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UC Merced Strengthening Chinese Partnership with Visit

August 23, 2006

MERCED - Several members of the UC Merced faculty, including
Chancellor Carol Tomlinson-Keasey, are heading to the Far East this
week to participate in an education conference and strengthen ties
with Chinese partner universities and national parks.

The trip is part of the 10+10 Program, a concerted effort for
the University of California’s 10 campuses to partner with 10
prominent Chinese research universities. The goal is to increase
research, education and faculty and student exchanges.

Most of the participants in this week’s trip, including
Tomlinson-Keasey; Samuel Traina, the acting dean of graduate
studies, vice chancellor for research and director of the Sierra
Nevada Research Institute; and Martha Conklin, an engineering
professor, will leave California on Aug. 24, fly to Hong Kong and
then on to Chengdu, the capital of the Sichuan Province in
southwest China. The chancellor will return to California before
her last day as chancellor at UC Merced, Aug. 31.

The visit was organized by the UC Office of the President. UC
President Robert Dynes, UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry Yang, UC
Merced Provost Keith Alley and UC Merced Professor Ruth Mostern are
among those taking part.

Participants will also help celebrate Sichuan University’s 110th
anniversary, which will include a visit from the Chinese Minister
of Education, and participate in an educational conference. Other
universities involved with the conference include University of
Paris X, University of Glasgow, Bremen University of Applied
Sciences, Beijing University and Arizona State, which is
co-sponsoring the conference with Sichuan University.

Tomlinson-Keasey has been to Sichuan University before. Last
spring, she visited during the initial stages of 10+10.

“The 10+10 Program helps further our goals of global interaction
and learning,” Tomlinson-Keasey said. “There are endless
partnership possibilities involved with Sichuan University, whether
it is working on hydrological issues, solar energy or historical
irrigation systems. We are beginning to cement those directions
with faculty interactions on specific research projects, and we now
have graduate students who can work easily in either culture,
helping facilitate that cooperation.”

Tomlinson-Keasey toured Jiuzhaigou National Nature Reserve
during her springtime trip, and that park will play a large role in
this trip, too. After the chancellor’s return to California,
Traina, Alley, Conklin and Yosemite National Park Superintendent
Mike Tollefson will branch off after the conference to visit
Jiuzhaigou. The Chinese are interested in how Yosemite is managed,
from tourism to conservation. Jiuzhaigou only began receiving
visitors in 1984, yet now sees almost 2 million tourists a year.

The two parks share some traits, including terrain, hydrology
and being home to or having been home to indigenous people. Traina
said this visit will help strengthen a four-way partnership between
UC Merced, its faculty, Yosemite and Jiuzhaigou to further examine
environmental and resource issues.

“There are a lot of areas where we all can learn from
interaction,” Traina said. “We’re two different cultures facing the
same issues. There’s a real value in comparative studies, because
they help us understand each park better.”

People can learn more about the trip by following Traina’s
postings on his
blog page. He will take
pictures and write about his two weeks in China, and his postings
will update as often as possible.

“I’m excited about going to China and seeing this ancient
culture,” Traina said. “It’ll be an amazing trip.”