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Global Affairs

Building Bridges across the Atlantic: UZH's Visit to the University of Maryland

A UZH delegation, led by UZH President Michael Schaepman, has visited the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) in Washington D.C. The objective of the visit was to expand research collaborations in the areas of biodiversity, environmental ethics, remote sensing, and sustainability.

The visit to UMD is part of a wider tour of the Washington D.C. region, aimed at strengthening UZH’s international academic ties with U.S. partners in the field of biodiversity and other research areas. UZH and UMD are both part of the Universitas 21 (U21) network, which provides a strong foundation for deepening educational and research ties.

Initiating collaborations

From left to right: Ross Lewin, Associate Vice President for International Affairs, Office of International Affairs (UMD); Katja Durkin, Head Global Affairs (UZH); Meredith Schuman, Assistant Professor of Spatial Genetics (UZH); Tatiana Loboda, Professor and Chair, Geographical Sciences (UMD); Michael Schaepman, President (UZH); Ghassem R. Asrar, Executive Chairman of the iCREST Foundation; Jennifer King Rice, Senior Vice President and Provost (UMD); Maria J. Santos, Professor in Earth System Science (UZH); Anna Deplazes Zemp, Lecturer at the Ethics Research Institute (UZH); Raluca Nahorniac, Director, Office of Global Learning Initiatives, Office of International Affairs (UMD). Image: Raphael Kunz

During the visit, researchers from various UZH faculties and departments, including Maria J. Santos, Professor in Earth System Science, Meredith C. Schuman, Assistant Professor of Spatial Genetics, and Anna Deplazes Zemp Lecturer at the Ethics Research Institute, met with UMD counterparts to discuss potential research collaborations. 

The UZH delegation was also joined by Ghassem R. Asrar, Executive Chairman of the iCREST Foundation, who was awarded an honorary doctorate by the UZH Faculty of Science in 2019 for his significant contributions to the advancement of transdisciplinary research in earth system sciences.

As a leading U.S. university and public research institution, UMD shares UZH’s ethos of impactful learning and societal values. With a strong tradition in the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), arts, and a focus on athletics, UMD’s so-called “Fearless Ideas” approach resonates with the goals and values of UZH, which is committed to constantly expanding academic and research frontiers.

Lively exchange activities

Furthermore, the cooperation between UMD and UZH has grown significantly, resulting in over 1,000 joint publications in the last five years, especially in the areas of physics, earth and planetary sciences and mathematics. Moreover, there are lively exchange activities at both the staff and student levels. 

President Michael Schaepman summed up the spirit of the exchange: “Our continued collaboration with UMD, a world-leading university, will be further strengthened in many scientific fields, amongst which also remote sensing allowing to monitor global changes at unprecedented quality.” 

As the UZH delegation moves on to further engagements in Washington D.C., the visit to UMD has highlighted the value of academic collaboration in addressing important global in sustainability, biodiversity, and public policy.

Anne Nuria Boekhout

Weiterführende Informationen

UZH's global network

UZH and the University of Maryland (UMD) are connected through the Universitas 21 (U21) network. Find out more about this global network, which brings together 28 research-intensive universities from all continents. 

Our partner: the University of Maryland online

The University of Maryland (UMD) is one of the leading public research universities in the U.S. The university is home to more than 40,700 students, 14,000 faculty and staff, and nearly 400,000 alumni. Get to know UMD and visit their website.