Forests are very multiple ecosystems, which account for a third of the earth. Humankind has been benefiting a lot from them, including the supply of wood and timber. On one hand, with expanding the scale of human social activities, the number of forests which are getting worse and disappearing through reckless utilization, is increasing. However, people are still depending much on the advantages, so these serious problems cannot be solved, if we consider it is enough to protect or conserve them strictly without improving or developing them.
In this situation, how can making physical and cultural benefits be compatible with forest conservation? The field of Forest Science thinks about such measures, by knowing the various functions and collecting knowledge about the judicious use of forests and reforestation. Forest science is characterized by the diversity reflected in many different aspects of the forest. Many research subjects are connected with other areas of several graduate schools or institutes in the university, and they are integrated within the Department of Forest Science using the keywords “forest” or “forestry”. The field is very interdisciplinary and universal.
Let us start with plants and creatures inhabiting the forests, investigating into the life itself, the interaction lives in the forest, and the relation between ecosystems and the environment belonging to biological scope. These studies are being made great progress with subdivision of specialization, using the specific techniques of experiments and analysis at each target level from genetic to biological systems. Studies on the many effects on the forest, such as wood and timber production, soil and water conservation, the protection of wildlife, and recreation are being developed. Research on the management of forests and forest resources is also a significant theme in forest science. These are basic studies from the scientific viewpoint, as well as practical and applied ones which are useful for developing skill to protect and make forests. It is for this reason that be simply going deeply into specialized grounds, the various aspects of the forest cannot be figured out. Broad fundamental knowledge is also needed.
The department of forest science has a large research realm, in which a variety of subjects converge. Each subject has an organic linkage to the others. This department is multi-disciplinary, at the same time cutting-edge specialization is also aimed at. Now, there are numerous environment issues, such as e global warming, acid rain, desertification and the degradation of tropical rainforests which are discussed in forest science. The department of forest science will contribute to addressing these problems. It is wide open, and welcomes eager students and researchers.
Department of Forest Science consists of 8 laboratories(Silviculture, Forest Plants and Forest Health, Forest Zoology, Forest Management, Forest Policy, Forest Hydrology and Erosion Control Engineering, Forest Utilization, Forest Landscape Planning and Design). Besides, there are 2 cooperative courses (University Forests, Asian Natural Environmental Science Center), and graduate students can study and research under the staffs (professors, and associate professors) of both 8 laboratories and 2 cooperative courses.
Head of the Department (Apr 2016 - Mar 2017)
Prof. Norihiko Shiraishi
|Department of Forest Science, The University of Tokyo|