Winslow Foundation

  • 1997 and 1998: Supported preparation of papers for publication on the research at Lake Hövsgöl.

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