The Environmental Science Section manages and prepares field specimens to produce data for research. It partners with local communities and observation networks formed during the launch and development of the OKEON Churamori Project, as well as experts with the knowledge required to maintain and manage these specimens. These resources provide OIST researchers with the support they need to conduct terrestrial environmental research. In addition to supporting OIST, the OERSS aims to actively contribute to Okinawa’s SDG initiatives through biodiversity research.

Field sampling network and information

We operate a sampling network consisting of 24 core research sites that conduct ecological monitoring throughout the main island of Okinawa. These sites were set up in cooperation with local communities through the OKEON Churamori Project. Their characteristics vary in terms of environment and location, ranging from nature reserves that are under extremely strict control to areas that are relatively easy to access. Of the various monitoring devices at each site, the camera trap network project is led by our section. More information about each core research sites is available on the OKEON Churamori Project website.

Networking with local communities

The OKEON Churamori Project has enabled us to work with many different people across Okinawa with whom we have forged relationships of trust. Today, the Environmental Science Section serves as a bridge connecting local communities to biodiversity science. Such networking is a crucial component of successful environmental conservation and necessary for hands-on implementation of the latest research findings.

Staff skilled in field research

The Environmental Science Section is staffed with experts who have extensive experience in conducting field research in Okinawa. The section field team members are highly skilled in insect identification, particularly ants. The team's ability to manage the routine collection of data and samples, maintain the integrity of research stations, execute research, and prepare specimens is integral to the success of the OKEON Churamori Project.

Terrestrial invertebrate collection

The Environmental Science Section staff is also experienced in the preparation of insect specimens. Our collection of terrestrial invertebrates, accumulated through the OKEON Churamori Project, is an invaluable resource to the study of Okinawa's biodiversity. This collection serves to educate the next generation about the natural history of present-day Okinawa. In particular for ants, we maintain a high-quality collection of Okinawan regional specimens identified to the species level.

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