The formation of the Program in Oceanography at the School of Atmospheric Sciences in 2003 marks the University’s first effort to provide a formal advanced education in Marine Sciences. Since then it has evolved through several phases: in the same year, it began to admit undergraduate students; in 2006, it was granted the right by the Ministry of Education to award the degree of Bachelor of Science; soon after it was identified by the University as a key discipline for development. In 2008, it became a key program under the auspices of China Meteorological Administration. In January 2012, it was formally transitioned into a school, with both master and doctoral programs in marine meteorology. In 2014, the University signed a contract with the Jiangsu Provincial Government and the State Oceanic Administration to provide special support to the department of marine science. In 2015, the second department, the department of marine technology, was established, which began to admit undergraduate students soon after in 2016. Currently there are more than 300 students, among which are 292 undergraduates and 51 graduates, including 11 Ph.D. students.
Currently the School includes two departments: Marine Science and Marine Technology. The former has two programs, namely, physical oceanography and marine meteorology; the latter includes marine remote sensing and underwater acoustics. The curricula of these programs may generally involve 5 types of courses, including the core courses and elective courses at, respectively, the university level and the school level, and the training during the tenure of internship. From these courses the students can gain excellent scientific training, toward a mastery of the required knowledge in their chosen career. With this preparation, they are expected to play important roles in a wide variety of fields such as marine meteorology, climate science, Navy operational oceanography, ocean monitoring, environmental protection, natural resource exploitation and management, etc.
So far the School has 51 members, with 42 faculty members, 9 staff clerks, and 2 postdoctoral scientists. About half of the faculty are senior, among which are two Provincial Government Supported faculty groups (Jiangsu Innovative Research and Entrepreneurship Groups), 1 NSFC outstanding youth fund recipient, 1 Jiangsu Chair Professor, 1 “Shuangchuang” Professor, 1 “Green-Blue Project”Scholar, 1 “333 Project” Scholar, plus one who served on the advisory board of the 2013-2017 Marine Science educational committee, Ministry of Education. Besides, 2 national academicians and 12 renowned international scholars have joined us as adjunct professors. By statistics, over 67% of the faculty members have educational backgrounds or work experiences in Western countries; 96% are holding Ph.D degrees and, particularly, 15% of them are holding international Ph.D. degrees. More than one third have been awarded with different teaching prizes.
The School has an active academic atmosphere, with a variety of leading research programs. Our current foci are mainly on satellite oceanography, multiscale ocean dynamics, polar ocean and climate change, and ocean modeling. During the past five years, the School’s research has been funded through more than 60 major projects such as the National 973 and 863 Programs, National Science Foundation of China (NSFC), State Oceanic Administration, China Meteorological Administration, among many other agencies. More than 160 SCI papers have been published, 10 patents granted, and 6 monographs published. In 2016, two key NSFC projects were funded. So far, the faculty members have been awarded a second prize in natural science by the Ministry of Education, a first prize and 2 second prize by the State Oceanic Administration, and a first prize by the Jiangsu Bureau of Oceanography and Fishery. Currently the School has a center for ocean survey and technology, a provincial key laboratory for oceanography and fishery, and a Central Government-funded satellite ocean survey platform and underwater acoustics laboratory.
The School has a sophisticated teaching system, composed of a marine science curriculum, which has earned a number of prizes in Jiangsu Province, and state-of-the-art teaching facilities. These include a basic fluid mechanics laboratory, a water tunnel for wind-wave-current interactions, a computational fluid dynamics laboratory, a marine biology and chemistry laboratory, a planetary fluid dynamic laboratory. There are eight teaching and research bases nationwide, in collaboration with the sea-grant institutions/organizations, to provide internship opportunities. Besides, the School has a student exchange program with the State University of New York – Stony Brook.
Student Training and Career Development:
Our students are extensively trained in marine meteorology, physical oceanography, and marine technology, with strong mathematical and physical bases, interdisciplinary backgrounds, and practical skills. They have won in many intercollegiate scientific competitions and earned many honors for the School. Students who seek for advanced degrees are seen everywhere in the institutions of Chinese Academy of Science, State Meteorological Administration, State Oceanic Administration, and other major universities in China and Western countries. Students who enter the job market are also very successful; during the past three years 100% of them landed their first jobs immediately after graduation. So far the job opportunities are mainly within State Meteorological Administration, State Oceanic Administration, Bureau of Air Traffic Control, Emergency Response Flight Inc., State Wind Energy Inc., national and local government agencies, in the fields of marine meteorology and others.