Prof. James Corbett visited Xiamen during the World Ocean Week 2012

Prof. James Corbett was invited by COMI (Coastal and Ocean Management Institute, Xiamen University) to attend the World Ocean Week 2012 and also COMI International Academic Advisory Committee (IAAC) meeting from Nov. 1st-5th, 2012 at Xiamen.

He made an oral presentation on the Forum of Marine Science and Technology titled “low-carbon sea transportation development”. He also presented the COMI IAAC annual meeting as an IAAC member and made a brief introduction of his research work.

A joint paper published in the Journal of Geophysical Research

A scientific paper titled “On the variations of sea surface pCO2 in the northern South China Sea: A remote sensing based neural network approach” has been published in the Journal of Geophysical Research. This paper was jointly composed by Drs. Young-Heon Jo and Xiao-Hai Yan from the University of Delaware (UD), Drs. Minhan Dai, Weidong Zhai and Shaoling Shang from Xiamen University (XMU).

It remains challenging to constrainthe carbon fluxes in the coastal ocean due primarily to the large variability in both time and space. There is a great need of sufficient spatial and temporal pCO2 observations. Remote sensing with applicable algorithms can be a potentially important approach complementary to ship-board observations.Using a neural networking (NN) approach, XMU and UD scientists developed an algorithm primarily based upon sea surface temperature (SST) and chlorophyll (Chl(a)) to estimate the partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO(2)) at the sea surface in the northern South China Sea (NSCS). Randomly selected in situ data collected from May 2001, February and July 2004 cruises were used to develop and test the predictive capabilities of the NN based algorithm with four inputs (SST, Chl(a), longitudes and latitudes). The comparison revealed a high correlation coefficient of 0.98 with a root mean square error (RMSE) of 6.9 mu atm. They subsequently applied their NN algorithm to satellite SST and Chl(a) measurements, with associated longitudes and latitudes, to obtain surface water pCO(2). The resulting monthly mean pCO(2) map derived from the satellite measurements agreed reasonably well with the in situ observations. This is the first successful attempt to apply NN to an extremely dynamic coastal ocean for pCO(2) estimation.

Under the framework of the Joint-CRM (Joint Institute for Coastal Research and Management), this paper is the fourth publication worked jointly by UD and XMU scientists.

Dr. Timothy Targett had a discussion with aligned XMU faculties

Dr. Timothy Targett from the University of Delaware the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment made his visit to Xiamen University the college of Ocean and Earth Sciences at the end of March 2012.

He was invited to give a talk titled “Hypoxia and habitat quality for young fishes in estuarine nursery areas: laboratory and field studies of ecophysiological and behavioral responses to low oxygen”, and he also gave a presentation to XMU students on environmental variability in estuaries: laboratory and field techniques for studying impacts on feeding and growth of young fishes.

On March 27, Dr. Targett gathered with several XMU faculties in the field of fisheries for a round table discussion. Each of XMU faculty presented a mini presentation for his better understanding what XMU faculties of fisheries are doing, and then followed by discussion on potential collaborations in the near future.

This is Targett’s first time visit of China. “This is a very productive visit, and I really hope I could be back to Xiamen again,” Targett said.

UD and XMU scientists get together for detailed future cooperation

The Sustaining Dynamic Ecosystem Services in the Coastal Oceans workshop between the USA and China was held at Clayton Hall, University of Delaware from Feb 26 to 28, 2012. The delegation from Xiamen University’s College of Ocean and Earth Sciences (XMU-COE), lead by Dean Minhan Dai, and thirteen scientists from the University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean and Environment (UD-CEOE) participated in the three-day workshop.

Chaired by Dean Nancy Targett of UD-CEOE and Dr. George Luther, the workshop consisted of scientific talks and group discussions. The main purpose of the workshop was to discuss, in detail, a collaborative study on the Middle Atlantic Bight (MAB) and the South China Sea (SCS, mainly from the Pearl River estuary through the Taiwan Strait) in the near future. Scientists from both sides discussed how to relate basic science to the societal challenges related to sustainability through studying both upscale (climate shifts) and downscale (regional) processes. The ultimate goal of the collaboration in these two economically important ecosystems is to address how the coastal oceans will sustain human activity, energy and economic growth, while maintaining a healthy and vibrant ecosystem in the 21st century.

Information on the UD Sea Grant Program and UD Coast Day Program was introduced to XMU delegates. Coast Day is held on the first Sunday of October every year and is very popular to local citizens around the UD area. Xiamen University is planning to start a similar outreach program starting this year with guidance and support from UD.

Dr. Jianyu Hu visited UD/CEOE

Professor Jianyu Hu visited UD/CEOE on August 12, 2011, and met with several physical oceanographers in Physical Ocean Science and Engineering (POSE) Program and Oceanography Program. Accompanied by Mr. Matt Shatley (Computer Research Specialist) and Ph.D student Xiangbai Wu from XMU, Dr. Jianyu Hu stopped by the Satellite Receiving Station of UD.

Dr. Hu had a very nice talk with Prof. Xiao-Hai Yan (Mary A.S. Lighthipe Chair Professor, Director of Center for Remote Sensing), and attended Prof. Yan’s Remote Sensing Group seminar. He met with Dr. Tobias Kukulka, Dr. Kuo-Chuin Wong, Dr. Pablo Huq, Dr. Andreas Muenchow and Dr. Fengyan Shi, and had very good academic exchanges with all of them.

XMU and UD professors exchanged collaboration ideas

On July 29, 2011, Dean of Xiamen University College of Oceanography and Environmental Science Dr. Minhan Dai and Chair of Department of Environmental Science & Engineering Dr. Dazhi Wang visited the University of Delaware College of Earth, Ocean and Environment. They met with Assistant Dean for Graduate Services Dr. Janis Lopez and Provost Dr. Tom Apple, and discussed detailed implementations of the dual PhD program on oceanography. They also meet with Dr. Tobias Kukulka, Dr. Xiao-Hai Yan, Dr. James Corbett, Dr. Aijun Song, Dr. Young-Heon Jo, Dr. Tom Church, Dr. Pablo Huq and Dr. Andreas Muenchow as scheduled. Both sides expressed the hope of establishing potential further collaborations in research.

Dr. Xiao-Hai Yan conducted a serial of academic activities while in XMU

Dr. Xiao-Hai Yan came to Xiamen on June 22, 2011, and conducted a serial of academic activities during his stay in Xiamen University.

Dr. Yan was invited to speak on behalf of the Joint-CRM at the IUGG 2011 (2011 International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics) General Assembly (June 29, Melbourne). His talk was titled “Satellite multi-sensor studies of meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) and deep ocean convection (DOC)”.

He was then invited to present a lecture at the 2nd International Ocean Sciences Summer School & PhD Student Forum – Multidisciplinary Research of Geo-Bio-Chemical Interactions in the Ocean and at the Sea Floor held at Xiamen University July 1-9, 2011.

Dr. Yan also was invited to give a talk at Xiamen University’s Lingfeng Forum No. 18: Sensing the Ocean: “Wind and Convective Mixing-Physics, Modeling and Observations” on July 15, 2011.

XMU delegation visited UD/CEOE

A seven-member delegation headed by Chairman of Xiamen University Council Prof. Zhiwen Zhu visited UD/CEOE, on May 10, 2011. Dr. Liwu Wu, the Associate Dean of Xiamen University the College of Oceanography and Environmental Science, also joined the delegation.

At University of Delaware, Chairman Zhu and Xiamen University delegation members met with President Patrick Harker, Dean Nancy Targett and other UD university administrators and faculty members. President Harker said that Xiamen University is one of the most important and closest partner university of the University of Delaware. The collaborations between our two universities are so good so far. We anticipate that our collaborations will be further moved forward. Chairman Zhu and Xiamen University delegation members agreed. Both sides were confident that such close partnerships between XMU and UD will be definitely further evolved to a new stage which will greatly benefit both universities.

Accompanied by Dean Nancy Targett, Captain Bill Byam, and Prof. Xiao-Hai Yan, the delegation also took a tour of the UD new research ship R/V Hugh R. Sharp and its supporting facilities at the UD’s Lewes Campus.

Partner universities of Joint-CRM co-organized an international workshop on climate change and ocean carbon

When Xiamen University (XMU) was celebrating its 90th anniversary, the international workshop of Climate Change and Ocean Carbon-Field Observation, Remote Sensing and Modeling was held April 3 to 6 at the Zeng Cheng Kui Building. Joint-CRM co-organized the workshop, and University of Delaware sent a delegation to commemorate the great event of XMU. This further developed a growing relationship between the institutions.

Organized by the State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science (MEL), and China National Basic Research Program (“973” Program) “Carbon cycling in China Seas-budget, controls and ocean acidification (CHOICE-C project)”, the workshop ( brought together 150 scientists from around the world. It was co-sponsored by Xiamen University College of Oceanography and Environmental Science (COE), the Joint Institute for Coastal Research and Management (Joint-CRM), and International Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS).

“While climate change is becoming one of the most pressing environmental issues worldwide, as a citizen living in a beautiful coastal city, I can feel the importance of studying the ocean and climate. I am very impressed by the gathering of all these top scientists here in Xiamen.” Ying Zhang, the Vice President of Xiamen University, said in his address at the workshop.

“Studying linkages between the ocean and climate is one of the most pressing topics for researchers at both CEOE and XMU,” CEOE Dean Nancy Targett explained. “We were proud to come together to shape future global research on this topic and celebrate our partner institution’s 90th anniversary at the same time.

“In addition to Targett, CEOE faculty members Xiao-Hai Yan and George Luther and graduate students Autumn Kidwell and Zhaoyun Chen participated in the workshop and anniversary celebrations.

This workshop is a forward step from the successfully organized international workshops of OCCOS (Dec, 2008) and CHOICE-C (Mar, 2009). Based on the data obtained from field observation, remote sensing and modeling, frontier scientific issues on climate change and ocean carbon cycle were interpreted to provide better understanding of the earth system.Focusing on ocean phenomena such as ocean fronts, warm pool, carbon flux, hydrological cycle, ocean circulation and numerical simulation, the first two-day (OCCOS&CHOICE-C) workshop explored the role ocean plays in global climate change. Discussions were raised about the impact of typhoons, volcanic eruptions, and other physical and biogeochemical coupling process on climate change and their possible far-reaching significance. Proposals on data sharing in marine science and technology and planning for marine and climate research blueprint were also among the major topics of the discussion.

On the other hand, at the last two-day (CHOICE-C) workshop, air-sea carbon dioxide exchange, biological pumping, ocean acidification, coastal dynamics, carbon transportation and modeling were hot issues. Progress in marine carbon cycle research in China Seas was reported and group discussions were held to bring forward the development proposals and planning for research. The workshop concluded that more attention should be paid to the spatial- temporal baseline and variation, field observation, integrating ocean remote sensing and numerical modeling, and to data sharing.“Participants have said that both the scientific discussion and conference organization were impressive. They hoped to maintain contacts with each other and looked forward to better cooperation in the future.

“The workshop was very successful, I think.” said one of the conveners, Prof. Xiao-Hai Yan of CEOE, also the Presidential Award (US) winner and guest professor of Xiamen University. “So many world leading scholars in ocean and environmental science get together in Xiamen. The discussion in the workshop is multi- and interdisciplinary; and it’s good opportunity to gain more common ground for scholars from different fields. It also helps to promote and enhance academic exchange and cooperation of the State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science (MEL), Xiamen University.” In his view, the ocean and climate change is already a global hot topic; there should be more scientists, government agencies and the public to participate in. He believed that the workshop turned into a successful series, and could significantly impact the climate change research.

Dr. Yan gave lectures to Xiamen middle school students

Dr. Xiao-Hai Yan was invited to give lectures to Xiamen middle school students during his visit of Xiamen University. On March 30 of 2011, he delivered a lecture titled “Ocean studies from space-the frontier of the satellite remote sensing” in Xiamen No. 1 Middle School, and he gave another one at Xiamen Foreign Language Middle School on April 7 of 2011. His lectures were actively responded by the students, and they asked a lot of questions after the lectures.

“This is the first time I give lectures to middle school students, and I was not sure if I have prepared the right materials and whether they would like it or not.” Dr. Yan told us, “But I am very glad to see their eyes eager for this kind of knowledge.” “At the same time I also felt the urgency of disseminating ocean knowledge to younger generations, which will help them know more about the ocean, better protect the ocean, and contribute to the ocean.”