Biosphere science contributing to the harmonious relationships between human activity and the natural environment
Yoshihiro Sambongi, D.Agr.
Dean, Graduate School of Biosphere Science Hiroshima University
- Human activity and the natural environment
Mankind lives together with a variety of life forms inhabiting natural environments. We have so far utilized biological products for our lives and applied biological functions to various industrial areas. However, human activity has had the effect of increasing the rate of global warming, resulting in major changes to natural environments. Together with the rapid increase in the world's population, some serious concerns about the stable production and supply of food stuffs have escalated.
- Function of the Graduate School of Biosphere Science
In order to solve such serious food problems expected to occur worldwide, continuous accumulation of knowledge and wisdom will be of importance in the areas of life science, application of biological functions, and sustainable biological production. Against this background, the Graduate School of Biosphere Science advocates "harmonious coexistence between mankind and nature," "scientific investigation of biosphere phenomena," and "education and research that contribute to human welfare and peace" in the academic vision, and the role of the graduate school is to address such serious problems.
- Structure of this graduate school
This graduate school comprises three departments.
1) The Department of Bioresource Science is aimed at creating and developing sustainable biological production activities in harmony with nature, with an emphasis on research into the production and preservation of livestock and aquatic life, as well as the food resources economy.
2) The Department of Biofunctional Science and Technology is aimed at developing technologies for harnessing bioresources and their functions, and applying them to human lives, with an emphasis on research into the clarification of biological functions and the development of food functions.
3) The Department of Environmental Dynamics and Management is aimed at clarifying the mechanism underlying recirculations in the biosphere, with an emphasis on research into technologies for forecasting, controlling, and evaluating them.
- Activities of this graduate school
Hiroshima University is one of a few universities that have been doubly selected by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology as one of the institutions designated under the Program for Promoting the Enhancement of Research Universities, and as one of Japan’s top universities under the Top Global University Project. As an honorably selected university, Hiroshima University intends to become one of world's top 100 universities through the performance of higher level education and research.
The Graduate School of Biosphere Science, as a constituent member of Hiroshima University, is now working on both the regional and worldwide levels.
In education, various initiatives are under way to employ international faculty members, increase the number of classes delivered in English, and promote international exchange among graduate students by holding international summer schools every year. These activities have proven effective in steadily internationalizing the graduate school’s environment. In the 2017 academic year, more than 60 international students are studying at this graduate school.
In research, this graduate school intends to promote collaboration with overseas universities, and disseminate research results to the world. In addition, this graduate school has made agreements in academic-industrial alliance with three companies including regional food industry companies, and promote exchanges in research and human resources.
This graduate school is committed to helping students. For instance, we provides a part of the travel expense to students who are to present their research results at international conferences. We also help students improve their English proficiency.
- After earning their academic degrees
After earning their academic degrees, many of the students who have completed courses at this graduate school have found employment at universities, research or examination institutes, or in the industrial world in Japan or overseas, where they participate actively as researchers or engineers with highly specialized expertise.