Construction of Key Discipline in the “Project 211″

The key discipline in the ¡°211¡± Project, Northwest university -¡°Dynamic of the orogenic belts and basins in the Midwest China and its impact on Resources and environments¡±has received a total construction investment of more than 45 million Yuan to purchase instruments and facilities, and reference books, as well as to carry on the academic exchange and environmental alteration of labs and scientific research. The main big and medium facilities of modern styles includes X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, laser plasma mass spectrograph, SGI OCTANE graphic workstation, laser granularity analysis instrument, Fission track analysis instrument, Fluid inclusion composition and stable pressure testing instrument.

Originally, it had only 3 secondary-class disciplines with Doctoral Degree. Via the construction of the ¡°211 Project¡±, 2 new first-class, 5 new secondary-class disciplines with Doctoral Degree, 2 national key disciplines, 4 specially engaged professor posts in Chueng Kong Scholars Program and Continental dynamic Key lab of Ministry of Education. Presently, it has taken the shapes of relatively completed in disciplines and research aspects, imposing in teaching quality, rational balance and coordinated development between Sicences and Engineering. Constructional effects and developing speed of the personnel training base has come out top in the bases countrywide, which received wide acclaims and affirmation around educationists and leaders of vary levels. In the facet of lab construction, the department has made completely alternation and expanding to its original labs, setting up its own LAN connected to the campus network, constructing a students¡¯ computer lab holding 102 PIII PCs, 5 multimedia classrooms and a batch of course teaching practice/labs, totally 2600 M2, which greatly ameliorate our teaching condition and basic facility, and come near or attain a high level of similar departments or institutes in advanced countries. The Continental dynamic lab is equipped with world advanced big instruments such as RIX2100 X fluorescence spectroscopy, ELAN6100DRC plasma mass spectrum, Geolas Laser denudation system, Mars microwave scattering system, seism data man-machine mutual deciphering system, inclusion temperature and pressure testing system and top grade specialty laboratories. Under the construction process, we have gotten prominent effects both at bringing up of high disthesis scientific research and technical supporting contingent and acquiring high-level scientific achievements.

The department has turned out, over the past 5 years, 602 graduates of different levels, of whom 35 are doctors, 66 masters, and 501 undergraduates. The total number of full-time students of undergraduate, postgraduates working for master’s degrees and Ph.D. candidates has changed from 222¡¢32 and 20 in 1996 to that of 358¡¢71 and 33 in 2000, the ratio of students and teachers vary from 1:6 to 1:11.7. The department focus on training students into excellent qualified talents with solid and broad theoretical foundation, complex knowledge structure, and extensive practice. As a result, the undergraduates in this department has established their prestige both at home and abroad, and their supplying falls short of demanding in recent years. The graduates are ardently welcomed to be recommended or admitted to go on their studying leading to the Master or Doctoral degrees by a variety of renowned higher educational institutions and research centers throughout China. The implementing of individual tutorial system for undergraduates encourages students to fall into scientific research in their early stage, greatly boost their innovation spirits and scientific research ability. Many undergraduates have gotten their research papers published. The dissertations qualified for Master or Doctorial degrees put into practice the ¡°three-Without¡± appraise, namely without name of candidate, without name of director, and without acknowledgements, which highly improves the quality of graduates. 2 dissertations for Ph.D in this department have won the national ¡°100 superexcellent Doctoral Thesis¡± in 1999 and 2000 respectively.

The department has successively undertook 201 scientific research projects with a total investment about 28.09 million Yuan, including 56 national research projects of key importance, such as Project 863, Project 973, Scaling Project, Important and pivot Projects of the Natural Sciences Foundation, and Scientific and technological key projects of ¡°Ninth Five-year plan¡±. A total of 805 scientific articles and 29 monographs (including 6 teaching material) have been published.24 scientific and teaching achievements were awarded the national and provincial or ministerial prizes (comprising 2 National Award). Many important achievements has been made in such fields as the Dynamics of Orogenic belts and basins, Early Life Evolution, Oil and Gas-bearing Basin Geology, Cenozoic Geology and Environments. Under the presiding of Prof. Zhang Guowei, an academician of Chinese Academic Sinica, the important project of NSF of China, ¡°Structure, evolution and ore-forming background of the Qinling Orogenic belt¡± has made important breakthrough in some momentous basic geological problems concerning the Qinling orogenic belt and in synthetic study of geology, geochemistry and geophysics of the orogenic belts, and was rewarded the second prize of the national nature Science in 1999. Great advancement also made in the Early Cambrian explosion, 6 important papers has been published continually in the celebrated Journal-Nature by Prof. Shu Degang ect., which arose attraction worldwide, his research achievements have been selected as¡± National tenth scientific developments in china¡± in 1999 and 2001 respectively, and won the first prize of the outstanding achievements of Chueng Kong Scholars programme in 2000, and first prize of Nature science of the national high-learning in 2000. To meet the dire need of national economy construction and the large-scale development in the west of China, Oil and gas-bearing basin geology and Cenozoic geology and environment actively adjust their research orientations and underwent remarkable developments in many fields, and acquired manyl scientific awards of provincial and ministry level.

The department stresses international academic and personnel exchanges. It has invited many famed experts and scholars both home and abroad to give lectures or to carry out cooperative research, comprising Conway Morris, academician of the Royal Society of Britain and Professor of Cambridge , Detlef Gunther£¬Professor of Institute of Swiss advanced Sciences and Technology, J. Evans£¬Professor of Geological Survey of England, Gosef Strobl, professor of University of Austria, and Konstantin F. Tyapkin, corresponding academician of Ukraine, as well as experts from Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Academica Sinica, Institute of Geochemistry, Academica Sinica, Beijing University, Nanjing University and The China University of Geosciences. Besides the department has sent more than 60 teachers to study abroad, to carry out cooperative research or to attend international conferences. Also the Department has hosted five international or national symposia or conferences.

The symbolized achievements in ¡°Ninth-Five year plan¡± in this department consist of: (1) Lithologic structure and its evolution of Qinling Orogenic belt, won the second national prize in natural sciences; (2) The study of ¡°Early Cambrian Explosion¡± was selected as one of the tenth greatest progresses in Sciences and Engineering in China, and was awarded first prizes in natural sciences of Chinese High-learning Institutes, and first prize of outstanding achievement in Chueng Kong Scholars program; (3) ¡° Innovation, reform and practice in advanced geological education¡¯¡¯ got a Special Provincial Award for Excellent Teaching Result in Shaanxi province as well as a first prize in National awards; (4) ¡°the construction of Liangshan field teaching and practicing base¡± was rewarded the second prize in National Award for Excellent Teaching Result; (5) ¡°The study of oxygen-bearing gold minerals and new minerals in Jialu gold ore deposit¡± has won the first prize of the Science and technological development, Ministry of Metallurgy Industry; (6) ¡° Construction of the personnel training base, Department of Geology, northwest University¡± has won the first prize of the Provincial Award for Excellent Teaching Result; (7) ¡° Theory and effects of poly-parameters synthetic geophysical and geochemical exploration in the directly detection of oil and gas¡± has gained the second prize of the former National Education Commission; (8) ¡°The metallogenic regularity and forecasting of tine-intrusive type gold mine of Ding-Ma, Shanyan-Zhen¡¯an, Shaanxi Province won the second prize of science and technology development, the Ministry of Metallurgy Industry (9) ¡¶CAI courseware of the introduction of Geology¡·was rewarded second prize of the Provincial Award for Excellent Teaching Result; (10) ¡¶Multimedia teaching software(network edition) of the Structural Geology¡·has won the second prize of CIETE of the National multimedia teaching software award, Ministry of Education; (11) ¡°Magma degassing mechanism of CO2 Gas accumulation¡± got the second prize of the Natural Sciences of high-learnings of China; (12) ¡¶Lately 13000 years¡¯ Monsoon climatic vicissitute and C14 chronology of the sensitive belts of inland environments of China ¡·won the national ¡°100 superexcellent Doctoral Thesis¡±; (13) ¡¶Chinese fossil Equus and its reflection on the climatic and environmental vicissitutes¡·won the national ¡°100 superexcellent Doctoral Thesis¡±.

On May 16, 2001, under the organizing of the Bureau of Education, Shaanxi Province, a specialist group with the Academician Sun Shu(Director of the Geological Department, Academic Sinica) as the head, in strictly referring to the National administrant requirement of key constructing projects and the¡¶examination methods of the constructing projects in ¡°Project 211¡± during the ¡°Ninth Five-year Plan¡± period¡·, had a strict integrally assessment and examination of the discipline of ¡°Dynamic of the orogenic belts and basins in the Midwest China and its impact on Resources and environments¡±, one of the sub-disciplines of the key construction discipline in ¡°Project 211¡± in Northwest University. After earnestly hearing the report of the whole circumstance on discipline construction given by the leader of the sub-discipline, Professor Yu Zaiping, header of the department, the specialists scrutinize on the spot material concerning the discipline construction, inspected with great detail the corresponding laboratories, practice, exhibition and reference rooms.

Under an earnestly appraising, all the specialists agreed on that the key discipline ¡°Dynamic of the Orogenic belts and basins in Midwest China and its impact on Resources and environments¡±of Northwest University had made great progresses in discipline construction, scientific research, personnel training, personnel structure adjustment, and laboratory construction, acquired a series of leading achievements both at home and abroad. It has had marked success in discipline construction during the ¡°Project 211¡± constructing period, including:

1. After the first phase of the construction of ¡°Project 211¡±, Department of Geology, Northwest University has made rapid strides in the past five years. Two first-class disciplines with Doctoral Degree (covering 8 second-class disciplines) have been established, i.e. ¡°Geology¡± and ¡°Geological resources and Geological Engineering, 4 specially engaged Professor posts of Chueng Kong Scholars programme ( Of which, two have been engaged) and 1 key Lab of Ministry of Education have been set up. A great number of Young and Middle-aged energetic geologists nowadays have formed the backbone of the Department. Discipline structure tend to be more reasonable, actual strength as a whole has greatly boosted, and has evolved a style of its own in such disciplines as dynamics of Continental Orgenic belts and Basins, Early life Evolution, Cenozoic Geology and Environments, Oil-bearing Basin Geology ect. Scientific research projects carried out by the Department have elevated into a new level, both the quantity and total funds have doubled since the construction of ¡°Project 211¡±, in accompany with the completion of a series of important symbolized achievements. It has ranked into top-level disciplines in China. With the Qinling Orogenic Belt and Precambrian Geology studies as its main traits, Dynamics of Continental orogenic belts and basins has stood in the frontier line of some key important geological scientific issues such as multi-disciplinary synthesis study of Orogenic belt, and taken the shape of many steady research fields such as Orogenic Belts and their dynamics, Relationships between Orogenic belts and Basins, Geochemical dynamics, and Formation and Evolution of Early Crust. It has carried out a lot of national important and pivot projects, and made series of important progresses and achievements in the front fields of modern Geology. A total of 19 research achievements have won second-class national Nature Sciences award and first or second-class provincial or ministry-level awards. Paleontology discipline mainly focus on the study of essence of ¡°Cambrian life explosion¡± and life evolutionary history, and has made many breakthrough in the disclosing true panorama of Cambrian Explosion, the study of vertebrate origination is internationally acknowledged world top one. Other research fields have also won a large amount of important achievements such as biochronostratigraphy of West China, Mesozoic and Cenozoic environmental evolution, Forming mechanism of Cathaysia-Angara mixed flora and Geobiographic distributing pattern of Late Paleozoic flora, of which Ciruralian stratigraphy and flora in the east North Qilianshan Mt. is in the lead of paleobotany study in China. Aim at the national economy development, under the support of ¡°Project 211¡±, Oil-bearing Basin Geology has formed a striking feature of theoretic and applied basic researches on the oil and gas exploration of altered basins, and has made significant breakthroughs in the resource assessment of oil and gas, and some key technologies in oil and gas prospecting. It contributes a lot not only to the regional economy development, but also to the mineral resources exploitation such as oil and gas in Northwest China, and give birth to remarkable favorable economical and social benefits.

2. During the period of ¡°Project 211¡± constructing, the national base for basic researches and teaching personnel training in the fields of Geology has forged rapidly ahead, and twice was rewarded as ¡°superexcellent base¡± in the national examination and evaluation in 1998 and 1999 respectively, more importantly, it came out top in the 45 of the secondary and third round of science bases in the mid-term assessment and examination organized by the Ministry of Education in 1999. It served as a model for the national personnel training bases, and follow with wide interesting and appraising around the colleagues. It has made tremendous progresses in the objectives and models of personnel training, curriculum system, teaching contents, teaching methods and teaching techniques, as well as teaching and experimental condition ect. It, as a whole, holds a safe lead in China, and has won many prizes including Special National Award for Excellent Teaching Result.

3. Under the aegis of ¡°Project 211¡±, the condition for personnel training has ultimately changed, and talents¡¯ quality greatly improved. It has made remarkable achievements in graduate education, and 2 doctorial theses in this department have won the national ¡°100 superexcellent Doctoral Thesis¡± in 1999 and 2000 relatively. Undergraduate education has developed smoothly, and undergraduates in this department have established their prestige both at home and abroad, and have been warmly welcome and highly praised by people of all walks of life. Their supplying falls short of demanding in recent years. A training base for high-level geological talents has been established gradually in the Department.

4. After the first phase of the construction of ¡°Project 211¡±, Department of Geology has come into being a mighty contingent of highly qualified and vigor teaching staffs. Many of them have become Young and Middle-aged academic leaders and backbones, and enjoy good reputation in the academic community both at home and abroad.

5. Under the strongly support of ¡°project 211¡±, the facilities in this discipline has been noticeably improved. With the equipment of many advanced large and medium instruments, the laboratory of continental dynamics has turned into a top-level specialized laboratory, in the main time a technical sustaining contingent highly qualified for scientific research has been trained. Authorized to be a key lab of Ministry of Education, the laboratory lay a solid foundation for the further development of the discipline. In comparing with the situation before ¡°project 211¡±, teaching labs in this department has been greatly improved, and basic teaching condition has leap into forefront countrywide.

In the process of the discipline constructing, demonstration, purchase and evaluation of all the instruments and facilities, and utilization of funds are strictly transacted in the light of administrating measurements of construction of ¡°Project 211¡±. Standardization in administration, complete in data, clarity in accounts, and reasonable in fund application. All the instruments operate in high efficiency, reflecting well organized in administration and rigorous in working style.
However, the main problem in this discipline under the first round construction of ¡°Project 211¡± is the relatively scarce of high-leveled and full of innovation ability middle and young-aged academic leaders who can stand forefront in the international geological fields. The specialists suggested that in order to attract talent personnel and made it more competitive, special policy should be given to the department by the government of Shaanxi Province and Northwest University.

In a word, through the construction of ¡°Project 211¡±, Department of Geology, Northwest University has achieved remarkable success in personnel drawing and contingents building up. Discipline adjustment as a whole have ranked forefront throughout China, and the ability of self-development has been strengthen greatly. Specialists figured out in accord that the discipline, integrally, have exceeded the special targets and the objectives expected, authorized to be officially checked and accepted, and comment to be superexcellence. In view of the great achievements it has been made and solid bases established in the first stage of its construction, the specialists proposed that in order to rank into international forefront, the discipline should be listed into the second round construction of ¡°Project 211¡±, and be bestowed with more strong supports from the government.

List of specialists

Head of the evaluation group:
Sun Shu(Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, member of committee, Chinese technology and Sciences, Director of Geological Department, Chinese Academy of Sciences)
Zhao Pengda(Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, President of The China University of Geosciences)
Ye Danian(Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Geology and Geological Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences)
Liu Baojun (Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Honor President of Chengdu Sciences and Technology University, Chairman of association of Sciences and Technology, Sichuan Province)
He Jishan (Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chairman of association of Sciences and Technology, Hunan Province)
He Guoqi (Professor of high reputation in the Department of Geology, Beijing University)
Chen Jun(Doctoral Supervisor, Vice-president of Nanjing University)
Sun Haiying (Professor, Head of the Bureau of Sciences and Technology, Shaanxi Province)
Zhang Shizuang (Professor, Vice-director of Planning, shaanxi Province

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