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Introduction
The Earth Science Department at Cheng Kung University was first established in 1968. A graduate division was later added in 1990 and six years later, in 1996, a Ph.D. program was created. In 2003, a continuing education at master level was set up completing the department. In the last ten years or so, our faculty, student population, facilities and teaching standards as well as research achievements have blossomed tremendously, securing a leadership role in the fields of applied earth science. Currently, our department has about 20 full-time professors at maximum, 3 part-time professors, an undergraduate class of ~170 students, a masters program of ~50 students, a doctoral program of ~40 students, and a masters program for working professionals of ~50 students.

 

Research fields include hard-rock geochemistry, marine chemistry, isotope geochemistry, mineralogy, petrology, paleontology, oceanography, hydrogeology, marine physics, geophysics, geodesy, remote sensing and structural geology. In addition to fundamental science researches, we also cooperate with both governmental and private organizations to work on relevant technological developments, professional training and investigations in areas of natural disaster, catalyst, groundwater level and quality, GPS measurement, satellite information application, regional geology, resource geology, exploration of natural resources, fault activity tracing, as well as development of related technologies and cultivation of professionals.

 

The students and professors in our department interact in a close and harmonizing relationship with heavy emphasis on theories, laboratory and application combined training. Many students begin working in laboratories during their undergraduate years to gain experience on laboratory experiments and research methodology. Teaching contents not only include the general areas of earth science, but also application of natural material technology, environmental and weather science applications, geological disaster investigation and prevention, satellite information and geology, geological and geographical information application and other earth science related courses.
 
In recent years, in order to administer projects of the Ministry of Education, such as Program for Promoting Academic Excellence of Universities and National Cheng Kung UniversityXNational Sun Yat-sen Universitys Collaborated Marine Environment and Engineering Research Center Project, and projects sponsored by the National Science Council, our department has established a world-class isotope geochemistry laboratory and set up laboratories for analog stable isotope spectrometry, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, transmission electron microscopy, \- and ^-ray spectroscopy, and inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Owing to the research success in the field of geochemistry and global change, we are now ranked as one of the most fully equipped department in terms of faculty and facilities, as well as a top research and teaching center for geochemistry and mineralogy. In the NCKU Project of Promoting Academic Excellence & Developing World Class Research Centers funded by the Ministry of Education, 7 top research centers were established in our university and the Earth Dynamic System Research Center is consisted mainly of professors and resources from our department.

 

In recent years, satellite information application has transformed into a focal point for our department, in particular for researches carried out in area of crustal deformation and fault activities, geological and environmental disasters and oceanic changes. Utilizing the great advantage of large-scale and near real-time observation andsimulation of satellite informatics on earth environment studies, not only allow relevant skills and information to develop to their largest potential but also broaden perspectives for earth science researches. A masters program will be established by the department under the framework of the Institute of Satellite Informatics and Earth Environment in 2007.

Our department has grown tremendously in the past years, strengthening not only in facilities and teaching standards, but also matching our contents to the global trend. In order to enhance students ability in science research and boost their career advantage, they are encouraged to take subjects such as physic, chemistry, mathematics, biology, civil engineering, water conversation, surveying, statistics, materials science and so on. The aim is for them to be ready for the latest development in earth science research in the 21st century, and to prepare them for the cutting edge advances in earth science technology.