About Our Program : Expected outputs in the program

Expected results in research and education in five years
1. We aim to establish the new discipline of “Satellite Ecology” by resolving various issues that exist in the respective fields of remote sensing analysis and ecological research and by eliminating the barriers between them. We also aim to elucidate the interactions involving the living organisms, environment, and human activities in a regional ecosystem.

2. We aim to establish a research and education system in the field of Satellite Ecology. We intend to elucidate the relationships between distribution pattern of various ecosystems and their function. At this time, a satellite equipped with high-resolution all weather sensors is expected to be launched and put into service. In this way, we will be able to immediately adopt innovations in image resolution into wide-area research. We will be able to elucidate the functions of, evaluate the status of, and predict the future of various ecosystems ranging from single ecosystems to wide-area ecosystems in regions of Japan, in Asia, and at the global level.

3. We will release to the public our research accomplishments attained by integrating image analysis based on the techniques of Satellite Ecology and ecological research. As a result, we will be able to promote the awareness of local residents for environmental issues and deepen their insight. At this COE we will develop interdisciplinary researchers who are equipped with comprehensive knowledge, skills, and vision in diversified fields in addition to their own fields of study, providing a way to take a comprehensive approach to coping with complex ecological, regional scientific issues.

Expected results and social significance
Evaluating the existing conditions and providing future forecasts for environmental issues, such as global warming and environmental pollution, caused by human activities has a great deal of influence on developing policies for environmental conservation. Therefore, a large number of relevant research projects are underway. Although the research in ecoprocesses, remote sensing, and climate modeling target common regions and time frames, each research activity is conducted independently and the results are totally disconnected. Why is this happening? We admit that the current analyses are conducted without understanding the characteristics of other relevant fields (such as the target phenomena, scale, etc.) and based on hypotheses lacking mutual understanding and common ground. In addition, as the interactions within an ecosystem unit (one spot or a small cluster of spots in a satellite image) in the targeted research region have not been elucidated, ecological phenomena on the regional and global levels that are connected by the atmosphere, rivers, and oceans are not sufficiently understood.

Considering the importance of the social responsibility aspect of environmental science, enhancing the reliability of research results is an urgent task. To establish more accurate evaluation techniques it is essential to create a concerted effort to attain data and develop methods that are adaptable for use in multiple ecology-related fields. We intend to pioneer such an effort by establishing the field of Satellite Ecology at this COE.

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