Homecoming: Gaining Insights into Eastern and Western Academic Values

Homecoming: Gaining Insights into Eastern and Western Academic Values

CREATE-CSS Internship Experience with Fujian Academy of Agricultural Science, China by Bangwei Zhang, PhD Candidate at Dalhousie University (supervised by Dr. David Burton)

In the late spring of 2023, the plane took off from Halifax, traveled through Toronto, Hong Kong and finally arrived in my hometown, Fujian Province, China. I was gifted a precious opportunity to return from Canada to China for a 4-month internship at the Fujian Academy of Agricultural Science (FAAS). I would like to thank CREATE-CSS and FAAS for providing me with this valuable opportunity to exchange ideas and to think more deeply about Eastern and Western academic approaches.

During this internship, I participated in a study to assess soil nitrogen patterns and supply capacity in the major tea regions of Fujian. I participated in assessing soil nitrogen status and supply capacities across major Fujian tea regions. This enriched my understanding of tea plant nutritional needs and sparked ideas on better soil management. Concurrent farm surveys revealed concerning blind over-fertilization tendencies in certain areas. To enhance fertilizer use efficiencies and tea quality, we proposed scientifically calibrated fertilizer recommendations to inform regional best practices. The experience also shed light on subtle differences in Chinese and Canadian research norms, but both embrace rigorous, humble, and responsible scholarship – serving humanity through science knows no East vs West.

During my internship, I also promoted the concept of Climate-Smart Agriculture the the institute and the tea zones. With climate change threatening sustainability, CSS ideas and technologies are crucial for minimizing the usage of nitrogen fertilizer on tea farms, cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions, and guaranteeing profitability for tea growers. Climate-smart agriculture can benefit tea plantations and tea production by improving tea plantation soil health and fertility, facilitating carbon sequestration, diversifying tea agroforestry systems, promoting tea plantation resilience to climate change, precision tea plantation nutrient management, and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions. This integrated model balancing productivity, ecology, and community interests can be scaled globally.

The four-month internship not only increased my knowledge, but also gave me a strong sense of international academic exchanges and responsibility for the benefit of mankind. This memorable homecoming inspires me to forge ahead in my academic journey. I will embrace the future of research with positivity and purpose, confident that international united can create a brighter tomorrow for humankind!

Photos from the field:

0 comments on “Homecoming: Gaining Insights into Eastern and Western Academic Values

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *