Report on the HAI-FES International Workshop

The Arctic region, where global warming is progressing at four times the rate of the entire world, is facing serious environmental and social changes. In order to solve these issues, we must share knowledge to avoid and mitigate the risks of environmental change and promote the transformation to a sustainable society through cooperation and fusion of natural sciences, humanities and social sciences, engineering and agriculture (Interdisciplinary Research), and trans-disciplinary cooperation and collaboration with various stakeholders in the society (Trans-disciplinary Research). In this workshop, we invited researchers who are promoting problem-solving projects and research, especially in the Arctic region, to Hokkaido University to introduce their activities and plans together with similar researchers in our university, and to share problems, barriers, and solutions they have encountered in promoting these projects and research.

The workshop was held on March 13, 2023 from 10:30-18:00, both in person and online. The workshop consisted of an opening session and sessions 1 to 3. The opening session featured a keynote lecture by Dr. Tetsuzo Yasunari, former director of the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, on “How “Science for Society” should be developed. In Session 1, Associate Professor Hirata of the Center moderated the session, which featured presentations by Dr. Hajo Eicken of the University of Alaska, Dr. Yutaka Watanuki of the Graduate School of Fisheries Science, Dr. Aileen Espiritu of the University of Tromsø (Norway). In Session 2, Prof. Uto of the Center chaired the session, and Dr. Teppei J. Yasunari of the Center, Dr. Mayuko Otsuki of the Graduate School of Fisheries Science, and Dr. Kazuyuki Saito of JAMSTEC presented their current projects and discussed the importance and the difficulties of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research in the Arctic. In Session 3, Associate Professor Ohnishi of the Center served as moderator, and Drs. Aileen Espiritu, Hajo Eicken, and Kaori Ishii of Tohoku University, discussed the ethical conduct of Arctic research.

Twenty-six participants were present in the hall and up to 22 online. The discussion was foundational for the formation of a network in Arctic research. The operation for hybrid format was able to be managed by a vendor with this HUCI funding, so there were no major problems and the operation was of high quality.

In the keynote speech by Dr. Yasunari, he spoke about the importance of “science for society” and the attitude of humbleness should be taken to implement it. In Session 1, each speaker presented an example of networking, and the importance of networking was reaffirmed. In Session 2, the speakers introduced examples of recent interdisciplinary efforts and shared the importance and difficulties of research that relates to society. In Session 3, we were able to gain insight into the communality and ways to interact when conducting research in the Arctic region.