1 Discipline of Physical Geography
It includes the climate change, environmental evolution and physical geographical process in arid areas; comprehensive study on the natural regional systems; hydrological resources in arid areas; study on natural disasters and disaster reduction countermeasures; remote sensing (RS) and geographical information system (GIS) for researching the natural resources and environment in arid areas; geographical hydrology, study on regional water balance process experiment, redistribution and utilization of regional water resources, and theory and methods of farming water-saving irrigation in arid areas.
2 Discipline of Human Geography
It includes the study on exploitation of natural resources and productivity patterns in arid areas; study on oasis agriculture and sustainable development of rural economy; study on urban development and urban systems; study on regional development and planning; theoretical study and regulation of regional systems of human-land relations in arid areas; and study on tourism geography.
3 Discipline of Cartology and GIS
It includes the RS data processing, applied study on RS, GIS and storage, distribution and performance system of RS data. Aiming at the fundamental research and major issues about the natural resources and environment in arid areas in west China, the application and demonstration of RS and GIS to the departments related to natural resources and environment are carried out so as to promote the sustainable development of natural resources and environment in Xinjiang from the theoretical and technological aspects.
4 Discipline of Botany
The main research fields of botany are to study the formation, evolution, actuality and sustainable utilization of plant resources and ecosystems in arid areas. The disciplines and research fields include the systematic botany, resources botany, ecophysiology of xerophytes, conservation botany, functions of plants in ecological processes of ecosystems, etc.
5 Discipline of Ecology
It is to research into the laws and characteristics of ecological evolution, ecological process, landscape patterns, ecological planning and ecological construction so as to provide the principles, methods and approaches for the ecological regeneration, ecological rebuilding and ecological security. It includes the phytoecology, grassland ecology and restoration ecology.
6 Discipline of Environmental Science
By regarding the desert environment as the background, it is to emphatically study the relations between human beings and natural environment, including the environmental evolution and prediction in arid areas; exploitation of natural resources and environmental improvement in arid areas; environmental protection and construction in arid areas; oasis ecological process and sustainable development; management of soil quality; and evaluation and planning of environmental quality.
7 Discipline of Water and Soil Conservation & Desertification Prevention and Control
It is to emphatically study the occurring mechanism of soil erosion, theory of water and soil conservation, formation mechanism of desertification, fundamental theory and technical integration of desertification prevention and control, formation process of wind-blown sand disasters and their prevention and control technology along the key projects in desert regions in arid areas; desert environment and physical geographical process, desert environmental disasters and disaster reduction technology.