Introduction of School of Earth Sciences and Resources

The China University of Geosciences, Beijing (CUGB) is a multidisciplinary national key university administered directly by the Ministry of Education. The university’s principal disciplines are geology, resources, environment, geoengineering technology, territorial resources surveys, and rational utilization and protection of resources. CUGB was one of the first 33 universities in China to pilot graduate schools, and the first to enter the ranks of "Project 211". The university evolved from the Beijing Institute of Geology, which was formed in 1952 by merging the Departments of Geology of Peking University, Tsinghua University, Tianjin University, the Tangshan Institute of Railways, and others.

The School of Earth Sciences and Resources was one of the initial schools to be established along with the foundation of the Beijing Institute of Geology in 1952. It is among one of the schools within CUGB that has the longest history and strongest faculties in CUGB. It evolved from the large Department of Mineral Geology and Prospecting and Exploration of the former Beijing Institute of Geology. In 1991, Departments I, II, and III, the central laboratory, and the Department of Geological History Study were merged into the Department of Geology and Mineral Resources, which was renamed as the School of Earth Sciences and Resources in 1999. In its course of sixty years of trial and hardship, the school has developed its traditions of emphasizing teaching, advocating science, seeking after truth, being practical, and pursuing excellence. The school hosts a distinguished community of geoscience masters of noble character and high prestige, including Academician Zhao Pengda, Academician Yu Chongwen, Academician Zhai Yusheng, Academician Zhang Benren, Academician Jin Zhenmin, Academician Mo Xuanxue, and Academician Gaoshan. Over the past sixty years, the school has cultivated a large number of high-calibre talents, including over twenty academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and of the Chinese Academy of Engineering. Many outstanding graduates have become national scientific and technological stalwarts, educational experts, and management specialists, and some have also served as leaders in the Communist Party and government departments.

At present, the school has 123 teaching and administrative staff, including 65 professors and 36 associate professors (of whom 61 are Ph.D supervisors). There are also 48 part-time employed Ph.D supervisors. A large majority of the teaching body (84%) hold doctorates, and 12.8% have master’s degrees. There is also a burgeoning group of young academic leaders. Some of these are winners of the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, the Cross-century Talent Fund of the State Education Commission, and the Cross-century Talent Fund of the Ministry of Land and Resources. They are young academic leaders and outstanding young core teachers in colleges and universities in Beijing. One teacher won the National Prominent Teacher Award. Another won the National Renowned Teachers Award. Four were winners of the Beijing Renowned Teachers Award. The school has an team that was selected as Excellent Teaching Unit by the Ministry of Education.

To meet the need for reform of both the education system and the science and technology system, the school has established a professional discipline structure that combines both science and engineering related disciples, along with geology and resources as the predominant feature.The school has 18 disciplines including Paleontology and Stratigraphy (including Paleoanthropology), Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Petrology, Ore Deposit Geology, Structural Geology, Quaternary Geology, Mineral Resource Prospecting and Exploration, Geodetection and Information Technology, Cartography and Geographic Information Engineering, Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, etc. Five of these disciplines—Paleontology and Stratigraphy (including Paleoanthropology); Geochemistry, Mineralogy, Petrology; Ore Deposit Geology; Mineral Resource Prospecting and Exploration; and Structural Geology—are national key disciplines. Two disciplines—Quaternary Geology and Cartography, and Geographic Information Engineering—are provincial and ministerial key disciplines. There are three majors for undergraduate enrollment: Geology, Geochemistry, and Resource Exploration Engineering (Solid Mineral Resources). The school has seven teaching and research sections: stratigraphic paleontology, structural geology, geochemistry, mineral and rock, mineral deposition and exploration, remote sensing and geoscience information, and quaternary.

There are three postdoctoral research stations respectively for the disciplines of  geology, geological resources, and geological engineering. The school enrolls doctoral candidates and postgraduates in 150 research directions of 16 disciplines. In order to echo with the overall "Project 211" construction of CUGB, the school focuses on the strategic development of three subject groups including geodynamics, the prospecting and evaluation of global events, and geoscience information. Overall consideration is given to discipline construction, high quality talent cultivation, and support for the construction of key laboratories. The school has 3,994 students, including 728 doctoral candidates, 1,329 postgraduates, 723 postgraduates in engineering, and 1,214 undergraduates.

The school has been in the forefront of developments, both domestically and internationally, in geodynamics, earth rhythms and global geological events, lithoprobe and deep processes, genetic and prospecting mineralogy, metallogenic systems and regional metallogeny, discovery and development of non-traditional mineral resources, complexity in geological systems, geochemical dynamics, research on orogenic belts, etc. In recent years, the school’s teachers have undertaken 973 National Projects and 863 Projects, together with a number of scientific and technological projects, National Natural Science Foundation of China projects, etc. More than fifty papers are accepted for publication annually by SCI, EI, ISTP and other distinguished journals and sources.

In recent years, the school has been involved in multilevel international academic and scientific research exchanges, including organizing the annual undergraduates’ international field trips, arranging study abroad and academic exchanges for postgraduates, selecting young teachers to travel abroad for further study and scientific research collaboration, and hosting many internationally renowned academic figures to teach professional geological courses for undergraduates and postgraduates. The school has organized many international academic conferences and seminars as well as several training courses on "Resource Engineering in African Countries".

To encourage the development of students' practical abilities, the school has taken advantage of the rich geological features of the Western Hills of Beijing by establishing a field trip syllabus of major courses, including geological field practice at Beidaihe (2 weeks), field teaching practice at Zhoukoudian (6 weeks), and international field teaching practice (2 weeks). Many industry-university-research cooperation bases have been established (the Zhaoyuan Gold Mine Base in Shandong, the Yangshan Gold Mine Base in Gansu, the Yunmin Enterprise Base in Yunnan, the Yuntaishan Base in Henan, a Regional Geological Survey Base in Tibet, the Inner Mongolia Mine Base, the Mudanjiang Gold Mine Base in Heilongjiang, the Quanxing Mining Company Base in Shandong, etc.).

In the future, the school will adhere to CUGB's philosophy of "feature and high quality" and its socialist orientation of "facing modernization, facing the world, facing the future". In terms of talent training, the school aims to cultivate high-level talents in geosciences, as well as high-quality inter-disciplinary talents who can adapt to the development of the geoscientific aspects of the socialist market economy. In terms of scientific research, the school will continue to strive to undertake major national and provincial scientific projects, actively participate in the construction of major national engineering projects, and actively serve the construction of both the local economy and the national industrial economy. Pushing the frontiers of earth sciences, CUGB will strengthen infrastructure construction, emphasize the characteristics of modern geoscience, broaden the fields of geoscientific research and services, produce high-quality talents, nurture high-level landmark achievements, and make major contributions to the earth science course and national economic construction.