Leading and driving "Mountain Science" research in Japan, Asia, and on a worldwide scale
Shinshu is a region rich in nature, where people are surrounded by the grand mountain ranges that provide the backdrop to some of the most iconic views in Japan. Shinshu University's "Institute for Mountain Science" is one of the research bases within Shinshu University's Interdisciplinary Cluster for Cutting Edge Research. As the only such organization in Japan dedicated to "Mountain Science", the Institute has a unique research program.Humanity now faces many evolving, global issues, which demand active responses. Besides evaluating the impacts of the environmental changes caused by human activities, we also conduct research on the prevention and mitigation of the disasters caused by such changes, and work towards the solution of regional problems as such the damage caused by birds and wildlife in hilly and mountainous areas, and the aging and disappearance of rural populations. We endeavor to analyze and predict environmental changes in mountain ecosystems, using the data obtained from the long-term surveys and observations made by our institute and research field bases spread across the central mountainous region, which includes the wide variety of habitats and environments of the Japanese Alps, as well as lakes, ponds and marshes. In addition, as the only university in Japan that owns research forests in the alpine zone, mainly of the central mountainous region, we aim to promote and optimize the use of such field facilities. We actively encourage domestic and overseas universities and research institutes to make use of these facilities, and to plan and promote collaborative research that is both global in its scope and original in design. By targeting our research projects to address local and global issues we are able to provide valuable resources for the decision making needed to respond to these issues. Our research results are shared with local communities and/or local governments, and also disseminated both domestically and internationally. Through these activities, we have become leaders in the field of "Mountain Science", driving research forward both in Japan and overseas and creating the innovation that leads to social transformation, including the realization of the SDGs, in an era of environmental change.
Director of the Institute for Mountain Science, Shinshu University