National Institute of Polar Research

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Director's Message

The National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR) is an inter-university research institute that is conducting comprehensive scientific research and observations in polar regions. As one of the research institutes constituting the Research Organization of Information and Systems (ROIS), NIPR is playing a major role in Japanese Antarctic research programs, while pursuing cutting-edge studies in collaboration with research communities relating to the earth, the environment, life, space and other fields.

As demonstrated by the rapid decrease of the Arctic sea ice cover in recent years, research in polar regions is becoming increasingly important for monitoring the earth environment. NIPR is involved in a wide range of activities in Arctic and Antarctic research programs and is using advanced methods, long-term monitoring observations and field and ocean observations over extensive areas.

NIPR is steadily implementing the Arctic Climate Change Project as one of the Green Network of Excellence (GRENE) programs in collaboration with various research communities. Elucidating future trends in the Earth’s environment through detailed analyses of polar research data is a big task for NIPR, but it continues to further develop research in other areas of polar science.

These studies are planned and implemented under international frameworks. Having participated in activities of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), the Asian Forum for Polar Sciences (AFoPS) and international joint research programs after the International Polar Year 2007-2008 (IPY2007-2008), NIPR plays an important role in international global observations. Furthermore, NIPR is opening up new frontiers in interdisciplinary research under the framework of the Transdisciplinary Research Integration Center (TRIC) at ROIS and through various other inter-university research programs. In April 2015, Japan hosted “Arctic Science Summit Week 2015”, where various international Arctic research organizations mutually discussed current and future research programs through information exchange.

The training of researchers is also important at the institute. As a parent institute of the Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI), NIPR accommodates a 5-year doctoral course for graduate students in the Department of Polar Science, School of Multidisciplinary Sciences and is involved in fostering promising researchers with high-level research capabilities and skills necessary for field science.

Utilizing the findings of observations and research in polar regions, NIPR promotes outreach activities for schools using the INTELSAT satellite communication system. In addition, the Polar Science Museum at the Tachikawa campus and exhibitions and lectures in various Japanese cities are used as a means of transmitting information about polar research and its achievements.

We ask for your ongoing support in our research activities.

Dr. Kazuyuki SHIRAISHI
Director-General, National Institute of Polar Research

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