Environmental Science Section

Photo of eleven members taken outside


In April 2021, the Okinawa Environmental Research Support Section (OERSS) was renamed the Environmental Science Section. The section itself was established in 2019 as an independent function of the OKEON Chiramori Project with the goal of maintaining and promoting OIST's Okinawa terrestrial field research and community network in a more sustainable and stable manner.

Our goal is to carry out environmental research and education to ultimately contribute to the sustainable development of Okinawa by leveraging the local relationships, environmental monitoring networks, and experienced support teams developed by the OKEON Churamori Project.


  • Provision of support for terrestrial fieldwork in Okinawa
  • Maintenance and management of common equipment for terrestrial fieldwork
  • Develop, manage, and facilitate the use of the Okinawa Environmental Observation Network (OKEON)
  • Maintenance and management of equipment for OKEON
  • Execute and manage long-term data collection and sample storage for OKEON
  • Contribution to the sustainable development of Okinawan communities utilizing OKEON data, human resources, and collaborative network


Current service for OIST researchers

  • Information and network provision and paperwork support for permissions required for terrestrial field sampling in Okinawa Prefecture
  • Coordination with the local community to conduct field survey in Okinawa Prefecture
  • Providing information about the OKEON Churamori project study area
  • Providing supports for field survey in the OKEON Churamori Project study areas
  • Return, promotion and its coordination of the academic outputs related to the OKEON Churamori Project to Okinawa society

Latest Posts

  • We took up the challenge to organize an Online Science café during OIST’s Science Festa (January 2021)

    Every year, crowds of people come to the Science Festa, the largest open community event held by OIST. However, the openings of nearly all public events have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Science Festa was no exception. As an alternative, Section Leader Yoshimura took up the challenge of organizing the first “Online Science Café”. The theme centered on ants and other invasive species in Okinawa. As this was our first time doing this, we were a bit out of our element, but ultimately many people tuned in to participate and the event was a success.


  • Science workshop held at Hentona High School (January 2021)

    We held a science workshop for high school students and above on "The Biodiversity Around Us and Invasive Species". This program was for the students of Hentona High School, which is one of the schools participating in the OKEON Churamori Project’s prefectural high school collaborative ant research program. Additionally, this school had allowed us to install ant traps to collect data as one of the 24 OKEON monitoring sites. One hour after the lecture during break-time, we showed the students the actual equipment we use and were able to tell them a lot about our research.

  • Yoshi gave a lecture at the education program “Ryudai Kagakuin”. (2020/11)

    Section Leader Yoshi gave a lecture at "Ryudai Kagakuin (https://gsc.skr.u-ryukyu.ac.jp/)", an education program sponsored by the University of the Ryukyus and aimed at high school students with outstanding motivation and abilities in the field of science.

    During the lecture, we introduced the OKEON Churamori Project and the invasive ant countermeasure project we are implementing in Okinawa.