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Scientists Sought for Plateau Research

The Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research said on Wednesday that it is seeking leading scientists from around the world to work on research into the environment of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

Director Yao Tandong told Xinhua News Agency that the institute, part of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), needs to exploit international knowledge and experience in glacier and environmental research.

Those invited are expected to focus on geodynamics and environmental and climate change, as well as atmosphere and earth surface processes.

Successful candidates must hold doctoral degrees, be under the age of 45 and have a minimum of eight years' relevant experience. They should also have published at least four academic papers in journals cited by the Science Citation Index, said a human resources official from the institute.

Lonnie Thompson, a world recognized glacier expert who is also a professor at Ohio State University, has already been appointed as vice institute director of academics.

Through Thompson, the institute is cooperating with US research groups on joint programs. One endeavor is to take ice cores from icecaps in southwest Tibet in the latter half of this year.

The CAS institute is providing 10 senior research positions, with annual salaries ranging from 80,000 to 150,000 yuan (US$9,700-18,000).

Research on the plateau by the CAS began roughly 50 years ago, and in March 2003 it reorganized its glacier research resources and renamed the research body.

The institute targets its efforts toward the toughest subjects in the field, rather than spreading limited resources over numerous research projects.

In contrast to other CAS organs, it is headquartered in Beijing and has centers in Lhasa, capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region, and Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province.

Most researchers work in labs in Beijing, which are also platforms for international academic exchange.

The Lhasa center oversees construction and maintenance of outdoor observation stations, while the Kunming center is responsible for establishing a plateau plant samples reserve and coordinating biological research programs.

The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is the world's highest.

(Xinhua News Agency April 14, 2005)

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