Activity Report of Open Application Course vol.22
Young people from six Asian countries were invited to "Development of Bioresource Environmental Science"
Report from the University of Tokyo
There is a constantly high risk of environmental damage in Asia, where population and economic growth continue. It is necessary to build environment-repairing technologies, and environmentally harmonious bio-production technologies, based on environmental diversity such as forests, agricultural land and coastal areas. The Asian Natural Environmental Science Center (ANESC) of the University of Tokyo focused on the program, as a joint research course in Science and Technology B, from November 11 to November 29, 2019, with the aim of introducing outstanding Asian youth who are interested in such issues, to leading-edge biological resource and environmental science, thereby deepening their understanding of sustainable Asian development, engaging them in professional joint research, and also creating incentives for exchanges among participants.
12 teaching faculty, research fellows and graduate students were invited from eight institutions in six Asian countries (namely India, Cambodia, Thailand, China, the Philippines and Malaysia). In the overall program, the participants first visited the laboratories of the ANESC to see research materials and tour research facilities and facilities. They also were given descriptions of the four research programs (Environmental Restoration Program, Global Environmental Problem Control Program, Sustainable Regional Resource Use Program and Useful Genetic Resource Development Program).
They also participated in the exercises "Agriculture, Forestry, Water and Livestock Industry and Environmental Impacts" and "Agriculture, Forestry, Water and Livestock Industry and Ecosystem Disruption" in the special course in environmental harmonization agronomy of the Graduate School of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The participants also toured affiliated facilities (the Institute for Sustainable Agro-ecosystem Services, the Tanashi Forest, and the Fuji Iyashinomori Woodland Study Center). The Institute for Sustainable Agro-ecosystem Services conducted a tour of lettuce hydroponics, organically grown paddy fields and biological phases in an energy-saving greenhouse, and at the Tanashi Forest, the participants heard lectures on the changes and characteristics of Japan's forest resources and the role of the Practice Forest. They also toured various trees and nurseries and watched demonstrations on measuring trees. At the Fuji Iyashinomori Woodland Study Center, the participants were briefed on landscapes and other multifaceted functions and forest management within the beautiful Mt. Fuji foothill forest ecosystem of red leaves. The participants also toured vegetation at the splendid Mt. Fuji Volcanic wilderness Vegetation Transition Test Site.
In the selection program, the participants also took part in research on phenotyping techniques for crop root traits, analysis techniques for the symbiotic functions of bacteria and plants, and research on identification techniques through microscopic observation of harmful microalgae, as well as taking tours of relevant research facilities. The participants deepened their interaction by introducing their own studies and research while discussing not only the faculty of the Center, but also doctoral students and Japanese TAs.
Also, I think the students had a very happy experience because the accommodation we use each year offered the participants with upgraded vegetarian dishes. In order to collaborate in science activities with invitees from different cultures, providing good meals was important. It made and made them feel that Japanese society was opening up a little more.
Guidance was received from the International Exchange Office on describing the status of international exchanges at the University of Tokyo and methods for studying abroad in the Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, University of Tokyo. The motivation to return to school for future studies and research was enhanced, as was the interaction among the participants through an intensive program with sleeping and eating. We hope that exchanges between ANESC members and participants, will continue through Facebook, and other forms of media.