One world, one ocean: Part I

Xuchen Wang and Bob Chen are scientists at the University of Massachusetts at Boston. Wang is from China, and he says, “Based on my experience working in China, I realized that marine science education is so limited to a few number of people. And outreach [to] the general population about marine science – it’s just not there.”

When Chen visited China with Wang several years ago, Chen was blown away: “It was clear that science was changing at a very rapid pace. They are moving on an upward trend in science and technology. And it was something that if you don’t collaborate now, you’ll be missing a lot of opportunities.”

Chen and Wang, along with numerous Chinese and American students, professors, and government officials, worked to organize the first ever COSEE-China planning workshop. The next two episodes of Ocean Gazing are devoted to this workshop and the future of ocean science education in China.



Sammy Wang and Lundie Spence became fast friends, one of the many bridges built between China and the US.

After months of planning, Bob Chen warmly welcomed the delegations from both countries to the workshop.

After the 2-day workshop concluded, the US and Chinese delegations visited a couple of sites in Beijing, including the Forbidden Palace. Credit: Bob Chen.

Xuchen Wang (left) and Bob Chen (right) from UMass Boston helped to organize the COSEE-China planning workshop in Beijing in early March. Credit: Lundie Spence.

Bargaining abounded. At the Great Wall, Laura Dover, Ari Daniel Shapiro, and Bob Chen (left to right) purchased panda hats. Shapiro got his for half what Chen paid. Credit: Lundie Spence.

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1. The Great Wall: On our first full day in China, we visited the Great Wall. It was blanketed in snow and thick with people.

2. Lazy Susan: A bunch of our meals were served on these Lazy Susan's that allowed us to spin a desired dish into chopstick range.

3. Discussion groups: During one of the sessions at the workshop, we split into groups based on whether we were students, US professionals, Chinese faculty, etc and talked about what COSEE-China should look like.

4. Savory and sweet: A panoply of very different foods awaited us at the Wang Fu Jing market in Beijing. I only tried the sugar-glazed red fruits, passing on the salted scorpions and insect larvae.

5. Musical respite: On the evening following the workshop, we enjoyed a relaxing time at a local bar with live music in Beijing. Dancing ensued, though no video evidence remains.

6. Beach walk: Lundie Spence of COSEE-Southeast and Sammy Wang of Xiamen University walked along the beach, collecting treasures and snapping photographs. Their laughter splashed amongst the waves.

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One world, one ocean: Part I

One Comment

  1. What an amazing opportunity to connect and share common concerns with people half way across the world. It would be fantastic to create COSEE Centers in several countries to open the dialogue more.