1st term of doctoral course
1. The Graduate School Programs
As environmental issues have become more complicated and more diversified in recent years, the future of human society is causing concern among people. With this concern in mind, the creation of society in environmental harmony able to sustain the existence and development of humankind, the advancement of environmental science to support such environmental harmony, and the training of environmental experts are in significant demand. In April 1999, in order to respond to this social demand, the Graduate School of Environmental Science of the University of Shiga Prefecture was established. The new school was launched on the basis of the Faculty of Environmental Science established in 1995. The Graduate School of Environmental Science is a graduate school that provides advanced scientific education and research in environmental science within a unique education/research system.
Based on comprehensive environmental understanding, the graduate school trains researchers and professionals who possess advanced professional knowledge and techniques in their respective fields in natural environment management and environmental planning and promotes academic research. In order to achieve education and research focusing in related fields, the graduate school consists of two divisions: the Division of Environmental Dynamics and the Division of Environmental Planning.
(1) Division of Environmental Dynamics
This division analyzes the dynamics of the ecosystem (structure, quantity and pace of ecosystem and natural environment, and changes in their relationships) in relation to environmental changes, such as human activities and climate changes on both the natural ecosystem and the agroforestry ecosystem. The division conducts educational research on conservation and management measures of the natural environment. The curriculum corresponding to specific fields is three courses: the Course in Biosphere Environment in Atmospheric and Hydrological Environment and Soil Environment; the Course in Ecosystem Conservation with the Ground Ecosystem and the Aquatic Ecosystem; the Course in Bio-resource Management in Bioproduction.
In relation to the global environment and the local environment, the Course in Biosphere Environment investigates the dynamics of air, water and soils as components of biosphere, and analyzes the fundamental conditions of ecosystem conservation and bioproduction by researching such environmental characteristics as the dominant factors of existence and distribution of organisms. It also aims to create understanding so that a sustainable biosphere environment becomes possible. The course consists of three research fields: geoenvironment, aquatic resources/environment, and soil/plant system.
The Course in Ecosystem Conservation investigates the dynamics of ecosystems, such as the biological composition and correlations with human activities and changes of material circulation on aquatic ecosystem; lakes and oceans and in terrestrial ecosystem; field and forest in watershed ecosystems through land, rivers, and lakes. It also aims to find measures for ecosystem management and the environmental impact assessment necessary for ecosystem conservation. The course consists of three research fields: the dynamics of aquatic ecosystem, the dynamics of terrestrial ecosystem, and the dynamics of watershed environment.
The Course in Bio-resource Management aims to establish advanced techniques and methodologies that enable sustainable bio-resource production in addition to the investigation of conditions that can sustain high bio- productivity by minimizing negative environmental impact in the production of animal and plant resources in the agroforestry ecosystem. The course consists of four research fields: plant genetic resources, plant resource management, animal resource management, and production environment management.
Contents of research field and assigned faculty
(2) Division of Environmental Planning
In close collaboration with the division of Ecosystem Managemet, this division implements education and research on the comprehensive design of local society which enables sustainable development of human society in balance with the natural environment and on the methodologies to achieve such balance. The curriculum corresponding to respective fields consists of two courses: the Course in Environmental Design covering the realms of design and planning; and the Course in Regional Environment Management covering the realms of regional environmental systems, environmental economics and environmental policy.
The Course in Environmental Design carries out education and research on architectural design in harmony with history, landscape, the natural environment of local human habitation space, and architectural design evaluation. It also aims to establish synthetic methodologies toward the creation of society in balance with environment. The course consists of six research fields: architectural design, living space design, landscape, living space, regional space, and disaster mitigation.
The Course in Regional Environmental Management investigates the way regional society should be, which enables sustainable resource use and regional management and environmental conservation, and implements education and research on regional environmental planning and its execution in order to achieve the ideal regional society. Taking prospects of research contents into account, research will be conducted in loose connection among three research fields: environmental system, regional economy, and environmental policy.
Contents of research field and assigned faculty
2. Features of Education and Research
The graduate school conducts education and research on theory and techniques for problem solutions based upon a comprehensive understanding of organic relations and dynamics between the natural environment and human society in the area in order to train advanced researchers and professionals required for creating human society in harmony with the natural environment. Besides, environmental issues are diversified and they cannot be dealt with by a narrowly specified educational system. The graduate school provides student guidance through a community consisting of a main supervisory faculty. The main supervisory faculty is appointed in accordance with the research topic of the student and a sub-supervisory faculty (from same division or other division, or faculty of other graduate school or qualified researcher of research institutions in Shiga Prefecture). The sub-supervisory faculty is necessary for the student's research, and provides training to handle diverse environmental issues. A student decides upon a main supervisory faculty along with his/her research field at the time of admission. The main supervisory faculty, in coordination with the sub-supervisory faculty, will provide guidance on courses, practices, and thesis writing. The standard period for completion is two years. After the completion of 30 units including compulsory 20 units (advanced studies and research), a Master's degree (Environmental Science) will be awarded to students who pass a thesis review and a final examination.