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U H Manoa and Tohoku University deans shaking hands

Brian Taylor and Tadahiro Hayasaka

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and Tohoku University formalized a collaborative research and academic program on March 23. School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) Dean Brian Taylor and Tohoku School of Science Dean Tadahiro Hayasaka signed the agreement, which will last for a five-year period with an option of renewal in 2022.

Expanding horizons

Deans and faculty from U H Manoa and Tohoku University

Pictured: (seated) Brian Taylor and Tadahiro Hayasaka, and faculty members from IPRC and the School of Science (standing, from left to right): Niklas Schneider, Toshio Suga, Kelvin Richards, and Takahiro Obara.

The new program, as envisioned, has two channels for institutional interaction: exchanges of students and short-term faculty visits. The first part of the agreement is designed for students obtaining a PhD degree at the Graduate School of Science at Tohoku University to be jointly supervised by faculty at SOEST. The first students who are participating plan to visit SOEST this coming fall semester, and with UH Mānoa’s International Pacific Research Center (IPRC) as the driving force behind the plan, the initial few will have a climate science focus to their studies. In exchange, SOEST students of all disciplines are invited to visit Tohoku to take advantage of their facilities and broad faculty specialties.

The collaboration will also involve reciprocal visits by faculty members. IPRC’s Director, Kelvin Richards, will be the first participant, spending six weeks this summer at Tohoku University. While there, he plans to give a short lecture course and interact with other climate science colleagues. Then Niklas Schneider, also of IPRC, plans to visit the university for a month in the fall.

“We’re excited to begin this collaboration with our fellow natural scientists in Japan, providing greater opportunities to both our student populations, and we look forward to new, fruitful partnerships developing between the two faculties,” Richards said.

The program is an agreement of SOEST but was initiated by IPRC in cooperation with the Graduate School of Science and Faculty of Science at Tohoku University. Like SOEST, the School of Science is an amalgamation of several science departments, with disciplines including physics, geophysics, earth science and volcanology, physical oceanography, biology, astronomy and planetary science, atmospheric sciences, chemistry and mathematics.

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