[ANNOUNCEMENT] International Spring School for Environmental Studies 2018

The Wild & Wise Collaborative Learning Program
Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Kyoto University
For Foreign Universities

For Kyoto Univeristy students, please click here (PDF 240KB).

The “Top Global University Project” of Kyoto University invites graduate students to receive a short-term scholarship for studying at Kyoto University. The selected students will join the “International Spring School for Environmental Studies 2018 Program” at the Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies (GSGES) with other participants from various countries.

– Application is closed –

Number of students to be accepted: 12 (Twelve)
Qualification*1: High-achieving students who are registered with a full-time or part-time graduate (doctoral or master’s) program and have been recommended by one of these universities: The University of California, San Diego (U.S.A.), Université Lille (France), Université Caen Normandie (France), Université de Bretagne Occidentale (France), University of Stirling (Scotland), University College Cork (Ireland), University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy), KU Leuven (Belgium), Macquarie University (Australia), Sokoine University of Agriculture (Tanzania). Mahidol University (Thailand), Kasetsart University (Thailand), Bogor Agricultural University (Indonesia), Tsinghua University (China), National Taiwan University (Taiwan). Eligible students, must plan to continue their graduate program after completing the Spring School in Japan.
Students must possess English skills sufficient to discuss environmental topics with other participants.
Duration of stay in Kyoto: 21 February – 15 March, 2018
What this program offers: The opportunity to join an exclusive program which includes special lectures, field study courses, and laboratory visits. The detailed contents of the program are given on pages 3 and 4.
Fields of study: Environmental engineering, marine ecology, atmospheric chemistry, agronomy and soil science, human and environmental interactions and other themes in environmental studies
Scholarship coverage: – A round-trip flight ticket between the nearest airport from your university and Kansai Airport/Itami Airport (Osaka)
– Transportation costs during field trip and study tour
– Support of 5,000 yen per day (not full coverage of lodging expenses)
Accommodations: Urban Hotel Kyoto while in Kyoto city (*alternative accommodations cannot be considered for visiting students).
Expenses incurred by individual participants: – Accident insurance
– Expenses for daily meals (lunch and dinner)
– Remaining lodging expenses
– Transportation costs from hotel to Kyoto University (Train/bus)
– Transportation costs from airport (Osaka) to hotel, and hotel to airport (Osaka)
Selection schedule & method: By application documents and interview.
20 October: Beginning of online application
10 November: Deadline for submission of application form via website
Mid-November: Notification of screening result, adjustment of interview schedule
Mid-November – early December: Interview (Skype, Video Conference System)
Mid-December: Notification of interview result
End of December: Submission of original documents and confirmation letter
End of December: Final notification of acceptance
Documents for application: 1. Application form (via the website upon registration)
2. Latest academic transcripts (graduate or undergraduate courses)
3. CV
4. Recommendation letter from your current academic supervisor
5. Certification of your current student status
6. English language test score (if any)

Application through the website must be completed by 23:59, 10 November in Japanese time. For applicants who pass the documentation screening and interview examination, all original documents for items 2-6 must be submitted by registered airmail or EMS/DHL/FEDEX by 20 December 2017 (normally DHL, FEDEX takes 2-3 days, EMS 2 days to 1 week, Air mail takes 1-2 weeks to Japan). At this time, we will request submission of confirmation letters and passport copies.

– Application is closed –

Postal address for original document submission: GSGES Spring School Program
Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Kyoto University
Yoshida-honmachi, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-8501 Japan
Tel: +81-75-753-9167
E-mail: okamoto.yuki.4x*kyoto-u.ac.jp (replace * with @)

*1 Applicant must belong to master program or doctoral program at one of the designated universities. Applicants who work as lecturers for a designated university but are studying at a non-designated university graduate program may not apply. Post-doctoral researchers, and reseach students are not eligible for this program.

We encourage students with high academic capability and an interest in international academic exchange to apply for this scholarship program.

October 2nd, 2017

Prof. Shinya Funakawa
Dean, Graduate School of Global Environmental Studies, Kyoto University

International Spring School for Environmental Studies 2018

Schedule in 2018

21st February (Wed)
Arrival in Kyoto
22nd February (Thu)
Orientation, full series of lectures, dinner seminar
23rd February (Fri)
Kyoto city tour/Seminar (tentative)
24th February (Sat.) – 26th (Mon.)
Field study tour in Shiga *contents1
(Local natural water usage system around Lake Biwa, Lake Biwa Museum, Water treatment research site, Sewage treatment facilities, Local confectionary company)
27th February (Tue) – 28th (Wed)
Special seminar and experiments in atmospheric chemistry *contents2
1st March (Thu) – 4th (Sun)
Field study tour on Satoyama, Marine Environments and Energy (Ine, Kamiseya, Maizuru, Tsuruga) *contents3
5th March (Mon)
Day off
6th March (Tue)
Laboratory visit 1 (visiting lab. at GSGES related to your major) *contents4
7th March (Wed)
Laboratory visit 2 (visiting lab. at GSGES) *contents4
8th March (Thu)
Student exchange program, cultural experiences in Kyoto city
9th March (Fri)
Day off
10th March (Sat)-12th (Mon)
Field study tour on Soil and Forest in Wakayama and Mie *contents5
13th March (Tue)
Preparation for final seminar
14th March (Tue)
Final seminar and discussion
15th March (Wed)


1. Field study tour in Shiga (24th – 26nd February)

A three-day tour course will take us around Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan, to investigate people’s lives and environment. First, we will move to Shiga prefecture and visit a lakeside district named Harie to learn about the natural water utilization system in the local community (active eco-tourism). The next day we will visit the Lake Biwa Museum to learn about natural history, people’s lives and environmental conservation measures to rehabilitate the lake, which was once threatened by eutrophication. We will then visit a wastewater treatment plant to learn about state-of the-art technology for wastewater treatment. On the third day, we will visit a famous confectionary factory that has been active in environmental conservation and rural development.

2. Gain expertise about the Atmosphere (27th – 28th February)

We will provide a special course on atmospheric chemistry that includes:

  1. Air pollution studies
    ・Kinetic study for NOx and ozone reaction
    ・Field observation of air quality in Kyoto
  2. Aerosol formation experiments
    ・Secondary organic aerosols from ozonolysis
    ・Aerosols from plant emissions

3. Field study tour in Satoyama, Marine Environments and Energy (1st – 4th March)

“Satoyama”is a Japanese term referring to the area comprising hilly terrain and arable flat land. Literally, sato (里) means arable and livable land or local land, and yama (山) means hill or mountain. The Satoyama landscape has evolved through centuries of small scale agricultural and forestry use supporting local people’s lives and preserving biodiversity. We will visit an example of Satoyama in the winter, and learn about the landscape, culture, society, and current issues in rural society.

To investigate about the marine environment in the Sea of Japan, we will stay at the Maizuru Fisheries Research Station (MFRS) of Kyoto University in northern Kyoto Prefecture. The research station is well situated for education and research on (1) the life history and ecology of fish, invertebrates and algae, (2) coastal oceanography, (3) systematics of marine fish, (4) terrestrial impacts on productivity and biodiversity in rivers and coastal waters. The course at the Maizuru Fisheries Research Station will cover theories and practical methods to enhance students’ knowledge of the marine environment and biodiversity in the Sea of Japan, including:

  1. Evaluation of marine environment via conductivity, salinity, temperature, chlorophyll, and depth data;
  2. Collection of benthos and fishes with a beam trawl;
  3. Identification of species by means of molecular genetic techniques

To deepen our understanding of energy, we will visit a wind power plant to see the actual condition of this renewable energy, and the Atomic Energy Science Museum at the Fukui Nuclear Power Center in Fukui prefecture to learn about the operation of nuclear power plants and accidents at nuclear power plants.

4. Laboratory visit (6th – 7th March)

You will visit a laboratory at GSGES which is related to your current studies on 6th March for the entire day. On 7th March, you can visit other laboratories* (See Table 1) to learn about specific research topics, knowledge and know-how in environmental studies which differs from your major. You can select 2 laboratories to visit (1 laboratory in the morning and the other laboratory in the afternoon).

5. Field study tour on Soil and Forest in Wakayama and Mie (10th – 12th March)

In this tour, we will visit “Ki no Kuni (紀伊国)” which means “country of wood”. Lectures will be provided on soils supporting agricultural and natural ecosystems in Japan, especially mountain and forest usage related to Satoyama and livelihood transitions due to societal change. In addition, we will visit a site utilizing woody biomass from local timber as an alternative energy source.

Assignment after acceptance

Through this program, we would like all the participants to jointly learn, discuss, and think deeply about “Energy”, “Food” and “Linkage among Urban and Rural Areas” for achieving a sustainable society through field studies in the Kansai area of Japan. Students from Kyoto University, including Japanese and some students from other countries, may also join this program.

We kindly request that you investigate conditions related to the keywords above (Energy, Food, Linkage among Urban and Rural Areas) in your country in advance to promote productive discussions with other members. In addition, please prepare a short presentation to explain about your current/former studies to show at the Dinner Seminar on 22nd February. The academic backgrounds of the participants are wide-ranging, so please try to prepare an audience-friendly presentation.

In the series of Atmospheric Chemistry seminars, you will have a presentation (1-2 page of PPT file or PDF file) about air pollution in your home country/province. Please prepare and make a presentation in English and if you use data from other documents and websites, please indicate the data sources in your presentation.

Important Notice

There may be some subsequent schedule and content changes. We apologize for any inconvenience. We will inform you immediately of major changes.

Table 1 Laboratories available on 7th March 2018
  Laboratories Lecturers Website
1 Global Environmental Policy Prof. Usami http://www.envpolicy.ges.kyoto-u.ac.jp/Eng_index.html
2 Global Ecological Economics Assoc. Prof. Mori https://www2.ges.kyoto-u.ac.jp/en/lab/global-ecological-economics/
3 Environmental Education Assoc. Prof. Singer https://www2.ges.kyoto-u.ac.jp/en/lab/environmental-education/
4 Environmentally-friendly Industries for Sustainable Development Prof. Fujii http://enfitwww.env.kyoto-u.ac.jp/index-e.html
5 Environmental Infrastructure Engineering Prof. Katsumi http://geotech.gee.kyoto-u.ac.jp/index_e.html
6 Environmental Biotechnology Prof. Miyashita https://www2.ges.kyoto-u.ac.jp/en/lab/environmental-biotechnology/
7 Environmentally-Friendly Energy Conversion Prof. Abe https://www2.ges.kyoto-u.ac.jp/en/lab/environmentally-friendly-energy-conversion/
8 Regional Planning Assoc. Prof. Saizen http://www.lrp.kais.kyoto-u.ac.jp/group/index_E.html
9 Ecosystem Production and Dynamics Prof. Osawa https://www2.ges.kyoto-u.ac.jp/en/lab/ecosystem-production-and-dynamics/