St. Cloud State Today

Mikhail Blinnikov

Company: St. Cloud State University

Position: Professor and Graduate Coordinator, Geography and Planning

Areas of Expertise

  • Geography
  • Politics of Russia, Ukraine, and other countries of the former Soviet Union
  • Politics of Eastern Europe

Publications & Accomplishments

  • Principal Investigator. SCSU Research Grant 2021 Paleo Altay: Uncovering Past Environmental Changes at the Heart of Eurasia.(Mongolia and Russian Altay)
  • Principal Investigator. SCSU Research Grant 2019 Unearthing a Town before the Great Migrations, Middle Volga region of Russia
  • Presenter at Sertoma Club of St. Cloud and Rotary Club of St. Cloud regarding the conflict in Ukraine (two engagements – May and June of 2022)
  • Interview on The Morning News with Vineeta Sawkar – WCCO News Talk 830 – How Russian people in Minnesota feel about Ukraine?
  • Multiple presentations at SCSU about current events in Eurasia



Ph.D. from University of Oregon in 1999


Mikhail S. Blinnikov, PhD, is Professor of Geography and Graduate Coordinator and a former director of Global Studies interdisciplinary program. A native of Moscow, Russia, he has traveled extensively in Russia and surrounding countries, including doing field work on the White, Baltic, and Black Seas; in Central Russia; on the Volga; in the Caucasus and the Altay. Besides his work in Russia, he has visited Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Finland, and Mongolia on extended field trips.


Dr. Blinnikov’s research focuses on the late-Pleistocene biogeography of grasslands; phytolith analysis; remote sensing and geographic information systems; protected natural areas and green spaces in and near cities; young naturalist movements; and Orthodox religious landscapes. He has worked with the Biodiversity Conservation Center, the Center for Russian Nature Conservation, Nearby Nature, The Nature Conservancy, and the World Wildlife Fund, among others. Dr. Blinnikov has also worked as an interpreter and translator for Russian–American exchanges and has written the major textbook on regional geography of Russia for Guilford Press. He is the treasurer of the International Phytolith Society and a board member of the Eurasian Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers.