What is IAI?

Penguins at Bay of Whales

The International Antarctic Institute (IAI) is an international, multi-campus program in cryosphere science education. This institute was first proposed by the University of Tasmania (UTAS) and now the IAI has partners from nine countries, including Japan. Within the IAI, many academic institutes offer courses in cryosphere sciences.

The field of cryosphere science is very broad, including mountain glaciers, polar ice sheets, sea ice, physical properties of snow and ice, permafrost, and more. It is therefore difficult for a course in only one institute or one country to cover the whole field. It is important to bring together many international academic institutes. The various institutes can cooperate to cover the entire field while each international academic institute can consolidate its efforts and focus on specific aspects of cryosphere science education. With this underlying principle, the IAI aims to provide an educational program with a high level of international cooperation.

The Graduate School of Environmental Science at Hokkaido University started an international educational curriculum as a partner of the IAI project. The IAI project provides an international standard educational program in connection with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) and the University of Tasmania (UTAS), and also with Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology and the Graduate University for Advanced Studies.


Special Lecture on Antarctic Science II

Special Lecture on Antarctic Science II starts on November 12, 2010. This lecture is offered by Prof. Heinz Blatter, Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, ETH, Switzerland. The first four lectures are given from Switzerland using tele-teaching system, which are followed by a block course in Sapporo in January-February, 2011.

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Field course in Switzerland

As a part of "Field Studies in Cryosphere", a field course in Switzerland has been organized. During the course, we visit several glaciers in the Alps, including field measurements on Rhonegletscher. The program includes lectures offered by professors in ETH, visit to research institutions, field data analyses and presentations.
The program this year is from August 28 to September 10, 2010.

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Hokkaido University and ETH offer a "Common Lecture" between the two universities. Professors from both universities cooperate to prepare the lecture. Thus, cooperation between two leading institutes in cryospheric science provide lectures of the highest global standards.
Recently, we have also introduced an e-learning curriculum via the internet.

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