About OAAbout OA

UTokyo Ocean Allianc will educate the next generation of experts with fresh new perspectives of our ocean. The alliance will create an international core for ocean research and education with an interactive flow of information to form our nations largest think tank for ocean related issues.

A message from the Director (Professor Toshiyuki Hibiya, Graduate School of Science)

Professor Toshiyuki Hibiya
Professor Toshiyuki Hibiya

More than 250 faculty members and researchers at the University of Tokyo work on a broad range of topics related directly to the ocean. This represents the largest group of researchers in this field anywhere in Japan. Nonetheless, in order to tackle and resolve contemporary ocean-related issues, much work remains to be done in terms of establishing a platform for thinking about the oceans in an interdisciplinary and comprehensive way.

On July 3, 2007 the University of Tokyo established the “Ocean Alliance”—a university-wide organization to address this challenge. The alliance draws on seven graduate schools, five research institutes, and one research center. This initiative established a multidisciplinary nucleus for ocean education and research that ties together all these departments across the university.

With a view to resolving the ocean-related issues faced by society, the Ocean Alliance strives to contemplate the future of Japan as an ocean nation from a global perspective, deepen our knowledge and understanding of the oceans, create and develop new ideas, technologies and industries, and cultivate new academic disciplines that integrate these connected fields. The alliance also contributes as a think tank to national efforts on ocean issues.

Research and Education

The Ocean Alliance brings together researchers who engage in highly specialized studies on ocean-related subjects from the above units of our University and provides a setting for them to perform interdisciplinary research on major themes of current interest. The scientific knowledge that is thereby acquired is then fed back to the community in the form of concrete policy proposals, helping to resolve complex and diverse ocean-related issues. The Interdisciplinary Ocean Studies Unit and the Ocean Policy Unit of the Program for Basis of Marine Affairs, supported by the Nippon Foundation and launched in FY2008, have been lending strong backup support to this multidisciplinary research effort. In addition, in 2009 the Hiratsuka Offshore Experiment Tower Program, which makes use of a fixed offshore platform that enables day-to-day monitoring of wind waves and testing of ocean monitoring equipment, was started. In 2010, the Ocean Literacy Program, a study initiative on accelerating education in ocean literacy through beginner- to advanced-level courses, aimed at creating a foundation for training students and young researchers in ocean-related fields, was also started.

In addition to starting the Interdisciplinary Education Program on Ocean Science and Policy, we have also started to offer a course entitled “Basic and Advanced Topics of the Ocean” to undergraduates in the College of Arts and Sciences, as an educational initiative to help undergraduates develop an appreciation and interest in marine issues. We also offer a practical seminar available to any student in the university, “Field Laboratory Class”, at the university’s Misaki Marine Biological Station in the city of Miura, Kanagawa prefecture.

Participating Units

250 researchers from the following 13 units participate in the Ocean Alliance: Graduate School of Science, Graduate School of Education, Graduate School of Engineering, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, Graduate School of Public Policy, Earthquake Research Institute, Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, Institute of Industrial Science, Historiographical Institute, Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, and Asian Natural Environmental Science Center.

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