Graduate School of Env.Science / Faculty of Env.Earth Science
The human race dominates the entire world; its unparalleled expansion is not due to adapting to its environment, but rather due to changing the environment by developing agricultural and industrial technologies. Today, the human race has reached a population of 7 billion, and this has inflicted numerous consequences on the global environment including climate. The recently published Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that, "it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century". The report also assesses future risks of climate change. It should also be noted that environmental pollution remains a serious problem throughout the world. Under such circumstances, it is imperative to study the impact of human activities on the environment and to develop both technologies and techniques to alleviate these impacts. It is also important to remedy the damaged state of the environment. At the same time, because our understanding of the earth system is still very limited, we must strive to understand the mechanisms involved in changes of the global climate system composed of of the atmosphere, oceans, land surface and biosphere, and the manner in which these changes affect different geographical regions.
The Graduate School of Environmental Science was founded in 1977 as the first graduate school in Japan to specialize in environmental sciences. It has attained its present form through significant reorganizations in 1993 and in 2005. The Graduate School of Environmental Science is cooperatively run by about 140 faculty members belonging to the Faculty of Environmental Earth Science, the Faculty of Fishery Science, the Institute of Low Temperature Science, the Research Institute for Electronic Science, the Institute for Catalysis, the Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere, which are developing environment-related science and/or technology. The field of education and research covers various phenomena, issues, and perspectives which relate to the environment on an extensive spatiotemporal scale. In temporal terms, these issues range from those spanning over a scale of 100,000 years such as paleoenvironmental changes, to those being faced at present in the near future. In spatial terms, these issues occur on scales that range from municipal to global scale and include topics such as natural variability of the environment, changes caused by human influence, and the technologies for environmental remediation and protection. Within this scope, student research has progressed in various forms including marine observations, survey and observation in the field both domestically and internationally, laboratory experiments, simulations using supercomputers, and data analysis. Future occupational opportunities are diverse and do not always have an obvious connection with environmental sciences. These positions include researchers and engineers in public institutions such as universities, officials in fields related to the environment, high school teachers, computer engineers, and office workers. Furthermore, our graduate school has students from a wide range of disciplines, including humanities, and about one in five students is an international student. Environmental science should transcend all fields of study and aim to create new disciplines to understand ho the world works. Therefore, maintaining diversity is very important. Using the advantage of being an independent graduate school with no specific undergraduate courses, we hope to achieve such objectives, through the participation of youthful intellect that is not restricted to the framework of existing fields of study.
How is nature around us shaped? How does it relate to us? How can we, as humans, maintain a positive relationship with nature? What types of technologies are required for such tasks? What should we do to establish a sustainable society? We look forward to meeting everyone interested in finding answers to these important questions.
Prof Atsushi Kubokawa, Dean of the graduate school
We offer advanced education by cooperating with faculty members at seven faculties, reserch institutes, and centers of Hokkaido University.
♦ Division of Environmental Science: A new education system by integrating multi-disciplinary approaches of solving urgent problems.
♦ Division of Earth System Science, Biosphere Science and Materials Science: Teaching fundamental subjects of environmental science.
Graduate School of Environmental Sceince, Hokkaido University