The establishment of the Xinjiang Institute of Geography and Ecology in 1998 was based on the merging of two previously existing institute in CAS, namely the Institute of Geography (IOG) and the Institute of Biology, Pedology and Desert (IBPD). In order to build up a national innovation system, the IOG & IBSD were selected as a part of the pilot project to speed up CAS's innovation progress. The institute has 365 staffs, including 59 professors, 81 associate professors and high-classed engineers. There are 362 graduate students on study.
The Institute has its own qualification to confer Ph.D. degree in physical geography, human geography, ecology, cartography and geo-information and botany, and to confer Master's degree in physical geography, human geography, ecology, botany, cartography and geo-information, environmental science, the conservation of soil and water& prevention of desertification. The Institute consists of 5 laboratories, they are Oasis Ecology and Agriculture Laboratory, Desert Environment Laboratory, Regional Development Research Laboratory, Biodiversity Research Laboratory, Space to Place Observation and System Simulation Research Laboratory; 9 open experimental stations including 3 national open experimental station: Fukang Hungriness Ecosystem Research National Field Station, Akesu Oasis Farmland Ecosystem Research National Field Station, Xinjiang Cele Hungriness Ecosystem Research National Field Station; 1 Regional key Laboratory: the Remote Sensing and the Geographic Information System Applies in Xinjiang; 1 Regional Engineering Center: the Desert Oasis Ecology Construction Research center.
The important academic organizations affiliated to the Institute include the Xijiang Society of Soil Fertilizer, Xinjiang Society of Geography , Xinjiang Society of Botany , Xinjiang Association of Scientific Expedition , Xinjiang Society of Natural Resources, Xinjiang Academic Association for Remote Sensing, in addition, Xinjiang environment science society, grassland society, teaching biology society, microbiology society, zoology society, universal writer society, Xinjiang ecology society. The Institute has sponsored important national journals: Arid Land Geography, Arid Zone Research.
Since the construction of institute, it has gained 243 awards, among the rewards, there are 2 items from UNEP, 22 rewards from our nation, 97 items from provinces and ministries. Since our Institute ranked into project of knowledge innovation program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, we obtained 2 rewards from nation and 22 rewards from provinces and ministries. The Institute has applied 31 patents of invention, among those 5 empowered inventions and 14 functional ones.
The organization of functional systems: General Office, Human resources office, Scientific Research Department, and supporting system: State-Owned Property and foundational construction management office, Graduate Department, Financial Department, Literature and Information Management Center; Science Popularization Center. There are three centers affiliated to our Institute, such as, environmental evaluation center, exploitation of touring resources and programming research centre, desert project reconnaissance and design center. The institute possess of national first-class certification of hydrology and water resource investigation and evaluation, national second–class certification of environmental evaluation, national second–class certification of cartography, national second–class certification of exploitation in touring resources and programming, national second–class certificate of soil appraisal,( farming and forestry line) forestation project certificate.