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Chinese Delegation Briefed on USGS Science During a Visit to Menlo Park, California

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Sun Wensheng and Jingping Xu shake hands
Above: Sun Wensheng (left), China's Minister of Land and Resources, greets USGS oceanographer Jingping Xu in Menlo Park, Calif. [larger version]

Dirk Kempthorne and Minister Sun
Above: At a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on January 31, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and Minister Sun signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will facilitate cooperation between the United States and China. [larger version]

Sam Johnson
Above: USGS Western Coastal and Marine Geology Team Chief Scientist Sam Johnson (above) briefs the Chinese delegation on USGS coastal and marine research. [larger version]

Chinese visitors and their U.S. Geological Survey hosts
Above: Chinese visitors and their USGS hosts pose for a photograph at the USGS center in Menlo Park, Calif. [larger version]

A delegation from China headed by Mr. Sun Wensheng, the Minister of Land and Resources, visited the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) center in Menlo Park, Calif., on January 26, 2007, for briefings on USGS scientific activities in the United States and Asia. The delegation had asked to visit the Menlo Park campus on their way to Washington, D.C., where they met with Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne on January 31 to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to promote future cooperation on natural resources.

Among the USGS scientists who briefed the visitors in Menlo Park were Western Coastal and Marine Geology Team Chief Scientist Sam Johnson and oceanographer Jingping Xu. Johnson and Xu presented a half-hour summary of Coastal and Marine Geology Program activities, with a particular focus on sea-floor and benthic-habitat mapping, tsunami hazards, and coastal-change assessments. The Chinese delegation was particularly impressed with the high relevance of the program's activities to societal needs.

The delegation also received briefings on the mineral resources of Asia by Warren Nokleberg (leader of the USGS Global Mineral Resource Assessment Project), integrated studies of the San Francisco Bay and Delta by Lisa Lucas, The National Map by Tom Sturm, and USGS geographic research by Susan Benjamin.

Along with Minister Sun, the delegation included six additional members of China's Ministry of Land and Resources, which has had agreements with the USGS since the Ministry's creation in 1998, a time of significant reorganization within the Chinese government. Before 1998, the USGS dealt with several of the Ministry's predecessors, going back to 1980, when the USGS signed its first protocols with various Chinese government organizations.

Although this trip did not include a visit to the Southeastern United States, USGS coastal scientists in St. Petersburg, Fla., and biologists in Lafayette, La., have been discussing cooperative, integrated studies in both China and the Gulf of Mexico with their counterparts in the China Geological Survey (a bureau within the Ministry of Land and Resources) and hope to craft a formal agreement soon.

The delegation's host in Menlo Park was USGS Western Region Deputy Director Brian Cole, who wrote in a thank-you note to the USGS presenters: "Our guests could not help but be impressed with the quality of scientific endeavors you and your colleagues are involved in….As [Minister Sun] said in his closing remarks, clearly our science is of tremendous value to the Nation and our people."

Related Web Sites
Coastal and Marine Geology Program
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
The National Map
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

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Surveying Faults and Sediment Outside San Francisco Bay

Submarine Ground-Water Discharge at Dor Beach, Israel

Outreach Middle-School Students Envision a Future City

Meetings Assessing Microbes in Ground Water

Chinese Delegation Briefed on USGS Science

Restore America's Estuaries Conference

Awards Scuba Scouts Recognize USGS Employees

Publications Estuaries and Coasts Special Issue

March Publications List

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