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
The entomology training we lead for undergraduates at the University of the Ryukyus has become an annual event. This year, although the situation was doubtful due to the pandemic, we were able to shorten it and conduct the training anyway. We were thus able to educate the students by having them observe the monitoring equipment and handle actual insect specimens, which would have been difficult to convey online. Although our time together was short, we are glad we were able to conduct the training in-person.
The alien species Lepisiota frauenfeldi, commonly known as the “browsing ant”, was confirmed to be established in Naha City, and a call by OIST’s Okinawa Environmental Research Support Section led to a cross-organizational collaboration between the City, Sumika Environmental Corporation, and the University of the Ryukyus that has begun control measures. Since around 2017, when fire ants were discovered in mainland Japan, several organizations including research institutes and government agencies have been working together to monitor for alien ants in Okinawa Prefecture.
The Okinawa Municipal Museum Council met on July 13, 2020, and this year Section Leader Yoshimura was appointed as a member of the council. The Okinawa Municipal Museum is a community-based institution with a full staff of specialized curators, and has been a great help to us since the start of the OKEON Churamori Project. As a member of the council, Yoshimura will do his best to return the favor.