The Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources (NIEER) was established in 2016 upon the merger of the former CAS Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute (CAREERI), Lanzhou Center for Oil and Gas Resources, Lanzhou Branch of the National Science Library, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology and Qinghai Institute of Salt Lakes.
The CAREERI’s predecessor institute includes the CAS Lanzhou Institute of Glaciology and Geocryology, the Lanzhou Institute of Desert Research and Lanzhou Institute of Plateau Atmospheric Physics, which were established in the 1950s. CAREERI conducts research related to the cryosphere, frozen ground, desert and desertification, cold region engineering, plateau atmospheric physics, water and land resources and environments, ecology and agriculture and remote sensing and geographic information systems.
The Lanzhou Center for Oil and Gas Resources, formerly the CAS Lanzhou Institute of Geology, was set up in the 1950s. The Center mainly conducts research related to the forming mechanism on oil and gas reservoir and its identification and prediction, dynamic evolution of petroliferous basin and potential resources assessment, and exploration theory and methods on complex oil pools based on geophysics.
The Lanzhou Branch of the National Science Library was founded in 1955, which is an important part of the nation’s S&T documentation and information service system. The library is the largest comprehensive S&T library in Northwest China, which provides scientific literature and information resources as well as S&T information analysis and consultation services to CAS decision-makers and scientists and graduate students at CAS institutes.
The Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology (NWIPB) was established in 1962, which is engaged in basic and applied research on plateau ecology, biological resources and plateau eco-agriculture. NWIPB’s scientific research areas include the alpine meadow ecosystem, alpine mammals, alpine agriculture and biological resources of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.
The Qinghai Institute of Salt Lakes (ISL) was founded in 1965, which is a multidisciplinary institute engaged in the exploration, development and utilization of salt lake resources. ISL has conducted extensive salt lake resource surveys and conducted in depth research on salt lake sedimentology, hydrogeology, hydrochemistry and mineralogy; salt lake isotopic chemistry; as well as mining and extraction process studies.