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My Journey in University of Western Australia--动物科学10级刘贝贝

发布科室:办公室      发布时间:2014-01-07   

Our Arrival in Perth
The place we arrived is Perth; it is the capital of Western Australia, a pretty beautiful city, much different from most Chinese cities. The University of Western Australia (UWA) is the main place for our studying, located to the swan river which has a spectacular scene. The other city in our journey is Albany, much further from midland, which is also the nearest port city to the Antarctic in Western Australia.
Time in Perth has impressed me in different aspects, we have grown up in China, in this point, Western Australia is a definitely brand new world to us. In order to exploit this new place, we ought to pay attention to everything we see and do. And I will show you my experience in Western Australia. Even now, for staying in Australia for more than half a moth, I still have a feeling of dreaming. I never thought I can go outside in such short term, but I really appreciate the chance, there are so many things that I cannot wait to share with you.

Friendly Homestay
Our entire group was organized to live with native families, hoped to help us to acclimatize to living in local custom. I and other two girls were very luck to live with an Indonesian family which has four family members, farther was usually working outside; mother was a house wife whom cooks excellently, older sister Deovanni and young brother Geoffrey. This family immediately gave me a familiar feeling because I exactly have the same family structure.
Mrs. Chen was so nice and helpful; she can speak Indonesian, English and Chinese. During the time we spent, we mostly call her Mom, and she really helped us in many aspects. The first day for class was in Centre for English Language Teaching, we did not know how to get there, and she picked us to the train station and took train with us together showing the specific way to any destination. Not only the language we can communicate smoothly with each other, but we can taste delicious Chinese cuisines. Perhaps that is the most enviable thing.

Studying at CELT
Our studying began from the first week, fourteenth in July. We studied on academic writing for one week in CELT. From words to sentences, from spelling to grammar, Rosemary taught a plentiful knowledge indeed. 

                                     

The Time in Albany
The second week possibly was the most significant experience, we got chance to travel around and stay in Albany which is a famous port city for two days. During the trip, we actually visited many natural sights, pasture lands, farms and wineries.
The first lesson was on the way, we set up from twentieth July. Gary Cass came with us, there are five different stops including beach and forest. He introduced every change which happened on these lands in detail. And Gary also taught us how to measure soil's Ph and EC dates. Ph reflects the proportion of soil’s acid and alkaline; EC can reveal salinity in soil. After our measurement, Gary began to analysis these dates and explained the reasons. This experiment indicates what a process of the land has experienced. Australia possible is a lonely land, South America and India separated from Australia since several thousand years ago, and the separated continents have experienced a change in crustal movement and formed different mountains and rivers. However, Australia has nothing changed so far. Maybe this is the oldest continent over the world. The nutrient of soil contains nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and other micronutrients. A certain part of soil are considerable lack of nutrients in Australia, some lands became to beaches as the soil changed from clay to sand. Sandy soil and high water table increase soil salinity which resulting in the death of the trees, because tree has a deep root system which will suffer from high salt on surface. It is a big danger to agriculture too.

UWA Future Farm 2050
Recently world-wide globule warming has resulted in climate changing, in this effect; Australian has a more sensitive feeling for the sake of their fragile climate. The temperature of summer and winter is much higher than average same latitude countries. People never worried too much rain; Future farm’s foundation was based on Australian increasingly extreme weather condition. UWA future farm 2050 project includes three aspects, methane mitigation program, ecosystem restoration program and soil management program. Becoming the leader in developing the low carbon agriculture which means remain the carbon in soil and plant from losing and reduce the nutrient’s decomposition is the goal of future farm. Scientists have discovered one unique native grass-eremophila can play a significant role in reducing rumen animals’ methane production. Eremophila grows in winter precipitation supplying adequate pasture. It is an example for good use of local natural resource. Every country not only Australia should strive to explore their own suitable development path, rather than copy other countries technology, because very often it might not the best one. For example, precision farming and no-till are two main ways to adapt to the conditions, but not the same. Arable lands need to contain a more comprehensive nutrients while no-till mainly target to soil lack of nutrition. Clay could gain fresh air, wipe out injurious insects and weeds from cultivating, on the contrary, sandy soil need to remain limited nutrition from no-till. That is why Chinese soil is not fitting in no-till farming.

 

Tony Smith’s Farm
How to best manage water resources is one of Australia’s most important issues. People come up with many ways to collect water, build dams and house roofs. All of these approaches share a common ideology – develop a sustainable agriculture. Tony Smith’s farm is an example for making a good use of natural resource. We went there on July twenty fifth. Tony was the founder of farm, he introduced for us generally. The farm was established in 1965, and has been improved since then. It is a comprehensive and long history farm not a single type of farm. The farm contains maroon and fish farming, planting timber, vineyards and wine making. The whole farm has its own electrical power supply through the effective use of solar and wind energy to generate. Contrast with Chinese farm, Tony can manage the whole farm all by himself; the level of mechanization is far higher. What I have learned from Tony Smith’s farm is trying to considerate to environment and ensuring sustainable to agriculture.

Sheep Farm in Mt Barker Field Station
Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia (DAFWA) Mt Barker Field Station might be the last stop in Albany. We arrived there after we finished our visit in Tony Smith’s farm. Scientists in DAFWA were working on the prevention of flystrike in non mulesed sheep. Flystrike is the most threat to sheep health in Australia. What they focused on is trying to find the parasite resistant sheep to breed. Why cannot we invent some chemical pesticides to cope? Because parasites can breed four generations in only one year, the parasites may have already spread and even gene have changed. After several lectures, we went to their farm nearby the laboratories. They breed lots of sheep, mainly is merino sheep. We were very lucky to see a new-born twin lamb, white lovely lambs.  

Wineries Visiting      
Besides visit several scientific centers, we also went to Plantagenet Wine in Mt Marker town. The manage introduced the whole productive line, from grape collection to wine making, so much brand new knowledge for me. From her introduction, I gradually know the quality of wine can be influenced by various factors; collection style, weather, temperature and even oak may decide a good or bad quality. It was also the first time I heard about cool-climate wine, corresponding to warm-climate wine, cool or warm is depend on weather. Generally speaking, cool climate wines tend to be higher in acid and lower in alcohol. Cool-climate wine can sometimes live for decades. Plantagenet mostly produces cool ones which is suitable to Barker’s weather. We also had opportunity to taste different types of wine; our visiting is always full of enjoyment.

Summary
The most significant point I appreciate is that the Australian scientists connect their research to the agriculture development tight. So the famers can improve the productivity based on these high level research achievements. However, Chinese agricultural research is still keeping in a lab stage; there is little connection between famers and scientists. The labour expense in the Australia is much lower than Chinese, few people can manage a large farm while Chinese needs several times workers. The main reason is due to their high level of mechanization.  
During this time, I gradually realize the great differences between China and Australia, not only the level of technology, but we have different maybe contrast ideologies. There is no absolutely answer to decide which is right or not, it is a type of thinking diversity. People behave in different ways based on their ideologies, that means what we learn make us different.

                                                                    College of Animal Science and Technology, Animal Science, Liu Beibei