College of Life and Environmental Sciences (CLES), previously named Department of Biology and Chemistry, was founded in 2002. Department of Biology and Chemistry was established and began enrolling junior college students on Biology and Chemistry since 1986, began enrolling undergraduate university students since 1994 and master students since 2001. CLES began enroling PhD candidates since 2009. Until now, CLES has formed a comprehensive talent cultivation system.
CLES rapidly develops under the support of the “211 Project” Construction Program, “985 Project” Construction Program, “World-class Universities and World-class Disciplines” Construction Program, as well as “Overseas Expertise Introduction Project for Discipline Innovation”(also known as “111 Project”). Two research platforms of MUC, Centre for Imaging & Systems Biology and Center on Translational Neuroscience are affiliated to CLES.
CLES has more than 700 undergraduate students, offering 7 different undergraduate majors, including Biological Science, Biological Technology, Ecology, Environmental Science, Environmental Engineering, Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Engineering. Ecology is one of the national stereotypical majors. CLES undertakes the cultivation task of Top and Innovative Talent Experimental Class of Science and Engineering in MUC.
CLES has more than 190 graduate students, offering 1 Doctoral degree program – Ethnoecology, and 3 Master’s degree programs for first-level disciplines – Ecology, Biology as well as Environmental Science and Engineering, among which Ecology and Environmental Science and Engineering are the key disciplines of the State Ethnic Affairs Commission.
CLES has a faculty of 81, formed by 54 teaching staff, 11 lab technicians, 8 administrative staff, 4 research platform working staff and 4 contract personnels. Among the teaching staff, there are 22 professors and 17 associate professors. 93% of the teaching staff has got doctor’s degree.
The teaching staff of CLES, having taken painstaking efforts on discipline construction, has won academic and teaching awards of various kinds. There are 5 members of Special Subsidy Expert of the Government of the State Council, 1 members of the New Century National Hundred, 6 members of Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University supported by the Chinese Ministry of Education, 6 members of Reward for Excellent Teachers awarded by Baosteel, 1 member of Leading Talents of State Ethnic Affairs Commission of PRC, 2 member of Young and Mid-aged Talent of State Ethnic Affairs Commission of PRC, 1 member of Distinguished Teachers in Universitities in Beijing, 4 members of Excellent Young Talents in Beijing and 1 member of Teachers’ Morality Model in Beijing. CLES has been awarded Outstanding Educational Innovation Team in Beijing in 2006 and Outstanding Team of Morality Education in Universities in Beijing. Ecology teaching team in CLES won Outstanding Teaching Team in Beijing in 2008.
CLES has 1 research center – Food, Environment and Health Engineering and Technology Research Center and 3 lab centers - Biology Lab Center, Chemistry Lab Center, and Analysis and Testing Center. Chemistry Lab Center is among the Construction Units of National Model Lab Centers and Biology Lab Center is Model Centers of Lab Teaching in Beijing Universities. The floor area of the labs of CLES exceeds 40,000 m2 and the lab instuments and equipment worth more than 34 million yuan. CLES has set up Sharing Platform for Large-scale Equipment to better serve the teaching and scientific research work and Fieldwork Practice Base in Xiaolongmen National Forest Park.
The key research areas of CLES include: Conservation on Biodiversity in Ethnic Areas, Traditional Knowledge for Minority Groups and Ecological Conservation, Use and Conservation on Biological Resources in Ethnic Areas, Physiological and Ecological Mechanism of Plant Adaptation to Abiotic-stresses in Ethnic Areas, Ecological Planning and Restroration in Ethnic Areas, Environmental Monitoring, Evaluation and Sustainable Development in Ethnic Areas, as well as Environment and Human Health in Ethnic Areas.
CLES has made great progress on discipline construction, teaching staff capability, teaching reformation, scientific research and talent cultivation after 30-year construction and development. CLES has evolved into an important sterotypical base for serving the minority areas, solving ecological and environmental problems in ethnic areas and cultivating high level talents for ethnic groups.