San Francisco State University, Established 1899, 1600 Holloway Ave. SF, CA 94132

SFSU Public Affairs Press Release

Published by the Public Affairs Office at San Francisco State University, Diag Center.

#030--October 18, 1999
Contact: Merrik Bush-Pirkle,
phone: 415/338-1665

Chinese oceanographers, SFSU researchers collaborate
on Bay marine health and high school science education

San Francisco, C.A., October 18--A delegation of high-ranking scientists from China’s top marine research institutions are meeting this week with researchers from San Francisco State University’s Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies (RTC) to kick-off a ground-breaking science and education partnership.

The five-year Cooperative Marine Education and Research Program (CMERP) between China’s Ocean University and San Francisco State University will bring together marine researchers and science educators to address two issues: the health of bay ecosystems, and high school science education.

California and China both have large, complex bays which are fed by major rivers—the Sacramento River and the Yellow River, respectively. Located near major agricultural centers, both regions suffer the impact of large-scale irrigation and agricultural run-off, which changes the ecology of the mouths of these bays, called estuaries, where the fresh-water rivers drain into the ocean. In light of sharing similar environmental problems, the scientists believe that collaborating on research will help address the myriad problems facing these similar ecosystems.

"The point of our collaboration is that we are all linked by the Pacific Ocean," said Dr. Jim Kelley, dean of SFSU’s College of Science and Engineering. "The water that flows along our coast in the California current will, in a few months, be flowing along the coast of China, then back again. We hope that by working together we can better understand this shared marine system, while also bringing a new educational perspective to San Francisco’s classrooms."

Beginning next summer, a group of Chinese research scientists and graduate students will spend two weeks at the Romberg Tiburon Center working with RTC scientists on problems surrounding San Francisco Bay ecology. The research programs will continue throughout the year. In turn, RTC researchers will spend the following summer in China. A concomitant workshop will team-up Chinese science educators with high school science teachers and curriculum developers from the San Francisco Unified School District, who will, in turn, travel to China the following summer.

"The aim of the teaching workshops is to share the best pedagogy of Chinese and U.S. high school science teaching in order to develop a series of science courses that use real problems in bay ecology as models for learning chemistry and biology," said CMERP liaison John Stubbs, an SFSU biology professor.

The 12 visiting Chinese delegates represent the following institutions: Ocean University, Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute, the Chinese Academy of Science and the Division for International Cooperation.

San Francisco State University is a highly diverse community of 27,000 students and 3,500 faculty and staff. It is one of the largest campuses in the nationally recognized 23-campus California State University system. Founded in 1899, SFSU is celebrating its 100th year of service to San Francisco, the Bay Area, California and beyond.


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Last modified April 24, 2007, by Office of Public Affairs