Education and research collaborations

Overview of Collaboration between the University of Waterloo and Nanjing University, and the Role of ENV


A. History and Background:

The University of Waterloo (UWaterloo) and Nanjing University (NJU) have a long history of collaboration in personnel training, scientific research and social services, and other aspects of cooperation. Both universities' leaders have exchanged visits many times.

The partnership between NJU and UWaterloo can be traced back 20 years to 1989, when Bruce Mitchell, a geographer in the Faculty of Environmental Studies, visited Nanjing to explore collaborative opportunities. That visit led to two multi-million-dollar research and development projects, first with the School of Geography and Ocean Science at Nanjing University, and then with Nanjing and other Chinese universities, funded by the Canadian International Development Agency. Other joint projects followed, as well as research exchanges of graduate students and professors.

Through joint efforts of both ENV at the University of Waterloo and SGOS at Nanjing University, the first project “Environmental Training for Integrated Monitoring and Management in the Coastal Zone of Hainan Province, China” was approved in 1997 as part of the Canada-China Higher Education Program supported by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Professor Ron Bullock at the University of Waterloo was the Project Manager for the first project. Professor Ying Wang (SGOS) was the Chinese Primary Investigator on the NJU side and Professor Geoffrey Wall (ENV) was the Canadian Primary Investigator on the UWaterloo side. The CIDA funding supported collaboration between NJU and UWaterloo in the delivery of programs in Hainan. This project also facilitated visits by faculty and students from SGOS at NJU and ENV at UWaterloo to Hainan and to each other’s campuses to undertake a wide variety of activities, including project meetings, delivery of courses, guest lectures, field visits and research. The project started in 1997 and ended in 2003.

The second project “Eco-Planning and Environmental Management in Coastal Communities in China” was approved by CIDA in 2001 for another five years. Professor Geoffrey Wall at the Faculty of Environmental Studies of the University of Waterloo was the Director of this project. Professor Ying Wang was Director at Nanjing. And, Dr. David Wood (ENV UW) became the Project Director in October 2005 when Professor Geoffrey Wall stepped down as Director. The project ended in July 2007.

B. Sino-Canadian College:

Because of the active research collaboration between ENV UWaterloo and SGOS NJU and close relationship between UWaterloo and NJU, in 2005, NJU and UWaterloo took the relationship to a new level when an agreement was signed to establish a joint Sino-Canadian College. It offers joint academic programs with the first two programs started between SGOS NJU and ENV UW- Geomatics and GEM.

Sino-Canadian College

Then gradually other three Faculties at the University of Waterloo in addition to Environment – Arts (History), Mathematics (CS), and Science (Physics) – are involved in the Sino-Canadian College.

The academic programs offered through the College are mostly based on a “2 + 2” model. Students are admitted by Nanjing University and spend their first two years there. Upon meeting UW’s academic requirements, they transfer to Waterloo for their final two years. Students who successfully complete the requirements of the joint program receive a degree from each university.

In 2006, the first two 2+2 programs implemented in the Sino-Canadian College were the Faculty of Environment's Geomatics program, as well as its resource and environmental management program, with the first 5 Sino-Canadian college students arriving at UWaterloo in September 2008.

In 2008, Science started a joint program in Physics based on the 2+2 model. In the same year, a Computer Science program was offered based on a “3+x” model. Students spend their first three undergraduate years at NJU, and upon meeting the academic requirements, proceed to study at UWaterloo for their fourth year. Upon successful completion of their fourth year at UWaterloo, they will be admitted to the Master Program. When they successfully complete the academic program of five years (or more) with a satisfactory school report, they will be eligible to receive a Bachelor’s Degree from NJU and a Master’s Degree or a Doctor’s degree from UWaterloo. A 2+2 program in history and a 3+X program in Physics were initiated in 2010.

Up to now, more than 69 NJU students have joined the 2+2 or 3+x programs. Among the 69 students, 41 of students are ENV students. 9% of the students who had graduated went on to work in international related programs. 91% have been admitted into different graduate schools, including Harvard, University of Michigan, UBC, University of Waterloo, Lund University of Sweden, Hong Kong University and Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Starting in 2006, the University of Waterloo started to send 1 or 2 professors to Nanjing University each year to deliver block courses. So far courses delivered to NJU by UWaterloo professors range from Geomatics, Physics, History etc., for a total of seven offerings. NJU financially supported most of the course deliveries. Please see details in Appendix G.

From 2009,the SCC -University of Waterloo started to support 2-3 young faculty members annually from SCC -NJU to do research in Waterloo for 1-3 months, and to establish research collaboration with professors at UWaterloo in the same or similar areas. To date, 6 faculty members, in the fields of Geomatics, Physics, Environment and CS as well as 3 staff members from Sino-Canadian College and Academic Affairs Office have visited Waterloo. Please see detailed information in Appendix F.

C. SCC Programs:

Currently, the following joint undergraduate programs operate through the Sino-Canadian College (SCC) with Nanjing University (NJU):

  • 2+2 Geomatics (ENV)
  • 2+2 Geography and Environmental Management (ENV)
  • 3+x Computer Science (CS)
  • 2+2 Physics (Science)
  • 3+x Physics (Science)
  • 2+2 History (Arts)

D. SCC Agreements between Nanjing University and the University of Waterloo


Name of the Agreement

Signing date

Signing representatives from both Universities

      NJU UWaterloo


Agreement on the Establishment of Sino-Canadian College between Nanjing University & University of Waterloo


SHI, Jianjun

David Johnston


Addendum 1 to the Agreement on the Establishment of Sino-Canadian College between NJU & UWaterloo


HONG, Yinxing

David Johnston


Letter of Agreement – NJU & UWaterloo Sino-Canadian College & the Faculty of Environmental Studies, UWaterloo



Deep Saini


Agreement for Undergraduate Educational Cooperation, NJU Sino-Canadian College and Faculty of Science, UWaterloo (Physics)



Gail Brandt


Academic Collaboration Agreement between NJU and UWaterloo (3+X in CS)


HONG, Yinxing

David Johnston


Academic Collaboration Agreement in Physics between NJU and uWaterloo(3+X in Physics)



David Johnston


Agreement for Undergraduate Education, Sino-Canadian College NJU and Faculty of Arts, UWaterloo (2+2 in History)


LI, Cheng

Feridun Hamdullahpur


Agreement on the Renewal of The Sino-Canadian College Between University of Waterloo and Nanjing University


HONG, Yinxing

Feridun Hamdullahpur

E. SCC Faculty Exchanges: Faculty & Staff from NJU to UWaterloo





Supervisor at UWaterloo

Gang Chen

Department of GIS, School of Geography and Ocean Science

May-Jul, 2009

Observe courses in ENV and teaching system; academic exchange

Prof. Douglas Dudycha, Geography, ENV

Zhuzhong Qian

Department of Computer Science and Technology

Sept-Oct, 2009

Observe courses in CS and teaching system, and academic exchange

Prof. Jonny Wong, Computer Science

Yanhong Ge

Sino-Canadian College

Jan, 2010

Observe Coordination among SCC Faculties and observe Coop System

Dr. David Wood, ENV

Jun Wang

School of Physics

May, 2010

Observe courses in Physics and teaching system; academic & Research exchange

Prof. Jeff Chen, Physics

Zhigang Chen

School of Geography and Ocean Science

May, 2010

Observe courses in Env & teaching system; academic exchange

Prof. Steffanie Scott, Geography & LED, ENV

Hongyan Guo

School of Environment

Jun-Aug, 2011

Observe courses in Env & teaching system; academic exchange

Prof. Maren Oelbermann, ENV

Taiyang Zhong

School of Geography and Ocean Science

Jan-Mar, 2012

Observe courses in Env & teaching system; academic exchange

Prof. Steffanie Scott, Geography & LED, ENV

Hongyan Li



June, 2012

Observe Recruitment Promotion

Mr. Tony Munro, Registrar Office

Zhicheng Shen

Academic Affairs Office

Sept – Oct, 2012

Credit transfer, 2+2 operation

Mr. Tony Munro, Registrar Office

F. Courses delivered to NJU by UWaterloo Professors:

From 2006 on, each year, UWaterloo has been sending professors to deliver courses on Geomatics, History, and Physics to NJU students.

Courses delivered to NJU by UWaterloo Professors



Visiting Time

Course Name


Douglas Dudycha


August 2007

Introduction to GIS

2+2 students

Douglas Dudycha


August 2008

Introduction to GIS

2+2 Students

Bruce Muirhead


April 2010

International Development in Historical Perspective

NJU graduates

Wing-ki Liu


June/July 2010

Theoretical Physics and Modern Optical Information Science

NJU undergraduates from Physics

Bruce Muirhead


April/May 2011

Canadian History and Culture

NJU undergraduates

Bruce Muirhead


April/May 2012

Canadian History and Culture

NJU undergraduates

Will Colman


April/May 2012

Globalization and Global Governance

NJU undergraduates

G. Outcome of Faculty Exchange:

Research links have been established out of the SCC faculty exchanges: Professor Steffanie Scott was invited to Nanjing to do research & workshop in April 2012. And Steffanie Scott funded Prof Taiyang Zhong to attend a workshop in Waterloo in Sept 2012. Steffanie and Prof Huang in NJU jointly published an article in SSCI journal “Applied Geography”. Prof Scott and NJU team also applied for IDRC and SSHRC research funding.

H. Recent Visits between UWaterloo and NJU

1. NJU Professors’ Group Visit to ENV-UW to attend “Waterloo-Nanjing Symposium on Global Environmental Research Program” (Nov. 11, 2013)

Research Presentations





Lu, Huayu

Asian monsoon climate change at orbital to annual timescale: aeolian sediment and tree-ring record


Zhong, Taiyang

Assessing China's National Land Use Planning from the perspective of implementation


Pu, Lijie

Land quality changes induced by coastal beach reclamation


Dawn Parker

Land-use and coupled land-environment modelling


Huang, Xianjin

Carbon storage change of terrestrial ecosystem caused by land use change in China: from 1990 to 2010


Dan Scott

Climate change research in the Faculty of Environment


Zou, Xinqing

Valuation of coastal wetland


Merrin Macrae

Hydrology and geochemistry of agricultural fields in Southern Ontario


Jonathan Price

Peatland hydrology and restoration


Yang, Yang

Sediment transport mechanism in Changjiang Estuary




Wang, Jiechen

A new trapezoidal-mesh based data model for spatial operations


Liu, Yongxue

Tidal Flat Topographical Mapping: A Case Study in the Jiangsu Coast, China


Ma, Jingsong

Cartography Teaching and GIS Software Development in Nanjing University


Pete Deadman

Research in remote sensing and GIS: an overview


Jin, Xiaobin

Cultivated land spatial pattern change and its impact on grain supply and demand in China


Jennifer Clapp

Sustainable food systems: an overview of current projects


Stephanie Scott

Ecological agriculture and alternative food networks in China a food system assessment in Nanjing


Zhang, Jinhe

Sightseeing car arrangement calculation Model of Scenic Spots: Acase study of Jiuzhaigou National Park in China


Wang, Xia

Exploring factors influencing residents' satisfaction with tourism development in poverty-stricken areas: A case study of five poor villages in China


Geoff Wall

Perspectives on tourism planning in China


Sanjay Nepal

Current research on tourism in China


Wang, Xiaoyong

Rock magnetic investigation of loess deposit in Eastern Qingling Mountains (central China) and its paleoclimatic implications

2. UW-ENV Professors’ Group to NJU to attend “Nanjing-Waterloo Symposium on Global Environmental Changes Program ” (April 22, 2014)

Chair: Prof. PU Liji

Feridun Hamdullahpur, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Waterloo

Prof. CHEN Jun, President of Nanjing University

Prof. WANG Ying

Research Presentations

Chair: Prof. Wang Jiechen, Prof. Zhang Jinhe, Prof. Lu Huayu

Mike Stone Long term impacts of large scale landscape disturbance by wildfire on water resources in western Canada
Ellsworth LeDrew Disappearing Science: Will this be our Legacy?
Richard Kelly Microwave remote sensing of snow: from local to global scales
Hou Shugui Polar regions and climate change
Linda Mortsch Advancing adaptation in coastal areas: Assessment of vulnerability and impacts
Su-Yin Tan Geomatics and spatial analysis for land cover mapping and urban geography applications
Ju Weimin Global Biogeoscience
Daniel Scott The New Realities of Climate Change and Climate Policy for Sustainable Tourism Development
Peter Deadman Land use change/geomatics
Gao Chao Soil science and the environment change
Jean Andrey Climate risks and climate change: implications for the transport sector
André Roy The response of rivers to climate change

3. Visit of NJU and NJU-SGOS (School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences , Nanjing University) Delegations to UWaterloo (October 13-16, 2014)


Nanjing University (NJU)

Presidential Delegation: Mr. Jun Chen, President & Professor

  • Mr. Lijie Pu, Associate Vice President, International & Professor
  • Mr. Zhehua Dai, Deputy Director, Office of Intl Cooperation and Exchanges & Professor)
  • Delegates from the School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences, NJU:
  • Ms. Ying Wang, Academician of Chinese Academy of Science, Director of Collaborative Innovation Center of South China Sea Studies, Professor of SGOS (School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences
  • Mr. Dakui Zhu, Professor of SGOS
  • Mr. Chendong Ge, Director , Dept of Coastal Ocean Science & Professor of SGOS
  • Mr. Xinqing Zou , Dean, Institute of Ocean Science & Professor of SGOS
  • Mr. Jinhe Zhang, Co-Group Leader of NJU-SGOS Delegation, Professor of SGOS & Director of Department of Land Resource and Tourism Science
  • Mr. Taiyang Zhong, Associate professor
  • Ms Ying Wu, Administrative Manager in SGOS, Research
  • Ms Xiaomin Ji, Administrative Manager in SGOS, Graduate

University of Waterloo

  • Mr. Feridun Hamdullahpur, President and Vice-Chancellor
  • Mr. Nello Angerilli, Associate Vice President International
  • Ms. Suping Zhao, International Relations Specialist, Waterloo International & SCC Waterloo Coordinator
  • Deans, from the involved Faculties of UW
  • Faculty of Environment, UWaterloo
  • Ms. Jean Andrey, Dean, Faculty of Environment
  • Mr. Richard Kelly, Associate Dean, Research & Professor
  • Mr. Paul Parker, Associate Dean, Graduate Studies & Professor
  • Mr. Peter Deadman, Chair, Geography & Environmental Management
  • Mr. Ian McKenzie, Associate Chair, Undergraduate Studies, Aviation, Geomatics, and China 2+2 programs
  • Mr. Brent Doberstein, Associate Chair for Graduate Studies, Geography & Environmental Management
  • Mr. Mike Stone, Professor, Geography & Environmental Management
  • Mr. Sanjay Nepal, Professor, Geography & Environmental Management
  • Ms. Maren Oelbermann, Associate Professor & Associate Chair (Graduate Studies), Environment and Resource Studies;
  • Ms. Julie Friddell, Ph.D., Manager of the Canadian Cryospheric Information Network / Polar Data Catalogue , Department of Geography and Environmental Management
  • Mr. Daniel Scott, Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair (Global Change and Tourism), Director, Master of Climate Change Program
  • Mr. Fulu Mao, International Programs Coordinator, Faculty of Environment


  • Review of UW-NJU collaboration between the Faculty of Environment, UWaterloo and the School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences, NJU, including joint education programs and faculty exchanges since 1989.
  • Strengthen the partnership between the two Faculties and seek further development in research and graduate education collaborations.

4. The Visits of UWaterloo and UW-ENV Delegations to NJU for further Collaborations in Education and Research Program between SGOS of NJU & ENV of UWaterloo (Mar 17-20, 2015)

Members include those from Faculty of Environment:

  • Dr. Jean Andrey, Dean, Faculty of Environment and
  • Mr. Fulu Mao, International Programs Coordinator, Faculty of Environment
  • University level:
  • Dr. Nello Angerilli, Associate Vice President, International,
  • Ms. Suping Zhao, International Relations Manager and Special Advisor-China, Waterloo International,
  • Dr. Douglas Peers, Dean, Faculty of Arts, etc.

During the visit, on March 19, Dr. Jean Andrey, Dean and Professor gave an academic lecture on “Climate change adaptation in the Canadian transportation sector”.

New Directions:

During the above recent visits, the presidents and deans of Nanjing University and the University of Waterloo firmly expressed their commitment to renew and refresh the collaboration between the universities. In order to provide clarity regarding the nature of the partnership, the “Sino-Canadian College” has been re-branded as the University of Waterloo – Nanjing University Institute for Advanced Studies. The Institute will provide administrative structure and support for existing and new programs that will encourage collaboration and exchange for research, teaching and potentially, training. The workshop in March will provide a forum for discussion regarding the deepening of existing collaboration and exploration of new collaboration, including, but not limited to:

  1. Research Collaborations:
    1. Environment, geosciences, physics and computer sciences,
    2. Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Agriculture in Africa (building on Nanjing’s existing strengths in Africa and Waterloo’s strengths in E & I. The Government of China has been investing heavily in African agriculture and there is an existing project at UWaterloo examining the scope, breadth and impact of the investment;
  2. Collaborative Education Programs, including reciprocal faculty exchanges:
    1. Dual-Degree Programs for Masters Students – Environment, Finance and Risk Management, Mechatronics. These are new or existing programs that require some fine tuning.
    2. Dual-Degree Ph.D. programs – fields TBD
  3. Continuation and expansion of existing 2+2, 3+1 undergrad programs where possible
  4. Development of a Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurism in Africa. Development and delivery of research and education, including training.
  5. Student Exchange – finding a way to encourage more UWaterloo students to study at Nanjing.