A number of distinguished scientists contributing in establishment and developing of geography were working at the Faculty. Several main themes, most required in the recent conditions, can be marked out from the scientific work carried out at the Faculty:
1. Prognosis of the regional climate change using the XXI century scenarios of the Global Circulation Models;
2. Hydrological estimates and forecast, securing the hydro-ecological safety;
3. Diagnosis and prognosis of the extreme natural phenomena in sees;
4. Monitoring and estimation of the dynamics of the cryosphere;
5. Evolutionary-geographical methods of the climate change estimation;
6. Geomorphology-engineering analysis;
7. Geoinformatics cartography technology and remote sensing of the Earth surface;
8. Estimation of the social-economic and ecological consequences of the National innovation projects realization;
9. Landscape planning, estimation of the influence on the environment, the state of the natural and anthropogenic landscapes;
10. Monitoring and estimation of the biodiversity, medial geography research;
11. Integral estimation and prognosis of the ecological conditions in the regions and cities of Russia;
12. The technology of the ecological optimization of the nature management;
13. Engineering of the recreational territories.
The Faculty takes part in the Federal Target Programme “Research and development in the priority directions of the expansion of the scientific-technological complex of Russia” in 2014–2020.
An important subject entirely related to the aims of the geographical research “Conservancy and Sustainable Development of the Regions of Russia” is included into the Programme of the MSU Advancement up to the 2020. “Geoportal MSU”, which is a geoinformation system consisting from hardware (antennas for communication with the satellites and the terminals for the data processing) and the software for receiving and managing the satellite images as well as refilling databases containing the corresponding images data was set into operation in 2011 in the frame of this programme. Unique possibilities for the assessment of the satellite images of the Earth are provided.
State Committee on the High Technologies and Innovations approved in 2011 the technological platform “Technologies of ecological development”, which was initiated by the MSU, as the form of private-state partnership in mobilization of the possibilities of the state, business and scientific community and as an instrument of the formation of the policy in science, technology and innovation. This project is already used for shaping the most interesting technologies such as remote sensing data use, the ecological situation in regions and cities of Russia, integrated geochemical assessment, monitoring and control of the natural hazards. The Ministry of Education and Science uses the experts of the platform for determination of the themes of the scientific project calls for the Federal Target Programmes.
Important scientific results are related to the realization of the Russian Government “megagrant” 2010–2014. A “Natural Risk Assessment Laboratory” was founded at the Faculty headed by German oceanographer professor Peter Koltermann. The main results of the Laboratory activity were related to the estimation of the Natural hazards, which could become more or less active in dependence on the climate change in XXI century. The specialists of the Laboratory implemented models allowing to provide a prognosis of rivers run off change to the middle of the XXI century, change in cyclonic and storm activity. Also, the diagnostic calculations were carried out based on the results of study of the fall-out of the catastrophic flooding in Krymsk with the actual amount of precipitation accounted for and with the help of the hydrodynamical model and the digital elevation model constructed from the “Geoportal MSU” database.
In 2014 a new “Arctic Environment Laboratory” was funded at the Faculty, with the aim of the detailed integral research of whole the complex interconnection between the ocean, land and the cryosphere in the Russian Arctic.
In addition to whole spectrum spectrum of field geodesic meteorological and sampling equipment, the Faculty owns modern instruments for laboratory investigations. The ecology-geochemical research facilities are equipped by devices allowing inorganic analysis (graphite furnace and flame atomic absorption spectrometers, optical emission, X-ray fluorescence and luminescence spectrometers, spectrophotometer), separation and organic analysis (Aquilon Stayer HPLC and ION systems, PerkinElmer Clarus SQ 8 T GC/MS, Elementar VarioEL III CHNS, Thermo Delta V Plus IRMS), laser particle size analyzer (Fritsch Analysette 22 MicroTec Plus). The isotopic measurements are possible with the use of the Delta-V mass-spectrometer. There is fully equipped Cold Laboratory, allowing various measurements related to ground freezing/thawing and snow metamorphism down to −20°C. The equipment is regularly updated and is continuously used in several on-going Russian Science Fund and more than 100 Russian Fund of Basis Research projects.
The researchers of the Faculty registered more than 10 patents in the field of geography in the last few years. All of them have commercial potential.
The Faculty annually organizes not less than 10 National and International conferences and symposiums in the fields of geography and the human-environment interaction.
Annually, the researches of the Faculty publish about 40 text-books and about 30 scientific monographs and collected papers, 600–700 scientific reviewed papers also in World leading scientific journals. 7-volumes fundamental work “Geography, Society and Environment” was published to the 250-years anniversary of the Moscow State University. 4-volumes monograph “Recent global changes of the natural environment” was finalized in 2012. The Faculty was deeply involved in construction of the National Atlas of Russia, series of the regional atlases for the Russian territory: Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug – Yugra, Kaliningrad region, Moscow region, etc.; Hydrographic Atlas of the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) Volume 3: Atlantic Ocean. The second edition of the “Ecological atlas of Russia” and the National Atlas of the Russian Arctic are under preparation.