The Russian Geographical Society was established by the highest authority of Nicholas I in 1845. It is one of the oldest geographical societies in the world.
Nowadays, the Russian Geographical Society continues to follow the time-honored traditions established by its founders. Geographers, ecologists, geologists, ethnologists, statisticians, photographers, mass-media representatives, travelers and those, eager to learn new about Russia and ready to help to preserve its natural riches cooperate with the Society.
Regional branches of the Society operates in every of 83 subjects of the Russian Federation.
The Board of Trustees of the Society, headed by the President of Russia Vladimir Putin has been established in 2010. The Board has restored years-long traditions of patronship and instituted grants of the Society.
Minister of Defense of Russia Sergey Kuzhugetovich Shoigu has been elected as the President of Society in 2009.
Representatives of the Russian imperial dynasty, distinguished travelers, researchers and state figures had headed the Society over the past.
State persons, scientists and public figures of Russia and abroad are among the honorable members of the Society: P.P. Semenov-Tyan-Shansky, S.Yu. Vitte, N.I. Vavilov, V.I. Vernadsky, F.P. Wrangel, A.M. Gorchakov, V.I. Dal, V.A. Obruchev, Albert I, Prince of Monaco, Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Oscar II of Sweden, King of Iran Naser al-Din Shah Qajar; and famous travelers and explorers Fridtjof Nansen, Roald Amundsen, Thor Heyerdahl, Jacek Pałkiewicz.
The Russian Geographical Society’s expeditions played significant role in opening of the Siberia and the Far East, Middle and Central Asia, and the World Ocean.