By Peiru Chen | January 3, 2024

International Academic Exchange: Dr. James A. Lutz's Visit to National Chiayi University, Taiwan

By Peiru Chen | January 3, 2024


Utah State University's own Dr. James A. Lutz made a significant impact during his recent visit to Taiwan's National Chiayi University. From December 9th to 29th, Dr. Lutz engaged in an enriching academic exchange with the Forest & Natural Resources Department at Chiayi University.

Deepening International Ties

Before Dr. Lutz's visit, Dr. Chao from National Chiayi University, along with three students, had visited Utah State University in 2023 summer. Their research focused on the Yosemite and Cedar Breaks areas; particularly reexamining forest dynamics plot and recovery post the 2013 wildfire. Dr. Joseph Cooper, a postdoctoral researcher from Professor Lutz's team at Utah State University, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration with Professor Chao Wei-Tsun and his student team from National Chiayi University. The re-examination of the Forest GEO sites and the sharing of ecological knowledge and survey methodologies between the teams marked an essential milestone in international research cooperation as both institutions are members of Forest GEO. This exchange laid the groundwork for Dr. Lutz's subsequent visit to Taiwan, fostering a deeper understanding and collaboration between the two institutions.

A Blend of Theoretical Insight and Practical Engagement

Dr. Lutz's engagement at National Chiayi University transcended conventional campus academic pursuits, such as laboratory visits and lecture delivery. His involvement expanded into active collaboration in diverse research initiatives and practical projects, showcasing a seamless integration of academic expertise with on-ground research activities.

Insightful Lecture on Forest Ecosystems

One of the highlights of Dr. Lutz's visit was his lecture on December 20th. The topic, "The Importance of Large-diameter Trees to Forests - Both Aboveground and Belowground," drew a large audience. His expertise shed light on the crucial role of large-diameter trees in forest ecosystems, an area that resonates deeply with the ongoing research at National Chiayi University.

A Reciprocal Learning Experience

This visit not only signifies the strengthening of academic ties between Utah State University and National Chiayi University but also highlights the importance of international perspectives in environmental research. The exchange of ideas and research methodologies promises to enrich the academic and practical understanding of forest dynamics, especially in the context of global environmental challenges.

Looking Forward

As Dr. Lutz returned from his fruitful visit, both universities look forward to continued collaboration and knowledge exchange. This partnership stands as a testament to the global nature of academic research and the invaluable insights that arise from cross-cultural academic exchanges.


Peiru Chen
Language Learning Coordinator - Mandarin