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Queen’s ‘station in the woods’ welcomes Chinese students

[BNU Delegation]
A delegation of faculty members from Beijing Normal University visited Queen’s and QUBS to discuss the developing partnership between the two institutions. (University Communications)

The Queen’s University Biological Station (QUBS) welcomed almost a dozen Chinese students to its grounds north of Kingston last week for the 10th anniversary instalment of an innovative biology field course.

The 20 students – from Fudan, Tongji, Southwest and Beijing Normal Universities – join 11 undergraduates from Queen’s and other Ontario institutions to examine the impact of human development on aquatic environments and biodiversity. The field course, created in 2005 by Dr. Yuxiang Wang (Biology) and co-taught by Dr. Stephen Lougheed (Biology), is offered annually, alternating between QUBS and China.

“The field course brings together students from China and Canada to give them a unique experiential learning opportunity. They work hands-on as they learn about aquatic ecosystems and develop their research skills,” says Dr. Wang, a BNU alumnus. “It also exposes them to issues and challenges within a global ecological context and it is exciting to see students from Canada and China working together and learning from each other.”

A delegation of faculty members from BNU visited Queen’s and QUBS just prior to the beginning of the field course to discuss the developing partnership between the two institutions.

“I’m looking forward to our students learning here in Kingston and transferring that knowledge back to our students in China. There are opportunities to learn about things here that don’t exist in China, and vice-versa,” says Yanyun Zhang, director of BNU’s biological stations. “Queen’s has a station in the woods and we have a station on the coast, so this is a natural and complementary link.”

Hugh Horton, Associate Dean (International) in the Faculty of Arts and Science, says the faculty is committed to developing its international partnerships to provide international learning and research opportunities.

“Arts and Science, through this field course, is focused on getting more senior international students on our campus while also providing opportunities for our senior students to travel to China,” says Dr. Horton. “The program will also broaden our research impact as we continue to expand our international footprint.”

Students from BNU will stay at QUBS for the duration of their visit. In the summer of 2016, the “sister” field course will be offered in China for Canadian and Chinese students.

More information on the field course can be found here.