My View

Visit to CAREERI

In March, I went to Lanzhou, China, as a part of an exchange programme with the Cold and Arid Regions Environment and Engineering Research Institute (CAREERI) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Lanzhou, China, to build capacity in the field of glaciology. CAREERI, formed in 1999 after three former CAS institutes (the Institute of Glaciology and Geocryology, the Institute of Desert Research, and the Institute of Plateau Atmospheric Physics) were combined, has been working in close collaboration with ICIMOD to strengthen research activities in the field of glaciology. The institute has been conducting research on topics such as glaciology, geocryology, desert research, plateau atmospheric science, hydrology, and water resources as well as restoration ecology and ecological agriculture. 

During my one month training period, I met with prominent scientists, academics, and researchers in the field. I was impressed by their research and hard work. As part of the research I conducted on glacio-hydrology under the supervision of Dr Han Haidong and Prof Liu Shiyin, I estimated glacial run-off components of the debris-covered Koxkar glacier based on water balance principles using the Advanced Interface for Water Assessment (AIWA) tool. Using this tool, I was able to generate the flow, which I calibrated and simulated with the observed flow data. My supervisors and other colleagues helped boost my knowledge in the field. 

During my stay, I also got a chance to learn about the culture, tradition, cuisine, and beauty of Lanzhou – the capital and largest city of Gansu Province in northwest China. Framing the beautiful city are mountains to the north and south, with the Yellow River cutting through the city from the east to the west. The city boasts several attractions that should not be missed. During a visit to the Yellow River I could see the Zhongshan Bridge – the first iron bridge to ever cross the Yellow River. Although it is no longer in use, its historical significance remains unsurpassed. Other fascinating places in Lanzhou were the Waterwheel Garden, the Gansu Provincial Museum, and Baita Mountain Park. In Lanzhou, I also learned about a local cultural practice of worshiping ancestors and departed souls, a ritual for which the Chinese government allocates three days of public holidays to perform. On these days, people worship and offer money (called hell bank notes) to departed souls and it is believed that the more hell bank notes offered, the more satisfaction the departed soul will have. Equally as compelling as the city’s beautiful landscape was the wide variety of cuisine– from Lanzhou’s famous beef la mian noodles to hot pots to tofu. Another captivating feature of the streets of Lanzhou were the street operas, which are performed by retired people.

My visit to Lanzhou has proven beneficial and productive in terms of building my capacity in my research field. I had a great time learning from experts in the field, as well as working with graduate and PhD students, some of which have become good friends. The experience and competence I developed will be useful both in my personal and professional life.

- Finu Shrestha <>
Views from Baita Mountain Park of the Yellow River flowing through Lanzhou

Views from Baita Mountain Park of the Yellow River flowing through Lanzhou

Editorial Team

Andrea Perlis
Deependra Tandukar
Subasana Shrestha
Nira Gurung
Udayan Mishra

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