Nagoya University Global COE Program: From Earth System Science to Basic and Clinical Environmental Studies


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Training Program in Clinical Environmental Studies

The Training Program in Clinical Environmental Studies comprise a participation-based educational curriculum carried out in field locations throughout Japan and overseas as part of research projects in Clinical Environmental Studies. Faculty members from both diagnostic-type and treatment-type fields work with graduate students from diverse disciplines to elucidate and solve specific environmental issues. Teams are involved in the entire problem-solving process, right through to post-training evaluation.

This GCOE has training programs available in the three key regions chosen for detailed study within Clinical Environmental Studies: the Ise Bay Bioregion, Northeast and East Asia, and Southeast and South Asia. Each year, in each region, at least one region or a single set of environmental problems are identified; in each six-month period, research training is carried out either on a regular basis or for limited but intensive periods.

This On-site Research Training (ORT) comprises the following elements and more:

  1. Pre-ORT investigation at the University
  2. On-site visits and review by the entire research team
  3. Theme-specific surveying by individual sub-teams
  4. Coordination of findings into comprehensive "prescription" for problem resolution
  5. Disclosure of "prescription" in the local community and impact evaluation simulation

The Training Program in Clinical Environmental Studies is only open to graduate students not actively engaged in thesis-focused research on the environmental problems of the relevant region (although those students might take part in the training as TA). Quite the opposite; the program is specifically tailored to students whose specialisms lie elsewhere, and who are not familiar with the region and its environmental problems, or who otherwise have no contact with fieldwork-based research that makes use, for example, of climate simulations using general circulation models. These students are encouraged to discover how their research – even if apparently unrelated – may have a bearing on specific environmental problems both within and outside of Japan.

The Training Program in Clinical Environmental Studies gives students an opportunity to take part in an interdisciplinary, integrated research framework designed to provide tangible solutions to individual environmental problems. Students are able to appreciate how complex the general architecture of environmental issues can be, and how difficult it can be to fully gain an understanding of this overall picture. Students are also able to experience how many issues must be resolved on the way to finding genuine solutions, and learn through practical experience.

The experiences this program facilitates will help students to become confident project leaders in integrated Environmental Studies in the future. The program is an efficient tool in training up outstanding young researchers. It plays a key role in fostering talented international environmental practitioners and environmental engineers, both able and at home in government, in private business, in Environmental Studies, and beyond their chosen discipline.

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