To seek cooperation in resource and ecosystem management research, Dr. Lei Zhang, Director of the Forest Economics and Development Research Center of the State Forestry Administration, visited Michigan State University in March 2006. While hosting her, Dr. Kim Wilcox, MSU Provost, stated that MSU is very interested in collaborating with the SFA. He added that MSU will significantly expand its presence in China , as part of its strategic commitment to become recognized worldwide as the U.S. leading land-grant university for the 21st century; and environmental science and education is one of the key areas of MSU’s international engagement.
Later in October 2006 when Dr. Wilcox took a trip to Beijing , he met with Mr. Jianlong Zhang, Deputy Administrator of the SFA, to sign a memorandum of understanding for the establishment of a joint research center – Ecosystem Policy Institute of China, or EPIC. Among others, present at the signing ceremony were Dr. Jeff Riedinger, Acting Dean of MSU International Studies and Programs; Dr. Daniel Keathley, Chairperson of MSU Department of Forestry; Dr. Weijun Zhao, Director of MSU Office of China Programs; Dr. Runsheng Yin, Associate Professor of MSU Department of Forestry, who will direct EPIC; Dr. Lei Zhang, Director of FEDRC of the SFA; Ms. Hongyan Zhang, Deputy Director of the Department of International Cooperation of the SFA; and Dr. Guangcui Dai, Deputy Director of the FEDRC, who will coordinate the cooperation with MSU.
On the occasion of the conference, EPIC’s logo was unveiled by Mr. Yucai Li and Dr. Ian Gray.
Mr. Yucai Li also received Ms. Karin Wessman from WWF, Dr. Bill Chang, Director of the U.S. NSF Beijing Office, and other members of the MSU delegation – Dr. Jeffery Riedinger, Dean of the International Studies and Programs, Dr. Daniel Keathley, Chairperson of the Department of Forestry, and Dr. Weijun Zhao, Director of the Office of China Programs.
Prior to the symposium on evaluating China’s ecological restoration programs, Mr. Yucai Li, SFA Deputy Administrator, met with Dr. Ian Gray, MSU Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies. Also with them was Professor Guofang Shen of Beijing Forestry University and the National Academy of Engineering.