1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
The objective of this Annex is to continue the Centers for Soil and Water Conservation and Environmental Protection, co-located at the Northwest Sci-Tech University in Yangling, Shaanxi, People’s Republic of China and the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory located in West Lafayette, Indiana, United States. Each Center will conduct research, develop scientific tools and technology, and introduce improved methods for soil and water conservation and environmental protection integrated with other human pursuits that socially and economically maintain livelihoods and protect the environment through information exchange, education and proactive extension services. This Annex is subject to the terms and conditions of the S & T Agreement and the Protocol. In the event of any conflict between the terms and conditions of the S & T Agreement or the Protocol and this Annex, the S & T Agreement and the Protocol shall govern.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Cooperation under this Annex may include, but is not limited to, the following topic areas: 1. Erosion and Sedimentation: including the study of wind, water, and gravity erosion processes, sediment transport, and deposition and quantifying their effects on landscape stability, water quantity, air and water quality, agriculture and the environment at scales ranging from farm fields to entire river basins. 2. Climate Change: including interactions with, plant responses, soil erosion, and environmental quality. Research will include local, regional and global scales. 3. Soil, Water and Environmental Conservation: including social, economic, and environmental factors that influence effective management for sustaining soil, water and environmental resources and using decision-support tools to predict the potential consequences of various management options. 4. Watershed Ecosystems: using models and indicators based on selected physical, chemical, and biological attributes to define watershed ecosystem health and determine the susceptibility of watersheds to climate variability. 5. Agriculture and Environment: Centers will quantify watershed productivity and water resource capacity affected by land use, vegetative cover and climate and develop farming practices to maximize water use efficiency and agricultural production while minimizing adverse local and off-site environmental impacts. Research will include demonstration projects. 6. Information Services and Technology Transfer: Assemble, manage and publish data and information resources for research, education and public service. To generate broad interest and increased activities, the Parties will, upon mutual consent, involve other interested government agencies and the scientific and business communities of both countries in cooperative programs, trade capacity-building activities, and scientific cooperation and exchanges in implementation of this Annex.
3. Progress Report:
1) ARS-NSERL, West Lafayette, Indiana is hosting two visiting professors and one Ph.D. student, all sponsored by China Scholarship Council. Prof. Junliang Hu from Northeast Normal University at Changchun has been working on manuscripts related to agro-ecological assessment for northeastern China. The other scientist, Prof. Jinseng Lin, Fujian Agricultural University, is participating in a research project to quantify the kinetic energy of the simulated rainstorms. 2) A Ph.D. student, from SiChuan University at Chengdu is working with Dr. Diane Stott on soil quality assessment. 3) Dr. Gary Heathman, NSERL, is cooperating with Dr. Xia Liu of Shandong Agricultural University on establishing a soil moisture monitoring network in China. The goal of this cooperation is to make this newly established monitoring system to be a part of the global soil moisture network. The in-situ measured data are essential in calibrating and validating soil moisture information derived from satellite remote sensing. 4) The ARS-NSL, Oxford, Mississippi has been involved in long-term research since 2003 on conservation tillage and residue management in the North China Plain by the Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources through the Joint Sino-US program. Dr. Glenn Wilson designed the original research project and in 2012 he assisted in the data analysis and publication of research results on the effects of tillage and residue management on soil organic carbon (SOC) pools and the effects of global warming on SOC and plant response. 5) ARS scientists continued cooperation with Beijing Normal University (BNU) on ephemeral gully erosion by visiting BNU and the BNU research station in the Black Soils Region in Halongjiang Province of Northeast China during April 2012. They made observations of runoff and seepage generated by snow melt and established plans for future research collaborations to address the role of these processes on ephemeral gully erosion. 6) Claire Baffaut, ARS-CSWQRU, Columbia, Missouri, hosted a Ph.D. student from Northwest Agriculture & Forestry University for one year since October 2011. His visit is supported by China Scholarship Council under the Joint Research Training Program. His advisor visited Columbia and toured of the Research Unit and experimental watershed. His research has focused on developing process-based routines that simulate the effects of terraces, whether they are broad based terraces as in the USA or bench terraces as in China. These routines have been incorporated into the Soil Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model. Arrangements are underway for another Ph.D. student to come next year with a similar scholarship.