Sun Yat-sen University is the pioneering university in South China which offers the major of Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering. The former Geography Department in Sun Yat-sen University began to start the Hydrology major since 1972, and so the Sun Yat-sen University was listed as one of the three universities with the Hydrology major in China. In 1986, with authorization by the Chinese Education Commission, the major of Water Resources and Environment was started from the former Hydrology major. In 1993, the Ministry of Education of China regulated the divisions of programs, and the major of Resource Environmental Division and Administration was started by combining two majors of Water Resources and Environment and Natural Resource Management. In 1999, the major of Resource Environmental Division and Administration was consolidated with the major of Economic Geography and Urban and Rural Planning, and the new major appeared as Resource Environment and Urban and Rural Planning and Administration (Water Resource and Environment). With more than 30-year undergraduate training experiences in hydrology and water resources, particularly the objectives to work for the development and management of water resources in the Pearl River Delta, the frontier of Chinese Reform and Opening, the major of Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering was set up in the Department of Water Resources and Environment, Geography and Planning School of Sun Yat-sen University in 2004 with aim to satisfy the demands of specialists in hydrology and water resources with the rapid development of socio-economy and also to fill the gap of major of Hydrology and Water Resources in South China. So far, there are registered 165 students and 119 students were graduated.
The 4-year undergraduate program in Hydrology and Water Resources Engineering aims to train specialists in hydrology and water resources engineering, and offers bachelor degree in engineering. A stable and highly-qualified academic team with Professor Xiaohong Chen as the leading scientist, including 5 professors, 6 associate professors, and 5 lecturers, was available after long-term development of this department. Fourteen members in our team have Ph.D. degree.
The Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Water Security in Southern China of Guangdong High Education Institute, the Class A Certificate of Hydrology and Water Resources Investigation and Assessment, and the Class A Certificate of Water Resources Assessment in Construction Project in our department make it possible to integrate production, teaching and research, and also interdisciplinary collaborations. In recent 5 years, with focus on international academic frontiers and hot spots of hydrology field, and also on regional and national demands in terms of water resources and hydrology, more than 100 projects concerning hydrology and water resource environmental research were financially supported by local and central governments with total funding of about 60 million RMB. On one hand, we provide services in water securities and protections for sustainable development of socio-economy of Guangdong province with the projects of “Water Resources Comprehensive Planning in Guangdong Province” and “Study of Sustainable Developmental Water Resources Strategy in Guangdong Province”, and these projects are devoted to provide guidelines and development directions of water resources in Guangdong Province. We also supervised the first water right allocation scheme with consideration of control of both water quantity and quality in Guangdong province after the project of “Water Resources Allocating Scheme in East River Basin, Guangdong Province”. Amongst all these projects, 4 research projects provide scientific support for governmental documents of the Guangdong province: No. 98 Guangdong Province Office , No. 13 , No. 50 , and No. 10 ; On the other hand, we actively apply the water-related national funding. In recent 5 years, we obtained 12 Projects from National Natural Science Foundation of China, 1 Key Project, Scheme Projects supported by the 11th Five-Year Planning, Consulting Projects of Chinese Academy of Sciences, National Key Special Funds for Water, Public Projects of the Ministry of Water Resources of China, and International Collaborative Projects, and so on. With focus on subtropical hydrology, water resources, and water environment in South China, we conduct systematic research on changing properties of hydrological processes and water resources, and also on coastal hydrologic environment of the estuary in South China under influences of human activities and climate changes. Fruitful achievements have been obtained in water resource allocation, water diverting strategy, water resources comprehensive planning, water resources protection, estuarial and coastal hydrology, hydrologic prediction, underground water, and biological restoration of water environment, and so on. We have done pioneering work in water resources disposition pattern in humid regions, water diverting pattern with consideration of both water quantity and quality, and also detection methodology and computation procedure in detection of change points within hydrologic series under the influences of climate changes and human interferences. We were awarded the second prize and the third prize in provincial class due to our research achievements. In recent 5 years, more than 360 papers have been published and more than 150 papers have been accepted by international journals.
Relying on all-round types of majors in the Sun Yat-sen University, maintaining the sound educational foundation of engineering, we also underline the importance of other courses, such as geography, environmental science, and ekistics. This educational strategy not only helps to improve students’ analyzing abilities in a comprehensive way, but also highlight computational capabilities. The fusion of theoretical and practical educations greatly develops students’ practical performances. This undergraduate training style fully reflects the unique features of specialists working on hydrology and water resources in South China and also the superiority of the Sun Yat-sen University. Our major owns teaching and practicing grounds in terms of hydrology and water resources, sewage treatment, and water resources engineering, and also laboratories of hydraulics, water resources and water treatment, coastal and estuarial sediment movement, and remote sensing and geographical information system. Coastal water cycle testing base was built in Zhuhai Campus with the technical frame of transformations of rainfall, surface water, soil water, underground water, and sea water, as well as transportations of materials. After 4-year theoretical study and practical training, especially participating in research projects after junior with 2~3 national and provincial research projects applied by undergraduate students themselves each year, they obtain independent character in scientific research, good expertise, and comprehensive qualities. Employment rate in these 3 years reaches 90% and which can fully corroborate the consolidated knowledge background and rich practical performances. Some graduates were admitted in graduate programs by China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Nanjing Hydraulic Research Institute, Institute of Geographic Sciences CAS, Wuhan University and Hohai University, and their performances have been well confirmed by these institutes or universities. The graduated students from the Department of Water Resources and Environment were always highly prized by their employers as owing consolidated and wide basic knowledge, strong operational capacity, and strong comprehensive abilities. Some graduates have been mainstays in their working groups, and they are playing important roles in fields of water resources and environment.