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Taiwan-Japan Exchange Cultivates Forestry Talent

Taiwan-Japan Exchange Cultivates Forestry Talent

Since the time their sister-school relationship was formalized, NPUST and Rakuno Gakuen University have maintained an active and intimate relationship. The two universities are united by many common characteristics of development and enjoy learning from one another. For three professors from the two universities, Prof. Masami Kaneko, Prof. Buho Hoshino and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Chien-Chang Chen, forestry research has been the basis for a very close partnership – and a joint research lab has even been set up for them on the RGU campus to conduct their work.

Since 2007, the exchanges between students and teachers has been frequent. Every year the two universities swap students as part of an overseas practicum student exchange. The teachers as well, due to their closely related bodies of knowledge, often take part in inter-university activities.

Through the intensive teacher-student exchanges, students have been able to develop their professional abilities, diversify the knowledge-base and expand their international outlooks. This year, during the winter break, four students from NPUST traveled to RGU to take part in a practicum aimed at helping them better understand the differences between the forestry industries in Taiwan and Japan. The students learned about professional geographic information systems and the application of remote sensing detection technology while exploring geographical changes that resulted from the recent natural disaster in Hokkaido. They learnt how to conducted satellite imagery analyses of vegetation distribution, by studying images take of the Hokkaido area.

Four students from RGU also took part in the exchange – travelling to NPUST for a six-week practicum in February and March. The students learned about technologies used in the forestry industry, including UAVs and optical laser scanning systems. They also took part in forest resources data collection surveys, going to the Daren Forest Area in Taitung, Baoli Forest area in Pingtung, and Taiping Mountain and Chilan Mountain in Yilan. Holding classes in the forest areas, Professor Chen taught the students about the history of Taiwan’s forestry industry and about the current conservation activities. The Japanese students to observe the different climactic conditions in northeastern Taiwan, which is a cradle for precious woods such as the Formosan cypress and Chamaecyparis, and southern Taiwan, where the forests are largely populated by broadleaved trees.

Through the cooperative relationship between the two universities, teachers have been able to raise the level of talent cultivation and expand their bases of professional knowledge. With a stable foundation for forestry operations and resource conservation in Taiwan and Japan, hopes are that their impact will extend from Asia to other parts of the world, helping to further the goal of sustainability.

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