Prefectural University of Kumamoto
|Faculty of Environmental and Symbiotic Sciences|
Towards an environmental and symbiotic societyEEE
Seeking a coexistence between the natural environment and human activitiesA new faculty of natural science integrating the fields of science, engineering, agriculture and medicine, beyond the framework of conventional academic study
Aiming to create an environmental, symbiotic societyHuman beings have lived by altering and adjusting the natural environment throughout history. During the Industrial Revolution and beyond, a population explosion at the global level has contributed to the exploitation of natural resources. Excessive consumption of energy and mass production have led to the destruction of the environment and has reduced biodiversity. To resolve these problems, we must build a comfortable and healthy living environment, where humans and the natural environment coexist, where the environment is managed in a sustainable fashion, and where the development of society, the improvement of well-being, and the achievement of a symbiotic society are assured.
As expressed in the phrase "Think Globally, Act Locally," drastic changes in production systems and lifestyles are needed. Simultaneously, more concrete and detailed approaches will be necessary to realize an environmental and symbiotic society.
In conventional study, natural science issues are dealt with by the faculties of science and agriculture, while human activity issues are taught by the faculties of domestic science, engineering and medicine. Considering the diversity of issues related to environmental symbiosis, the problems cannot be solved unless they are handled through a multidisciplinary approach and a curriculum that crosses the conventional framework of learning.
Under these circumstances, the Faculty of Environmental and Symbiotic Sciences has been established with an educational philosophy aimed at supporting regional development and improving human well-being through an understanding of issues from a multidisciplinary viewpoint.
The Curriculum: three key areas
The faculty consists of three interrelated areas.
Fostering Human Resources to Help Build an Environmental and Symbiotic Society
1. ObjectivesThe Faculty of Environmental and Symbiotic Sciences, established with the philosophy of building an environmental and symbiotic society, has as its objective the fostering of internationally-aware people with the multidisciplinary knowledge and technical skills to adapt to the information society, to understand advanced technologies, and thus to address environmental and symbiotic issues.
2. Concepts of curriculum designThe curriculum is based on the following concepts to achieve these objectives.
A well-balanced and systematic curriculum ensuring a multidisciplinary approach and technical skills.
The courses especially vital in realizing an environmental and symbiotic society, the primary goals of study for this faculty, are designated as "Common faculty". Some of these are mandatory and some elective. In addition, "Major study courses" are provided to solidify and deepen knowledge, broaden methods of approach, and develop awareness of and intellectual interest in environmental and symbiotic issues.
Cultural studies are available from the freshman to senior years, so that students can take them as time and interest allow.
3. Focus on field experience in technical educationStudents experience actual work in the field, the starting point for environmental issues, through a range of experiments and exercises including field work and environment assessments. Students thus learn the ability to apply what they have learned.
(1) Introductory courses
Students learn an outline of issues related to the environment and symbiosis, helping them to understand the significance of the other subjects they will study within the field of environmental and symbiotic science.
(2) Core courses
These foster a multidisciplinary viewpoint by deepening the knowledge of major study subjects and learning environmental and symbiotic viewpoints and approaches.
(3) Major study courses
These courses develop technical skills and knowledge through the two groups of subjects: "basic subjects" to learn basic knowledge and skills in special studies, and "applied subjects" featuring advanced specialties.
(4) Environmental and symbiotic practical courses
Students perform voluntary work on issues related to environment and symbiosis, learning how to make comprehensive judgments from a wider viewpoint.
(5) Graduation study
Graduation study is the preparation work for the Undergraduate thesis.
Division of Ecology and Environmental ResourcesUnderstanding ecological systems/preservation and use of the environment
Students cultivate knowledge and understanding of natural science to scientifically analyze and draw conclusions about a range of issues related to the environment and symbiosis. Simultaneously, they develop the ability to investigate, analyze and assess the impact of human activities on the environment as well as the mechanisms of ecological systems. Research is conducted on the measures needed to ensure sustainable social development through the preservation and proper use of natural resources.
Basic coursesThese courses include nineteen in general science (physics, chemistry, biology and physical geography), mathematics, statistics and information processing to cultivate knowledge and understanding of natural science .
Applied coursesThis part of the curriculum includes 42 subjects of which nine consist of experiments and field work, to develop the abilities of investigation and analysis in ecology, bioresources, physical resources and environmental planning required to achieve the educational objectives of this faculty. In particular, environmental assessment classes are demonstrative classes covering four key environments, namely coastal, forest, marine and agricultural.
Students will learn about ecosystems and the function of the oceans and forests, as well as their preservation and usage.
Division of Human HabitatCreation of a living environment good for both nature and humans
From the perspective of "the environment and symbiosis," students cultivate a scientific understanding experimentally, by looking at the whole living environment, including housing, architecture, urban areas, agricultural areas and nature. Based on this understanding, students acquire knowledge and technical skills related to design, planning, adjustment and construction, which are needed for the improvement and creation of a living environment emphasizing health, welfare and the usage of local resources. Social scientific knowledge is stressed, as well as a knowledge of ecology.
Basic coursesThis component of the curriculum includes eight courses in drafting and practical design and provides knowledge and skills essential throughout the degree program, together with the physics and mathematics that are inseparable from learning dynamics and environmental conditioning.
Applied coursesStudents may choose from 54 subjects related to agricultural and urban environments, living space, environmental conditioning facilities, structures, materials and local planning through living environment planning science (field work, design and drafting), practicals, survey exercises, and living environment conditioning engineering experiments.
Division of Food and Health EnvironmentCreation of a food culture that considers the environment and the local community
First of all, students cultivate knowledge and understanding of
the basic natural science necessary for study in this field, as well as
practical approaches for dieting and health, with the goal of reducing
the load on the natural environment and reflecting local environmental
characteristics. Students learn the characteristics of food and human
Basic coursesStudents study 12 subjects, including statistical science, as related to chemistry and biology which are the foundation for studying food, nutrition, exercise and health.
Applied coursesThese 54 subjects relate to the food and health environment and include 16 experimental and field work subjects in food biotechnology, food processing science, nutrition and clinical nutrition.