Sapozhnikov Vasily Vasilyevich (27.11 (09.12) 1861, Perm – 11. 08.1924, Tomsk) – a biologist, nature researcher, public official. Born into a family of teachers. He graduated from the Perm provincial gymnasium (1880), the natural science department of physics and mathematics faculty of Moscow State University with a degree in natural sciences (1884), since 1885 stayed at the University for 2 years to prepare for professorship. Master of Botany (1890). Doctor of Botany (1896).
In 1887–1890 had been a teacher at Alexandrovskoye commercial college in Alexeyevskoye infantry cadet school at Lubyanka University for Women. Assistant professor of Moscow State University (1890), worked in university laboratories in Germany and Switzerland (1891–1892.). In 1893 he was invited to the Tomsk Imperial University, worked as an extraordinary, since 1901 – an ordinary professor of the Department of Botany, the head of the Department of Botany until 1924, he taught part-time at the Tomsk Institute of Technology (1900). In charge of the Botanical Museum (herbarium) of Tomsk University in the period of P.N. Krylov (1913–1917.) In the Botanical Museum of the Academy of Sciences (Petrograd), formally remained the Curator of the herbarium and after the return of P.N. Krylov to Tomsk (up to 1924). In charge of the Botanical Garden of Tomsk University (1913–1924). Was one of the founders of the Siberian Higher Courses for Women (1810) and a principal (1811). Twice elected the rector of the Tomsk University (1906–1909 and 1917–1918.). In June 1918 he was appointed the head of the Department of Education of the West Siberian Commissariat, was the supervisor, the Minister of Education of the Provisional Siberian Government, later of the All–Russian government of A.V. Kolchak (1918–1919.). Supported the opening of Irkutsk University (1918) and the establishment of the Institute of Siberian Studies in Tomsk (1919), which he had been in charge of up to 1920. The dean of the Physics and Mathematics Faculty of Tomsk State University (1920–1923.). Founder of the Tomsk branch of the Russian Botanical Society (RBS) and its first chairman (1917–1924.). Honorary member of 11 scientific societies and institutions.
Had extensive knowledge in many fields of science – plant physiology, botanical geography, geography and geology. Along with botanical-geographical research, he carried out a number of significant geographical research, made it into the history of science as a geographer, explorer of modern glaciation of Altai, which gave rise to paleogeographic and glaciological research, and development of glaciological school in Tomsk University. V.V. Sapozhnikov was the author of over 100 scientific papers. He discovered a number of mountains in the Altai, vast mountain glacier knot Tabyn-Bogdo-Ala, discovered over 40 new glaciers in Chuya Alps on the Ukok in Jungar Alatau, described 15 new species of plants.
V.V. Sapozhnikov made more than 20 scientific expeditions, gathered unique botanical, zoological and petrographic collections that he gave over to museums of Tomsk University. The herbarium collections gathered during expeditions make up a large part of the collection of the Herbarium of the Tomsk University and stored in 5 departments. Collections from Altai (1895–1898, 1911 1920, 1921, 1923), from the Semipalatinsk region, (1908, 1920, 1921), from the lower reaches of the Ob and Ob Bay (1919), from Chaya river and Narym District on Ob (1922) were included in the Department of flora of Western Siberia. In 1903, he collected plants in Minusinsk District; V.V. Sapozhnikov’s collections from Semirechie (1902, 1904, 1912, 1913, 1915), Saura, Tarbagatai and Dzhungar (1902, 1904), from Zaisan County (1914) formed the basis of the herbarium of Central Asia; a collection from western Mongolia and the Mongolian Altai (1905–1906, 1908–1909, 1914) made up the basic material for Tuva and Mongolia department; collections from Turkish Armenia (1916) were included in the general herbarium. V.V. Sapozhnikov’s students V.V. Obruchev, L.I. Utkin (1905–1909), B.K. Shishkin (later director of the Botanical Institute of the USSR, Leningrad), V.S. Genin, T.K. Tripolitova (1912–1915), E.V. Nikitin (1919–1922) and V.V. Sapozhnikov’s daughter Tatiana and Nina (1912–1915) also took part in his botanical expeditions. V.V. Sapozhnikov was one of the first traveling photographers; he made about 10,000 photo plates and painted about 1,000 slides. A part of this heritage is stored in the Herbarium of the University of Tomsk.
V.V. Sapozhnikov was awarded the medal “In memory of the reign of Emperor Alexander III» (1897), the silver medal of Imperial Russian Geographical Society (1897), medal of Przewalski (1901), Gold Medal of P.P. Semenov–Tyan–Shanskiy (1911), the medal “In the memory of the 300th anniversary of the reign of the Romanovs” (1913), the Order of St. Anne of 3rd degree (1895) and 2nd degree (1904), St. Stanislaus of 3rd and 2nd degree (1899), St. Vladimir of 4th degree (1915). Honorary member of the Tomsk State University (1924). About 10 species of plants, a number of mountain peaks and glaciers, a study of Plant Physiology and Biotechnology at the Tomsk State University were named as a tribute to V.V. Sapozhnikov.
Berdyshev G.D., Siplivinsky V.N. Outstanding Siberian scientist and traveler V.V. Sapozhnikov. Novosibirsk. 1964.
Sapozhnikov N.V., Sapozhnikova E.V. Vasily Vasilievich Sapozhnikov. M. 1982.
Professors of Tomsk State University: biographical dictionary. Volume 1: 1888–1917. Tomsk, 1996.
Encyclopedia of the Tomsk region. V. 2: N–YA. Tomsk, 2009.
© I.I. Gureyeva