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July 21, 2022

MSU scientists partner with Kazakh universities to expand environmental science curriculums and networking opportunities

Last month, Michigan State University professors Jiquan Chen, Peilei Fan and Norman Graham traveled to Kazakhstan to participate in a unique program designed to assist universities in rural areas of the country with developing and delivering core ecology and environmental science courses. The trio joined additional professors from George Washington University, University of South Dakota, University of Maine and Pace University for an intensive two-week itinerary to deliver training, educational materials and field equipment to more than 50 participants from five different universities.

“Planning for the program started late last year. We were particularly interested in targeting junior faculty members from the five participating universities. Our goal was to help them understand how we teach core ecology and environmental science classes at US universities,” said Chen, a professor of geography in the Department of Geography, Environmental and Spatial Science and member of the Center for Global Change and Earth Observations. “In addition to offering lectures and hands-on exercises in the classroom and the field, we also encouraged our students to take leadership in developing a class portfolio, collecting activity photos, and initiating discussions on potential future collaborations for research and education and possible scholar exchanges.”

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