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K-State Today

May 30, 2017

K-State students begin study of water resources in China this week

Submitted by Shawn Hutchinson


K-State faculty and students traveled to China May 30 to begin an 18-day study abroad experience. Led by Stacy Hutchinson, biological and agricultural engineering, and Shawn Hutchinson, geography, students from the College of Engineering and College of Arts and Sciences will visit sites in and around Beijing before traveling north by train on June 3 to the city of Changchun.

China is, and will continue to be, a nation that plays a dominant role in global politics, economics, food production and consumption, and military affairs — and exerts significant influence over a variety of environmental concerns.

"China's tremendous economic growth has been impressive, but much of that progress has been achieved at a great environmental cost," Stacy Hutchinson said. "Water resources, in particular, have suffered and represent a very real threat to future security."

While in Changchun, the group will join with Chinese students to participate in a two-week course in hydrology and watershed management on the campus of Jilin University.

"It's in the best interest of our students to better understand China first-hand by experiencing its culture, appreciating its history, and participating directly in scholarly work with their Chinese peers," Shawn Hutchinson said. "We think this trip will facilitate this by eliminating many of the barriers students might otherwise face when visiting a country with such different language, food, and customs."

This study abroad trip has been in the development and planning stages for nearly three years and the Hutchinsons are excited to finally see it happen. They are hopeful to offer the experience again in the future to take advantage of growing teaching and research collaborations with colleagues at Jilin University.

Through this trip, K-State students had the opportunity to enroll in as many as six credit hours, which could be used to meet K-State 8 requirements for Global Issues and Perspectives and Historical Perspectives. The course at Jilin University also is an approved elective for the undergraduate certificate in geographic information system and graduate certificate in GIScience programs.