DBAR Opens the Center of Excellence in Columbia

On November 14, 2018, the inaugural meeting of DBAR International Center of Excellence at Columbia (ICoE-Columbia) held in Columbia, South Carolina, the US. The meeting was attended by 30 VIPs including Zhang Li, co-chair of the DBAR-COAST Working Group, Wang Cuizhen, co-chair of ICoE-Columbia and professor of the University of South Carolina, Professor Caroline Nagel, head of the Geography Department of the University of South Carolina, and Susan Curter and David Cowen, prominent professors at University of Carolina. 

One of of eight international centers of excellences established by the DBAR program, ICoE-Columbia becomes the sixth ICoE after its inauguration following Bangkok, El Jadida, Lusaka, Moscow, and Helsinki. It is also DBAR’s first ICoE in North America.
Hosted at the University of South Carolina in the United States, the ICoE aims to carry out cooperative research and capacity-building with the goal of applying big Earth data for sustainable development of coastal zones. The center will introduce more advanced Big Earth Data resources and technologies for DBAR projects and provide scientific support for the development of the ecological environment along the coastal zones. The center will be co-chaired by Prof. WANG Cuizhen and Prof. Susan Curter, who have long history of collaboration, including collaboration under the umberalla of  Hazards & Vulnerability Research Institute (HVRI) of the University of South Carolina, the NOAA NERRS Centralized Data Management Office (NOAA NERRS CDMO), and the University of Padova in Italy.
DBAR ICoE-Columbia is one of the priority  ICoE of Digital Belt and Road (DBAR), the third program of the Big Earth Data Science Engineering Project (CASEarth) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) Strategic Priority Research Program (A).

At the meeting, Research Fellow Zhang Li gave an academic report on the DBAR-COAST Working Group’s goals, recent planning, and progress as well as its joint development vision with DBAR ICoE-Columbia. On behalf of DBAR ICoE-Columbia, Prof. Wang Cuizhen emphasized the center’s objectives and mission, operational mechanism, and cooperative research model as well as its near-term development plan. The center will pool together relevant scientific and technological strength in the fields of space information science, coastal zone ecology, resources, environment, and disasters and use big Earth data to serve the UN SDGs. 

Under the scientific framework of DBAR, and sustainable development of coastal zone as its core objective and focus, the ICoE will work to ensure  effective implementation of Big Earth Data in the study of environmental change of coastal zone under the influence of human activities and climate change. It would apply the technical achievements of members of DBARICoE-Columbia in the study of coastal zone of the Maritime Silk Road and strengthen capacity-building through education, training, talent exchange, and technology transfer, so as to enhance human’s scientific understanding of coastal zone.