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Academy establishes Asia Center to protect the environment
Date:4/3/2008

and graduate students at Nanjing University on basic and applied principles of ecology and systematic research critical for water quality monitoring. Part of the workshop will take place in China, where the students will apply their knowledge to monitoring Lake Tai, which is so badly polluted with toxic algae that it has turned a fluorescent green.

The Academy also has signed agreements for education and research exchanges with The Nanjing Museum and the Institute of the Biological Problems of the North, Far-Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. This Asian initiative puts the Academy in the forefront of what is likely to be more relationship-building among natural sciences institutions, Brown said.

The Mongolian Connection

The Academy, the oldest natural science research institution in the Americas, has a long history of biodiversity and environmental research in Asia. Most recently, the highly successful Institute for Mongolian Biodiversity and Ecological Research has pursued biodiversity studies of one of the major river systems of Asia (the Selenge River of Mongolia, which feeds into the Yenisei River in Russia) and analyses of the impacts of climate change on the plants, animals and landscape. Northern Mongolia, particularly at the high latitudes, is warming more than twice as fast as the global average. This has caused the sweeping expanse of grasslands, famous as the land of legendary warrior Ghengis Khan, to become drier each year, leading to poor growth of grasses needed for the nomads livestock and declines in plant and animal species. It also has altered a way of life for many nomadic herdsmen, who are now crowding the unprepared cities.

Last year, Mongolia awarded its highest honor, the Friendship Medal, to Academy ecologist Dr. Clyde Goulden for his outstanding contributions to promoting that nations development. Goulden, now director of the Asia Center, began working in Mongolia in the early 1990s and h
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Contact: Carolyn Belardo
belardo@ansp.org
215-299-1043
The Academy of Natural Sciences
Source:Eurekalert  

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