September 9, 2011
This is the first blog of this year’s Canada-China Field Course. It’s my honor to be the one writing this blog. Due to a little accident, our itinerary in Canada will last from September 26 to October 12, and the field course in China will be split into two parts. The first part will start tomorrow.
A few theory lessons have been taken during this week. Most of them were about the background of this curriculum.
Actually, learning to use the GPS is the real first class, though it was in the summer vacation. The tutor showed us how to use and adjust it, how to collect the data, how to match the data with you photos etc.
The emphasis is the background course. Professor Ren showed us many studies and the éclat of WWF.
The background in China is not a good one. Worn with the destruction, and weak from the prolonged pollution, the environment was finally noticed. Scientists warned the government about the horrible consequences, and policies had already been drafted, when the white-flag dolphins, once known as “the Goddess of the Yangtze River”, died out. For years researchers tried to seek another one, only to find many other species like their close relatives, the finless porpoises, were also at stake. When the Three Gorges Dam was built, a lot of ecologists determined that not a day should be lost in protecting China’s wetlands ecosystem.
Wetland plays an important role in our life. Not only can it purify water, it protect us from typhoon and tsunami as well. Not mention that it provides habitat for many species.
The course also introduced some instances of the human activities’ influences, such as reclamation and overfishing.
The theory lessons might not be so exciting as the field course, but they give us a clear conception why environmental protection are so urgent. This week counts!
Yinghe Zheng, Tian Tian, Mingmin Zhao