Virtual Education and Research Studio

(Under Construction...)

Integrating Specialties, Education and Research to Create an Auditorium of Earth Sciences

Based on theoretical innovation, facing global issues, cultivating scientific talents

In recent years, the State Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Science and Technology and other departments have strongly implemented the development of excellent talents independently, and integration with the promotion of scientific and technical innovation. With the aims of promoting the levels of basic scientific research in higher education and leading breakthroughs in priority areas, so as to lay the foundation of talent for building China into a major scientific center and innovation hub in the world.

So how should we strengthen the training of top-notch talents in basic disciplines to create future scientists? Based on the understanding of "innovation and excellence", Academician Nianzhi Jiao and Professor Min Chen of Xiamen University have closely integrated scientific research and  students’ education. In addition to conducting basic scientific research on ocean negative carbon emissions, they also led the development of the "Livable Earth-Earth System Science" program, which aims to develop talents with the latest scientific concepts.

  1. Developing original scientific theories and exploring new ways of curriculum reform. Based on the theory of "Microbial Carbon pump", academician Nianzhi Jiao led his team to start innovative perspectives of the global negative emissions and further expanded them to the development of the Earth system. In addition, a new course on "Livable Earth-Earth System Science" has been established accordingly., which introduced the development of Earth system science and the latest progress at home and abroad through interdisciplinary and multi-unit integration, collaborative innovation and condensed teaching content. The course will be based on the pilot project of the Ministry of Education's "Virtual Education and Research Studio for Earth System Science (VERSES, Reform of General Education)", the Foundation's "Ocean Carbon Sinks and Biogeochemical Processes" basic science center project and Xiamen University's educational reform project, to develop a major demand for negative carbon emissions. The program aims to develop talents for the major needs of negative carbon emissions.

  2. To promote interdisciplinary research, integrate advantageous teaching and research resources, and carry out in-depth international cooperation. The education and research team includes more than 10 domestic members, including senior academicians and professional scientists from the fields of oceanography, geology, atmosphere, resources, environment and climate. Our team will also invite internationally renowned scholars from the cooperative universities and scientific institutes abroad to conduct academic exchanges and discussions and make the course "Livable Earth-Earth System Science" become an influential "golden course" in China and abroad.

  3. To carry out general education and enhance scientific awareness and scientific thinking. Marine general education is one of the core elements of Xiamen University's first-class undergraduate program in marine science. The team has organically combined general education and professional education to help the long-term development of professional talents through general education. The curriculum will focus on interoperability between "teaching" and "learning", with an emphasis on broadening students' knowledge, which, then, gives them more diverse choices in their studies and helps them to consolidate their knowledge structure, develop logical thinking and scientific expression and communication skills, so that the best creative talents can “emerge” and develop sustainably.

  4. Stimulating students’ interests and combining teaching and research to teach them according to their characteristics. By creating a new model of mutual education and learning, quality platforms for students to train and grow are created. For example, the students are encouraged questions and discussions on science and courses, and the team will exert efforts to provide them chances to take out scientific experiments for seeking proves, by “College Students innovation and Entrepreneurship Project”, which gives them the practice of their dreams.  For all the excellent students, there are more chances to be engaged in further studies on international platforms. The team has set up platforms for education and research like the “Joint Laboratory for Ocean Research and Education, LORE” between Xiamen University and Dalhousie University. For the students’ practice, the set-up of Coastal Ocean Time Series Stations, located from north to south of China as well as in Halifax Canada, will be the best bases for in situ studies. Also, the “Marine Biochemistry and Carbon Sinks forum” in the world-famous Gordon Research Conference, which was promoted by Dr. Jiao, will be a grand banquet for students’ international scientific exchange.

As the development of fundamental disciplines is a source and pioneer of innovation, along with talents being the source of scientific innovation, the cultivation of outstanding talents in fundamental disciplines is a major strategic task for higher education. The "Livable Earth-Earth System Science" program will be an incubator and a "dream factory" for top talents in basic disciplines, with the leadership of a team of masters, innovative learning methods, the promotion of the integration of science and education, and the deepening of international cooperation.

(Edited by Jia Sun)