Department of Natural Resources

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Regional Planning

SAIZEN Izuru, Professor
ASANO Satoshi, Associate professor

The Laboratory of Regional Planning (LRP) has been conducting studies on well-balanced regional developments in urban–rural areas, which are based on appropriate evaluation and utilization of regional resources. “Regional Resource” is a significant keyword in research activities associated with the LRP, and encompasses the human, cultural, historical, and natural resources that have existed in a particular region for a long time. Members of the LRP have been intending to solve social problems through intensive field surveys complemented by GIS and remote sensing technologies to maximize the utilization of “Regional Resources”. In many cases, members of the LRP work with stakeholders (academically addressed as co-design and coproduction); subsequently, they try to associate the results and findings of the study with responses of societal challenges. The current study topics are as follows:

Rural revitalization via a transdisciplinary approach (rural areas in Japan); land and regional resource management and regional resilience (Vietnam); rural studies for sustainable development (Indonesia, Philippines, India); regional identities and its impact on regional performance (Morocco); cultural landscape evaluation and sustainable development (India); and spatial data mining of local statistical data for regional planning.

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Urban Infrastructure Design

KAWASAKI Masashi, Professor
YAMAGUCHI Keita, Associate Professor
KOTANI Hitomu, Assistant Professor

We study the urban and regional landscape, from nature to culture, by analyzing its spatial and temporal structure and transformation based on landscape analysis, design surveys, historical analysis, and community structure analysis. Furthermore, we explore how to design urban infrastructures that are in harmony with the cultural environment, and also study the goals and methodologies of urban and regional planning and design.

1)Landscape Analysis and Planning
We study hilly and mountainous landscapes, and landscapes with rivers and waterways that have formed a favorable environment and influenced the development of human culture. Specifically, we use GIS and CG systems to analyze topography, carry out site analysis, and examine view characteristics. Through this, we explore various normative landscape design methods and different ways of ensuring sustainable landscape management.

2)Landscape Conservation and Regeneration, Urban and Regional Design
We study the characteristics of urban and regional landscapes by focusing on their formation processes, relevant factors, and relationships with infrastructure. The specific targets are mainly cultural landscapes and infrastructures such as parks and green spaces. In addition, we study the possibilities of urban and regional design by evaluating the social structures that make up the landscape and examining the mechanisms of sustainability and transformation of landscape formation systems.

3)Roles of Social Networks in Cities and Regions
We study the formation and function of the social networks (the connections between people in a community), including during extraordinary times such as disasters. Using a variety of methods such as fieldwork and mathematical modeling, we explore the nature of social infrastructure and sustainable societies, taking social networks into account.

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Atmospheric Chemistry

KAJII Yoshizumi, Professor

We investigate atmospheric chemistry, mainly focusing on the issue of photochemical ozone formation. Despite the apparent downward trends for both NOx and VOCs (precursors of photochemical oxidants) detected in mega-cities in many advanced countries, including Japan, photochemical oxidants have still increased in recent years.

We are trying to determine the cause of this upward trend. We are developing ultrasensitive and highly precise instruments to measure reactive trace species such as HOx radicals and NOx and we are using these instruments to obtain information about possible sources of air pollutants, such as vehicles.

Our final goal is to integrate the knowledge obtained from our observations and considerations in order to provide a sound scientific basis for the improvement of air quality.

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Terrestrial Microbiology and Systematics

TANAKA Chihiro, Professor
YOSHIMI Akira, Associate Professo
TAKEUCHI Yuko, Assistant Professor

Many microbes live in agricultural and forest ecosystems, and are interacting with plants and other organisms. Some of these microbes are parasitic to the plants bringing severe damages to the hosts, and some other microbes are mutualistic bringing benefits to the hosts. We are studying on these microbes and the nature of interactions between the microbes and their biotic and abiotic environments to develop new approaches for plant protection and its health. Our current interests are:

  • Fungal systematics.
  • Studies on physiology and ecology of plant pathogens and symbionts.
  • Molecular analyses of the fungal specific characters in parasitism and symbiosis (hyphal development, spore morphogenesis, colonization and penetration on/to solid substrates).

Terrestrial Ecosystems Management

FUNAKAWA Shinya, Professor
SHINJO Hitoshi, Associate Professor
SHIBATA Makoto, Assistant Professor

Our continued existence depends heavily upon terrestrial ecosystems that include air, water, soils, plants and animals. We also influence the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems and act as one of the components. The recent increase in human activities adversely affects ecosystems and the environment at both the local and global levels, in the form of desertification, water and soil pollution and land degradation.

Our laboratory is engaged in a broad range of studies on terrestrial ecosystems management. The study topics include soil characterization, fertility mechanisms and maintenance, the utilization and conservation of soil resources, the mechanism of soil degradation and its remediation, and the reappraisal of indigenous agro-ecosystems management techniques in the humid and semi-arid tropics. We also study holistic approaches to rural development and ecosystems management that can be used to enhance human welfare and security in Japan, Asia and Africa.

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Integrated Environmental Studies

TAKEMAE Yumiko, Assistant professor
TADA Yuto, Assistant Professor
FUJII Shigeo, Visiting professor
ISHIKAWA Raga, Program Specific Assistant Professor
KANDPAL Richa, Assistant Professor

The Laboratory of Integrated Environmental Studies was launched to facilitate interdisciplinary and integrative research activities in environmental studies. Given the multitude of specialized fields that the Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies (GSGES) encompasses, this research laboratory covers all aspects of global environmental studies and carries out research projects on specific topics in collaboration with other GSGES laboratories, thus promoting research work for the GSGES at large. Specific research topics include: solutions for sustainable regional development and global environmental conservation by way of dynamic analyses of resource circulation on both a global scale and within regional ecosystems; the framework of human and environmental symbiosis; policies and techniques aimed at serving common global interests; and technologies and technological criteria appropriate for an environmentally balanced civilization. These individual research initiatives contribute to the promotion of studies at the Department of Natural Resources, Department of Global Ecology, and Department of Technology and Ecology.

Ecosystem linkages and Human society

TOKUCHI Naoko, Professor
TATENO Ryunosuke, Professor
SUZUKI Keita, Assistant Professor

This laboratory is a cooperative laboratory in the Field Science Education Research Center (FSERC) of Kyoto University. Based on the new concept of “the Connectivity of Hills, Humans, and Oceans (CoHHO),” the FSERC proposes an integrated academic field to clarify interactions among forest, river, human, and coastal ecosystems.

■ Connectivity of hills, humans, and oceans
We examine the ecological links between forest, river, human, and coastal ecosystems, and the impacts of human activities on terrestrial and coastal productivity. These concepts are then used to identify suitable methods for ecosystem management in order to achieve future sustainable development.

■ Ecosystem ecology
We study interactions between living (biotic) and nonliving (abiotic) components based on material cycling within an ecosystem and with external ecosystems.

■ Ecology of aquatic organisms
We study production systems of aquatic biological resources, focusing on energy flow from nutrition and primary production through to macrobenthos and fish, emphasizing the life history, survival, growth, movement, and feeding characteristics of key species

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