Aiming at international marine science research frontier and maintaining its expertise in global competition, and in responding to the national strategic need, the discipline of Ocean Science of Tongji has become a marine research and education center that is making efforts to use multiple, cross-disciplinary methods to combine sea-land, observatory analysis and modeling, geological recording and modern process, geosciences and life science for research advances. The discipline has successfully completed the transition from a single subject of marine geology to a more comprehensive multi-discipline of marine science and geophysics, and has achieved remarkable progresses in deep sea basic research, the integration of science and technology in seafloor observation, and the promotion of international collaboration in marine science studies. Our most significant achievements include: (1) Playing a leading role in South China Sea deep-sea research. The discipline has led the proposal and has been a major participator in “Deep Sea Processes and Evolution of the South China Sea” program (or “SCS Deep”), which is the first ever marine science fundamental research program in China. (2) Initiating scientific and technological studies on seafloor observation in China.The discipline has been the principal advocator in integrating various domestic marine research institutions to work on deep sea exploration. In February 2016, under the approval of National Development and Reform Commission of China, it takes on the role to lead the construction of the country’s large-scale scientific project “National long-term seafloor scientific observation system”. (3) Serving as a center for the IODP-relevant research in China and a locality for the IODP China office, our discipline has proposed and led three ocean-drilling expeditions in the South China Sea, making it a competitive force in international deep sea research. From 2015 to 2017, the discipline has published several hundred SCI-indexed papers in international journals including Nature, Nature Geoscience, PNAS and others.
In 2015, the discipline of Ocean Science was selected into the “Peak Project” by Shanghai Municipal Government for the preparation of both nationwide and global top-level disciplines, and in 2017, was listed on the “Strategic Plan for Establishing World-Class Discipline” of Tongji University. Aiming at building itself a global top-level discipline and a world-class marine research center and talent training base for IODP, seafloor observatory and other frontier researches, the discipline will striving to upgrade its national level to top 2 to 3 and making continuous efforts to enhance its global influence in SCS research and deep-sea research, and to help enhance China’s influence in global deep-sea academia.