Governor John Kitzhaber highlighted Portland State University's (PSU) growing partnership with a leading Chinese environmental research institution September 22 when he visited the Shanghai Academy of Environmental Sciences (SAES).
Kitzhaber, who is on a business mission to China, South Korea and Japan, will help unveil new equipment donated by an Oregon business, Met One Instruments, to be used by researchers in Shanghai to monitor air quality.
“We’re here in China to create business opportunities for Oregon companies, particularly around clean technology,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “This is a great example of Oregon being able to export its expertise, and signals the potential for additional projects down the line. It’s a win for business, education, and the environment.”
The equipment will enable PSU, SAES and Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to expand their collaborative research on water quality to include air quality. Tom Hughes, President of Metro, was also at the meeting to explore how Metro might be able to assist SAES in solid waste management.
"This partnership is an example of PSU's international leadership in urban sustainable development," said Gil Latz, PSU's vice provost for international affairs. "PSU and the state of Oregon are now poised to play a unique role in improving air, water quality and solid waste management in the world's seventh largest city."
PSU President Wim Wiewel formalized the University's partnership with SAES in October 2010, when he traveled to Shanghai and Ulsan, Korea. SAES is in charge of environmental planning for Shanghai, where air quality and disposal of waste are major concern.
"PSU's collaboration will help SAES improve its capacities in environmental science and management, and the governor's visit will certainly elevate the collaboration to a new level," said Yangdong Pan, a PSU professor of environmental science and management who is on working with SAES on water quality issues in Shanghai.
Researchers from Shanghai will likely come to Portland for training in using the donated equipment and to learn how DEQ monitors air quality. PSU faculty, such as Linda George, chair of PSU's Department of Environmental Science and Management and an expert on urban air quality, will visit SAES next month to discuss potential future collaboration.
Other collaboration includes seminars and workshops by Alan Yeakley, a PSU professor of environmental science and management, on riparian ecology and river riparian restoration in urban streams. Eugene Foster, who manages DEQ's watershed management section, also has been helping SAES researchers to develop Shanghai's municipal water discharge permit program, which would be the first in China. A PSU alumna, Xiaoyan Wang, is deputy director of the Shanghai Environmental Impact Assessment Office, which is affiliated with SAES.
PSU has cultivated relationships in China – including research, student and faculty exchanges and training programs – as part of a strategy to promote sustainable urban development around the world. The University is expected to enroll more than 400 Chinese students this fall and has 42 scholars and faculty members from China.