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picture of plaqueAt a gathering in Beijing, China, on July 20, 2006, US and Chinese scientists signed an agreement (a PDF file) establishing the framework for the China-US Joint Research Center for Ecosystem and Environmental Change.

The goals of the Center are to

  • organize and implement international scientific and engineering research;
  • serve as a center for scientific information exchange; and
  • provide international education and technical training.

Cooperative mechanisms to achieve these goals include joint research projects, academic exchange, student education, and technical transfer and training.

In its initial phase, which extended from October 2006 to September 2011, the JRCEEC focused on research related to four themes: ecosystem processes and management, environmental sustainability of bioenergy production, ecological foundations of water resources and quality, and technologies for improvement of eco-environmental systems.

Leadership Team

Frank Loeffler, Director (
University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge National Laboratory (UT-ORNL Governor's Chair Professor for UT's Departments of Microbiology and Civil and Environmental Engineering, and ORNL's Biosciences Division; and an Adjunct Professor in the UT Institute of Agriculture, Knoxville, Tennessee USA

Jie Zhuang, Deputy Director (
Professor, Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, Institute of Agriculture, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee USA


Gui-Bin Jiang, Director-general, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Professor and Dean, College of Resources and Environment, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences; and Director, State Key Laboratory of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology, Beijing, China

Gary Sayler, Emeritus Director, University of Tennessee-Oak Ridge National Laboratory [UT-ORNL] Joint Institute for Biological Science; Beaman Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee USA

Executive Committee

Mingzhou Jin, Director, Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment; Professor and Associate Department Head, Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee USA

Tim Rials, Associate Dean and Professor, AgResearch and Administration, University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA)   

Gui-Rui Yu, Chief Research Scientist, Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China