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Professor Romanovskii received his Masters of Science in geocryology in 1955 and his Ph.D. in geology in 1959, both from Moscow State University. He earned his Full Doctor of Science in geology and mineralogy in 1975. He served as Associate Professor (1965) and Full Professor from 1977 to present.

His scientific interests, publications, and achievements center on a broad range of problems of geocryology including periglacial (cryogenic) processes and phenomena; terrestrial permafrost and talik formation; distribution and origin of temperature regimes (both latitudinally and altitudinally); active layer origin under different environmental conditions; gas and gas hydrates and their interactions with permafrost; offshore permafrost formation, distribution, recent state, and evolution; groundwater recharge, outflow, discharge under a diversity of permafrost conditions; glaciers, sub-glacial taliks, groundwater, and icings; and problems of periglacial geomorphology.
His field work has taken him to all parts of the Former Soviet Union including: Kola Peninsula, Western Siberia, Central Siberia, Novosibirsky Islands, Northeast, Central and South Yakutia, the Transbaikal region and Far East, and Tian-Shan Mountains. From 1960 he was supervisor, chief, and member of field expeditions of MSU Geological Faculty. These expeditions conducted permafrost and groundwater surveys and mapping at different scales, provided students with practical work and experiences, and conducted scientific investigations of periglacial processes and phenomena. Included were observations of permafrost and active layer temperature regime, and periglacial processes in natural environments and under human-modified conditions.
For at least the past two decades Nikolai has been actively engaged in international activities and programs.
His IPA activities included Vice President, and Co-chair of the Working Group on Coastal and Offshore Permafrost. His ability to communicate in English contributed to the
free exchange of knowledge and information. He was a member of the Joint Russian-German Laptev Sea projects and served as a scientific co-leader supervising
the topic of offshore permafrost of Laptev Sea shelf projects. These problems were addressed using mathematical models. He served as co-PI of the joint Russia-US project on gas hydrates and permafrost in the Eurasian and North American Arctic as part of the RAISE program (Russian-American Initiative for Shelf-Land Environments). Scientific involvement in other international programs included QUEEN (Quaternary Environment of the Eurasian North). Professor Romanovsksii’s scientific works comprise over 300 publications and, although they were published mostly in Russian, his findings are well-known to the international community.

The last ‘IPA lifetime Achievement Award’ was awarded to Ross Mackay during the EUCOP III in Longyearbyen, Norway in 2010.