The National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR) is an inter-university research institute established to carry out comprehensive scientific research and observations in polar regions. As one of the research institutes constituting the Research Organization of Information and Systems (ROIS), NIPR has been playing a major role in Japanese Antarctic research programs while also pursuing cutting-edge studies in collaboration with research communities related to the earth, the environment, life, space and other fields.
With a history that already stretches back more than 50 years, Japanese Antarctic research programs in the polar regions are becoming increasingly important for monitoring the earth's environment. Through these programs, NIPR engages in a wide range of activities with both temporal and spatial perspectives by using advanced methods, long-term monitoring observations, and field and ocean observations in extensive areas.
On the other hand, Arctic research has been drawing attention in recent years as interest in global warming grows. Given this, NIPR is implementing its Arctic Climate Change Project as a Green Network of Excellence (GRENE) program in collaboration with various research communities. NIPR is further developing research in other areas of polar science that link theArctic and Antarctic regions.
These studies are planned and implemented under such international frameworks as the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR), the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), the Asian Forum for Polar Sciences (AFoPS) and international joint observations following the International Polar Year 2007-2008 (IPY2007-2008). Thus, 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 various other inter-university research programs.
Researcher training is also a major task of NIPR. As a parent institute of the Graduate University for Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI), NIPR administers a 5-year doctoral course for graduate students in the Department of Polar Science, School of Multidisciplinary Sciences, where it fosters promising researchers with high-level research capabilities and skills 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, NIPR uses the Polar Science Museum on the Tachikawa campus as well as exhibitions and lectures in various cities in Japan to cultivate understanding of polar research and its achievements.
We ask all of you for your understanding and support for our activities.
Dr. Kazuyuki SHIRAISHI
Director-General, National Institute of Polar Research