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Study Report

  1. Asteria Satyaning Handayani (Earth Science: D3) The Pennsylvania State University, USA

    1st: November 1st, 2022 – December 21st, 2022
    2nd: January 13th, 2023 – April, 2023

    From November 2022 until April 2023, I am a visiting scholar at the Department of Landscape Architecture, The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), State College, Pennsylvania, USA. During my stay, I work under the supervision of Dr. Travis Flohr on formulating a way to translate my scientific result into applicable planning language for decision-makers. Specifically, since I have studied how urban land use affects torrential rainfall using the land use regression technique with Dr. Yuzuru Isoda at Tohoku University, I then needed to communicate the outcomes in an understandable manner for policymakers and general public. For that purpose, I must quickly adapt to new study fields such as ecological planning, urban design, and science communication. I was encouraged to dive deep into literature study, historically and culturally, and learn to criticize existing planning and communicating science theories, which are not always applicable in real-life cases. It was challenging at first and made me reflect on my Ph.D. journey. Fortunately, my weekly discussion with Dr. Flohr helped me clarify new terms, solidify my research, and keep it on track. My learning curve steeply increased there, and I have become confident that the multidisciplinary research I worked on can make an important contribution to society.
    State College is a small and friendly town surrounded by farmlands and forests. It is a multicultural and safe environment to live and work in. Most socio-economic life in this town revolves around the University’s activities, particularly related to sports. Penn State is located at the heart of the town, a big campus with beautiful old buildings and sceneries. I arrived there when the autumn was almost over and was thrilled to watch many wild squirrels jumping around here and there to find nuts in the campus’ yards, preparing for winter. The stay has also become enjoyable since I gained new good friends from different parts of the world at our department and beyond.
    I am very fortunate to obtain this precious opportunity provided by GP-EES. The visit has exposed me to different cultures and ways of doing things, which allowed me to continuously reframe my perspective, open my mind to possibilities, invest in knowledge, and grow more understanding. My gratitude goes to GP-EES and Tohoku University.

  2. Fumika Sambe (Geophysics: D2) IPRC, University of Hawaii

    1st: June 14th, 2022 – August 1st, 2022
    2nd: August 16th, 2022 – January, 2023

    I have been staying at the International Pacific Research Center (IPRC), at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, since June 2022. During my stay, I have been studying as a visiting student, discussing with three professors to progress my research, and participating in seminars held regularly. Although it was initially challenging to have discussions not one-on-one and in English, I gradually became able to exchange valuable opinions through repeated discussions, and I am steadily improving my skills.
    The University of Hawaii at Manoa is located in Honolulu on the island of Oahu and is only a bus ride from Waikiki Beach. On my days off, I enjoy shopping at various shopping centers, indulging in delicious food, and even going a little further afield by bus. I also enjoyed trekking with Takahashi-san, a GP-EES alumni post-doc at IPRC, and Amma-kun and Adi-kun, who used to stay at the University of Hawaii as I did.
    I also attended the 7th Argo Science Workshop held in Brussels, Belgium, in October. It was the first time I attended an overseas conference held in person. Still, it was an excellent experience to talk with various people in a very homey atmosphere unique overseas. Although my stay was short, I could also enjoy the city’s beautiful European architecture.
    I plan to return to Japan in January 2023. At the time of writing this report, I have less than one month left to go. I was initially anxious about my long stay, but now that it is over, it will pass in the blink of an eye. I want to spend the time left in Hawaii in a meaningful way so that I can finish the research I am currently working on and not have unfinished business in Hawaii.

  3. Kazuki Yoshida (Department of Environmental Studies for Advanced Society: D2) Utrecht University, the Netherlands

    1st: February 1, 2022 – April 30, 2022
    2nd: November, 2022 – December, 2022

    I stayed in Utrecht, the Netherlands, for three months from February 2022 and one month from November 2022. Utrecht is known as the hometown of Dick Bruna, the creator of Miffy. Utrecht University, where I stayed, is the largest university in the Netherlands and has a long history, founded in 1636, about 400 years ago. The university is equipped with many analytical instruments. It has produced many leading research results in the field of earth sciences.

    I observed the three-dimensional structure of a rock using X-ray CT and the microstructure using TEM. In November, a joint workshop between Utrecht University and Tohoku University was held, where I presented my research. I also participated in weekly laboratory seminars and learned firsthand about the research attitudes of the researchers and students at Utrecht University. I was surprised to see students taking the lead in active questions and discussions, which I rarely see in Japan. There are no 24-hour stores in Utrecht. Most stores close at 20:00. Although I felt a little inconvenienced, which is different from that in Japan, I also felt the European culture that values time with families.

    The Netherlands is the birthplace of famous artists such as Van Gogh and Vermeer, and many of their works are in the collections of Dutch museums. The large museums have audio guides in Japanese, which I could enjoy even though I am unfamiliar with the art. In April, tulips are at their best in Keukenhof park, and I could enjoy the tulips all over the park. During my stay in the Netherlands, I could experience the research style, culture, customs, and nature of the Netherlands. I feel that my perspective was broadened. I would like to express my gratitude to all the people involved in the International Joint Graduate Program.

  4. Nao Yoshida (Geophysics: D3) Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB)

    June 10th, 2022 – September 29th, 2022

    From Oct. 2021 to Dec. 2021 and from Jun. 2022 to Sep. 2022, I stayed at Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BIRA-IASB) in Brussels as an exchange Ph.D. student of Université catholique de Louvain. I analyzed the distribution of carbon monoxide (CO) in the Martian atmosphere using the dataset observed by ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter. One of the merits of a long stay abroad is that we could repeat a discussion over several hours. I worked as a researcher and a member of the NOMAD Mars observation team. It makes me confident.
    The institute has diversity. People from more than 14 countries come there to work and/or study. They share with me their opinions on jobs, life, and work. I realized that there are a lot of options, and every option is valuable to my life. In contrast, I recognized that he/she is also the same as me because they are impressed by the scenery of neighboring countries as me, and they worry about similar things. Now, they are my great colleagues and encourage my doctorate thesis. I also encourage their study/work. I’m glad to meet them. Thanks to them, I found that every day is often trivial, but it could satisfy my curiosity. When I return to Japan, I will find much more pleasure in daily life than before.

  5. Hanani Adiwira (Geophysics: D2)IPRC, University of Hawaii

    March 5th, 2022 – September 5th, 2022

    I spent six months in Honolulu, Hawaii, as a part of the GP-EES program. I was a visiting student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and studied at the International Pacific Research Center (IPRC). I had a wonderful time during my stay. I had fruitful discussions with the professors and got to experience many beautiful scenic views in Hawaii! I had a meeting with the professors every two weeks and they were super helpful, they gave a lot of suggestions that really helped me to expand my research topic. During the six months, the professors encouraged me to try new methods, explore research topics I hadn’t done before, and not be afraid to make mistakes. They told me PhD is the time to explore things, and it was precious advice for me. I was happy that I was given the freedom to work on my research, but with close supervision so that I could have tangible research progress.

    I was lucky that my stay period was at the same time as the other GP-EES students, Sambe-san and Amma-san, and also Takahashi-san, an alumnus of the GP-EES program who works at the University of Hawaii. We talked a lot, ate lunch at the campus, discussed our research progress, and even went to many sightseeing areas! I had the chance to climb mountains, go to the beaches, and visit famous tourist spots. The foods were also amazing, especially the seafood. I was also able to try many favorite Hawaiian desserts.

    I’m grateful to the GP-EES program for the opportunity to study in Hawaii. It was a truly memorable experience.

  6. Kana Amano (Earth Science D3) IPAG, Grenoble, France

    April 24th, 2022 – July 15th, 2022

    I stayed in Grenoble for 3 months in 2022 to perform experiments and analyses of organic matters in meteorites and samples collected from asteroids. It was my second visit there, and during the pandemic, I truly looked forward to seeing people in Grenoble and surrounding mountains again. A lot of graduate students and post-docs work at IPAG (Institut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble), where I stayed, and they are open to visiting students from all over the world (other European countries, India, Vietnam, and so on). It was a lot of fun that I could talk with them about scientific topics, environments and mindsets for study, and incredible regulations and habits in individual countries. I also had opportunities to enjoy lunch together with lab mates and visit Lyon, a big city with impressive cuisines, for analyses. Every time I was upset by trouble, my supervisor gave me the phrase “C’est la vie (That’s life)” to think about things in a positive way. I would like to thank GP-EES, IPAG, and many people involved for providing me with such a great international experience as a PhD student.

  7. Ayumu Ishikawa (Geophysics: D3) University of Florence, Italy

    1st: October 29, 2019 – March 14, 2020
    2nd: October, 2021 – October, 2022

    I have enrolled in the Doctorate Course in Earth Sciences, University of Florence, with a Double Degree Agreement with Tohoku University. I have been interested in Stromboli volcano, Italy, one of the most active volcanoes around the world. I have focused on ground deformation induced by magma transportation beneath the volcano, aiming to reveal the physical processes of volcanic eruptions. Recently, we have been working on developing real-time conversion of seismic data to ground tilt data on contributing to the early-warning system for sudden violent eruptions. My laboratory is a vivacious place, as we always discuss loudly. I usually have Italian-style sandwiches or Chinese cuisines outside or a homemade pasta lunch box for lunch. For break time, we have a small talk while having espresso coffee. I had the exciting opportunity to visit several volcanoes in Italy, including Vulcano island and Mt. Etna. In February 2020, I participated in the conference of the volcanological association of Italy at Catania, foot of Mt. Etna. At the conference, sweats, coffee and a lunch buffet were provided, so the conference atmosphere was more relaxed than that in Japan. I watch football games and cook local cuisines all over Italy on weekends. Sometimes I have a short trip to a nearby city like Pisa and Bologna. I often struggle with differences in culture and language in foreign countries in my research and daily life, but I spend exciting days with many discoveries.

  8. Tong Wang (Geophysics: D1)IPRC, University of Hawaii

    September 15, 2019 – December 18, 2019

    I visited the University of Hawaii from September 15 to December 18.

    During my first week in Honolulu, I participated in an international conference, OceanObs’19. I made a poster presentation throughout the poster sessions, introduced water mass anomalies in the North Pacific based on observational data. By talking with researchers from different countries and answering their questions, I received many useful recommendations and new perspectives on my current research.

    After the conference, I started my study life in International Pacific Research Center (IPRC), located in the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus. I was studying under the instructions of three professors, Professor Bo Qiu, Professor Kelvin Richards, and Professor Niklas Schneider. They are very kind that they help me not only on my study but also on my life. Whatever questions I asked during the discussions, they always answered with patience.

    My aim there was to optimize my master thesis about evolutions of water mass anomalies, as well as to extend new methods to explain the causes and propagations of water mass anomalies, including quantifying the impacts of different processes through anomaly budget equation and using modeling outputs to calculate. I will continue the research after I come back to Sendai and make them parts of my PhD dissertation.

    Besides the research, I also experienced cultural activities in Hawaii. The closing banquet of OceanObs’19 was a traditional Hawaiian party, Luau, where we enjoyed Hawaiian style dances, performances and fireworks. At Thanksgiving Day, other researchers in the university invited me to join a Thanksgiving Dinner with a big group, and I learned the spirits of sharing and giving in American culture.

    I would appreciate GP-EES for giving me such a precious opportunity to study abroad.

  9. Theodorus Permana (Geophysics: D3)ISTerre, Grenoble, France

    2019/10 – 2020/03

    From October 2019 to March 2020, thanks to the Jointly Supervised Degree program of GP-EES, I had an excellent opportunity to perform my doctoral research at the Institut des Sciences de la Terre (ISTerre) in Université Grenoble Alpes, Grenoble, France. My research is about the method for location determination of volcanic tremor using the correlation of seismic data. It became more exciting when I realized that I will be supervised by Prof. Nikolai Shapiro, whose studies and publication on volcanic seismicity have inspired my research since my Master program at Tohoku University. I had great progress and results under his supervision and suggestion to use a well-maintained computer cluster and months of continuous seismic data. At the same time, I am also experiencing different research atmosphere. Other researchers at ISTerre are also well-known for their research in seismology, and their studies have inspired me ever since I was doing my undergraduate thesis.

    Staying in Grenoble is a wonderful experience. Grenoble city is a very old city located at the edge of the European Alps mountain range. It declared itself as “the Capital of the Alps”. If you walk around the center of the city, you can enjoy its historical landmarks and buildings with the Alps in the background. It is also popular for winter sports. Snow rarely falls in the city, but the surrounding mountains are a heaven for ski lovers.

    Description of the photos: (top left) Me in front of ISTerre building. (top bottom) Grenoble from above with its famous ropeway “Les Bulles”. (top right) Snowy peak of Charmant Som, one of the peaks around Grenoble. (bottom right) Old buildings in Grenoble.

  10. Sando Sawa (Earth Science: D1)Bayerisches Geoinstitut, Bayreuth, Germany

    September 17, 2019 – October 25, 2019

    I stayed at Münster and Bayreuth from September 17 to October 25. At Münster, I attended Geomünster which is a domestic conference in Germany and made an oral presentation. At Bayreuth, I stayed Bayerisches Geoinstitut for a month and conducted a transmission electron microscope (TEM) analysis with Dr. Miyajima Nobuyoshi. We discovered small nucleated minerals (the size is the ten of nanometer!) from a sample acquired by deformation experiments at Tohoku University. I could advance my Ph.D. thesis. Additionally, I went to Nördlingen for an excursion with the BGI students. We saw geographical features formed by meteorite impacts such as pulverized rocks and structures. In Japan, such features can not be seen, so it was a valuable experience.

    As you know, Germany is famous for beer. Every city has a lot of small breweries, so we can enjoy various kinds of local beer. Although Bayreuth is a small city having 70,000 population, there are several breweries. I visited various cities to drink local beer every weekend. BGI has the “Thirsty Thursday” event that they gather at a lounge and drink local beer. I joined this event and interacted with many researchers and students who were originated from various countries. I could spend valuable life in Germany. I would like to thank the GP-EES program for a lot of supports.

  11. Miki Takahashi (Earth Science : D1) Korea Polar Research Institute, Inchon, Korea

    August 13, 2019 – September 19, 2019

    I stayed at the Korea Polar Research Institute (KOPRI) in Inchon from August 13th to September 19th. At KOPRI, I studied mineralogically on dark inclusions in the primordial meteorite with Dr. Changkun et al.. KOPRI has collected meteorites in Antarctica, and the dark inclusions in the collected meteorite have information on material evolution in the early solar system. We discussed my previous research on the dark inclusions and new research in the future.

     KOPRI stands about two hours by subway from Seoul, and is located in a landfill along the sea, which is still under development. There are a lot of high buildings and large parks around, and I spent a bicycle strolling around the park and drinking coffee at a cafe by the sea on weekends. For weekday lunch, I went to a cafeteria with the people of the institute and enjoyed Korean dishes such as kimchi, bossum, samgyeopsal, and jajangmyeon. In addition, Korea progresses more cashless than Japan, and it was impressive that there was almost no opportunity to use cash even in a small shop. This life overseas for about one month was a great opportunity not only to research but also to enjoy Korean life. I appreciated for GP-EES program to give me a chance for this stay and financial support.

  12. Naoya Takahashi (Geophysics : D3) UCSD Scripps Institute of Oceanography, San Diego

    July 23, 2019 – July 26, 2019

    I visited Scripps Institute of Oceanography (SIO), the University of San Diego in California from July 23rd to 26th. SIO is one of the world’s leading universities in research fields of oceanography and climate study, thus there are many leading researchers in international ocean-atmosphere research projects. The purpose of this visiting is to discuss my research contents with Prof. Joel Norris and Prof. Shang-Ping Xie. They are international outstanding professors in the research field of “oceanic low-level cloud” and “air-sea interaction”, respectively. The discussions with them were exciting and meaningful, and brought me some new ideas. In addition, during the stay, I gave a talk about “Interaction between low-level cloud and sea surface temperature in summertime North Pacific ” in the seminar of SIO and discussed with other many researchers after the seminar. In particular, I had discussed with Prof. Norris almost every day during the stay. I appreciate for his kind hospitality.

    In my free time (morning and/or evening), I walked around the La Jola beach near the SIO and the downtown. San Diego is so beautiful city, which has an amazing view, warm and comfortable climate, and kind people. Especially, La Jola is located near the coast line of California and I enjoyed a nice view of the beautiful ocean and sky from the SIO like the lower-right picture. The time for not only the discussion but also lunch time with researchers everyday was also precious. I really appreciated for GP-EES program to give me a chance for this stay and financial support.

  13. Naoko Takahashi (Earth Science: D1) EGU 2019, Vienna, Austria

    April 07, 2019 – April 12, 2019

    I participated in the European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2019, which was held from April 7th to 12th in Vienna, Austria. EGU is one of the large earth science conferences with many sessions on a wide range of fields: volcanology, planetary sciences, the Earth’s internal structure, atmosphere and climate change. In this year, more than 16,000 scientists from 113 countries participated in the conference. I presented a poster on research into elements transport and fractionation via fluids analyzed from the Californian jadeite in the session on rock-water interaction. On my poster, I was able to meet directly with international outstanding researchers who are the authors of papers I have read or cited, while receiving critical opinions and new perspectives on my research. Furthermore, I learned about the latest experimental techniques and research themes in the other sessions. I could come in contact directly with the cutting-edge research, and also deeply think about the originality of my own research for those six days.

    Vienna is a city of arts located along the Danube River, with many tourist spots. I visited many places such as the church and opera house using a free pass of public transportation included in the EGU’s entry fee. Also, there are a lot of pleasant cafes in Austria, since the cafe culture has developed well there. We can enjoy coffee, tea, bread, cake and more in any of these cafes, where menus are almost same as in Japan. But there are several differences regarding service. For example, we will usually order and pay at a counter in Japanese casual cafes, while a dressed waiter will show us to our seat and take our order at the table in Austria. You also need to include the tip at the time of payment. At first, I was confused about these kinds of differences from Japan, but I could feel that they were a little more elegant than Japanese cafes. It was a great opportunity not only to get feedback on my research, but also to enjoy foreign cultures and food, while broadening my horizon. These valuable opportunities were realized with the aid of the travel expenses of the International Joint Graduate Program in Earth and Environmental Sciences (GP-EES) program. I am truly grateful.

  14. Huang Yongsheng (Earth Science: D3) AGU 2018 Fall Meeting, Washington, D.C.

    December 10, 2018 – December 15, 2018

    In 2018, I went to Washington D.C. to attend the fall meeting of 2018 AGU from 10 to 15 Dec. I was shocked by such large scale of meeting covering all research fields of geoscience. The countless scientists who come from all around the world get together and share the research results. I made a poster presentation and got the many useful feedbacks. I have to admit that it was a well-organized and hug-scale meeting. We could directly communicate with top scientists face to face and get the important suggestions and direction. More than 5,000 poster positions in a huge space create a strong academic atmosphere. You can feel the collision of thoughts at each poster position. It was a great chance to practice how to introduce my research for others logically. At the same time, it was the best opportunity to know what the top and hot research topics are. I have learned a lot from this meeting. Moreover, Washington D.C. is a very special city. It has lots of famous museums and central institutions of US even though it is not so big. After meeting, we visited the White House, Capitol Hill and museums. What the most interesting was that we coincidentally got to the FBI building which is just often watched in the movies. In short, this was an amazing experience of meeting. I enjoyed it very much. Here, I want to appreciate my professor and GP-EES program. Thanks a lot for supporting me to attend this meeting.

  15. M Riza Iskandar (Geophysics: D1) IPRC, University of Hawaii

    September 3, 2018 – November 26, 2018

    I have stayed at the International Pacific Research Center (IPRC) since September 2018 for three months. I am here to get the Ph.D. guidance from the IPRC staff. Thanks to GP-EES for this joint supervisor program.
    IPRC is one of famous research center concerning about the ocean and its relationship to climate, especially in the Asia-Pacific region. My research theme since the master course is about Indonesian throughflow and its water masses. I continued and expand this theme in this Ph.D. research. One of the interesting oceanographic topics in the Indonesian region is the mixing process, because of its unique topography, as well as its relations to large-scale processes between the Pacific and the Indian Ocean. In IPRC, I had the opportunity to learn new things and also discussing with Kelvin Richard and Yanli Jia, the ocean mixing and modeling expertise. They are very kind and always help me to build the plan and solve the problems. This makes me more interested in doing research.

    The IPRC is located on Oahu island, one of the Hawaiian islands where Honolulu is located. Each location here has its own charms, stretching from the green of the mountainous region to the blue of the surrounding sea covered with the tropical island atmosphere. Very beautiful and relaxing!
    (This picture was taken with Kelvin Richards from the Makapu’u lighthouse trails. With the background of Makapu’u beach and rabbit island in eastern side)

  16. Takashi Yoshizaki (Earth Science: D1) The 81st Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society, Moscow, Russia

    July 21, 2018 – July 29, 2018

    The Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society (MetSoc) is one of the greatest conferences in the field of cosmochemistry. In this year, the MetSoc was held in Moscow, Russia, only one week after the final game of the FIFA World Cup 2018. In my talk at the conference, I proposed a model of thermal history and transport process of dusts in a protoplanetary disk, and discussed relationships among these processes and a rapid growth of Jupiter. Many scientists talked about mixing processes in the protoplanetary disk and timing of planetary formation and I was able to find out an additional implication of my work, in addition to new ideas for a future work.

    During my stay, clean and beautiful streets (with a lot of road sweepers) and convenient Metro system (a train comes in every 1 min!) made me walk around the largest city in Europe from early morning to late night. The Russian meals was a great surprise to me…I could not stop eating even when I was completely full. To better understand Russian cultures, I took a sleeper car to visit St. Petersburg, the second largest city in the country, in a break day of the conference week. The entire experience during the trip extended my academic and non-academic knowledge. I am grateful to the GP-EES program and the Barringer Crater Company for their generous supports for this beneficial trip.

  17. Shunsuke Sugimura (Geophysics: D2) Department of Earth Sciences, University of Florence, Italy

    Nov. 20, 2017 – Nov. 19, 2018

    I have been staying at the University of Florence in Italy since last November for one year, thanks to the support from the Double Degree Program of GP-EES.
    Stromboli volcano is one of the most active volcanic islands in the world, which is located in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the southern coast of Italy. Small explosions typically occur at an interval of several to several tens of minutes. To understand the explosion source in the conduit and the dynamics of volcanic explosions, I’m deepening the discussion with the staff in the research group of Professor Maurizio Ripepe, who is the first person in the research of Stromboli volcano. I’m very happy that the members in the group are really kind to me. They always teach me what I don’t know about the daily life in Italy and useful Italian language so that I can enjoy the life in Italy now.
    The center of Florence is registered in a UNESCO World Heritage Site as “Historic Centre of Florence”. Florence has been prospered as the center of the Renaissance mainly from the 15th century to the 16th century. We can see many beautiful art works and historical buildings related to the Renaissance in the center of the city. The university campus is located at the end of this area so that we can usually experience these cultures. I’d like to do my best in the remaining months without forgetting the gratitude for being able to have a good life in such a wonderful environment.
    (This picture was taken from the Piazzale Michelangelo. We can see beautiful scenes of the city area from there.)

  18. Naoya Takahashi (Earth Science: D1) PATA days 2018, Possidi, Greece

    June 22, 2018 – July 1, 2018

    PATA days 2018 mainly focuses on paleoseismology and earthquake geology and included two field trips, three-day workshop, and one-day summer school. The number of participants was ~100, and this small congress offered fantastic opportunities to interact and discuss with a variety of researchers including those whose names often appear on papers and textbooks. One of the most impressive experiences in this workshop was that the father of paleoseismology encouraged me to continue my current research. Because my presentation was scheduled at the very end of the workshop, I was seriously nervous at first. But spending a lot of time with new friends helped me overcome the anxiety, and I managed to finish my presentation. This success owed a lot to a suggestion from an Italian friend to drink beer before the presentation. The summer school covered the latest research topics, methods for seismic hazard assessment, and science communication skills. Although most of the contents may involve my research in the future, some topics were new to me, and I recognized the importance of being hungry for new knowledge.
    This was the first time for me to attend an International meeting. Discussion with talented researchers and an enjoyable time with friends from various countries have significantly increased my motivation for research. For the next PATA days in Israel, I’d like to do everything I can.