Environmental Science Section
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
A report of Argentine ants found in a container yard at Naha Port has been published in the Journal of the Biological Society of Okinawa. This is the first record of this species in Okinawa Prefecture. This paper is the result of a cross-organizational collaboration between our own researchers, the Naha Port Management Association, and emergency control and survey professionals.
With the cooperation between the OKEON Churamori Project and the Okinawa City Local Museum at its core, OIST and the Okinawa City Board of Education have concluded their cooperative agreement concerning nature history research and education. Although we lacked knowledge and found ourselves fumbling at the onset of the agreement, the Okinawa City Local Museum shared with us their know-how and helped us broaden our local network. Since then, we have been able to organize collaborative exhibits and lectures with the Museum, whose experts have worked side-by-side with us the entire time.
At Ishigaki City, Section Leader Yoshimura gave a lecture on fire ant identification training organized by the Okinawa Prefectural Government for administrative and port officials. The Ministry of the Environment also held a fire ant control meeting for stakeholders in the Yaeyama region, which Yoshimura continued to attend. Although news about the spread of COVID-19 may have overshadowed any news about invasive ants, it is nonetheless important to continue taking proactive measures.