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Environmental Science Course

Educational goal

Students shall acquire broad and specialized knowledge to contribute to solving environmental problems and building a sustainable society that coexists in harmony with the environment. To achieve this goal, students study theory and research methods in environmental biology, environmental chemistry, environmental design and analysis, socio-cultural environment, and environmental policy and management. In addition, students study policies for environmental symbiosis, resource circulation, and environmental conservation skills, as well as practical and exercise-based education to develop problem-solving skills and the ability to conduct unique research based on diverse perspectives.

Research

The Environmental Science Course uses an integrated problem-solving approach that extends over the boundaries of segmented fields of conventional science. Using this approach, this course promotes research and education in environmental science for building a sustainable society, targeting harmonious coexistence and symbiosis between people and nature.

Division for Creating a Sustainable Society
In order to establish systems for a sustainable society, this division analyzes the causes of various environmental issues arising from human activities and examines effective environmental policies. Main study fields of this division include (1) environmental economics (e.g., (a) evaluation of biodiversity, water, and ecotourism, (b) control of municipal wastes, (c) economic history, and (d) working environment), (2) environmental governance, for example, partnership of various stakeholders in environmental policy-development, (3) environmental laws, that is, learning about legal systems to handle various environmental issues, (4) international politics to deal with transnational environmental issues, (5) environmental sociology, for example, quantitative analysis of environmental protection awareness, (6) landscape and regional planning such as conservation of landscape and open space in rural and urban areas, and (7) geography including ecotourism.

Division for Studying Human-Environmental Symbiosis
In order to establish a symbiotic relationship between humans and nature, basic research on human activities and social systems is necessary. To meet this need, this division analyzes and evaluates through fieldwork and literature study social and cultural activities of human beings, and the realities of historical and social life in a broad sense. On the basis of this empirical research, the division seeks a common perspective for constructing values and systems that will create harmonious coexistence between humans and natural world. Based on this concept, this division focuses on the following areas: (1) environmental philosophy, (2) environmental thought, (3) environmental anthropology, (4) human life environmental studies, (5) environmental history, (6) linguistic environment studies, and (7) media environment studies.

Division of Earth Surface Dynamics
In order to clarify natural and human-induced phenomena occurring near the earth’s surface, this division addresses (1) sedimentary processes, morphodynamics and genetic stratigraphy of river deltas, especially under the control of sea level changes and basin tectonics, (2) seismic activity, prevention of natural disaster, hot spring power generation, (3) modeling of earth system and simulation for climate change using fundamental physics, (4) atmospheric radiation, satellite remote sensing of clouds and climate applications, and (5) coastal water pollution, tides and tidal currents.

Division of Biodiversity Conservation
The main objective of this division is to contribute to biodiversity conservation through basic and applied studies. We study the natural history of wildlife and describe their ecology and morphology to examine mechanisms of biotic interaction, and the relationship of organisms to their abiotic environments at various biological levels (from the individual to the ecosystem). Main areas of research include studies on: (1) the diversity of bryophytes, (2) correlations between seaweed flora in coastal Nagasaki and rising of seawater temperatures due to climate change, (3) effects of weather conditions on animal ecology, and (4) monitoring of threatened plant and animal species in the Nagasaki Prefecture.

Division of Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology
This division examines the pollution levels of chemical substances released by human activity in aquatic, atmospheric and soil environments. Surveys of concentrations of harmful chemicals (toxic or environmental-disrupting chemicals) in water, sediment, air and soil are performed by techniques of analytical chemistry. In addition, biological (toxicological and endocrinological) effects of the above-mentioned chemicals are evaluated using wild-collected (field work) and test animals (exposure test in laboratory), and cultured cells. Now, we mainly focus on the pollution by environmental-disrupting chemicals (EDCs), pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) and organotins in aquatic environment. We also focus on the transboundary air pollution in East Asian region.

Division of Environmental Protection Technology
To develop a sustainable society, the mission of our division is to perform education and research leading to a better life in a pollution-free environment by using safe and sound technology. The main research fields by current members in this division include environmental engineering, polymer material science, functional and environmental botany, groundwater engineering, urban planning, traffic planning, solid waste engineering, resource engineering, sanitary engineering, environmental bioengineering, biochemical engineering and molecular biology.