Australian Environment Seminar:
- October 4, 2016
- Three guest speakers, Prof. Peter Wilson (University of Tasmania), Ms. Tanya Park (University of Tasmania), and Prof. Yoshihiro Shiraiwa (University of Tsukuba) gave lectures for the 1st grade students. Despite the fact that the lectures were given in English, students actively participated and asked questions. It was therefore a meaningful and exciting experience for those who want to visit Tasmania and Australia next year using Overseas Study Program.
Prof. Wilson talked about the issues on global warming and energy sources on the Earth. In the beginning, he showed data and graphs to explain the current situation of energy problem and suggested that the methane hydrate is expected to substitute for fossil fuel. Biomass energy is also considered as an alternative. But energy crop cultivation could cause competition for land with food crop. Thus dependency on energy crop should be carefully considered.
Ms. Park talked about the nature, geography, history, animals and plants, industry, culture and the life of Australia and New Zealand. She pointed out how volcanic activity shaped the geographical landscape, flora and fauna. In addition, she talked about the national rugby team, All Blacks’ traditional song and dance of New Zealand.
Prof. Shiraiwa gave a lecture on “Gaia: photosynthesis and transitions in earth surface environment.” He pointed out that (i) the atmosphere of earth is controlled by the balance between photosysthesis (oxygen production) and respiration (oxygen consumption), and (ii) algae is efficient in oxygen production as it can photosynthesize on whole body surface. In addition, he explained that his research on plant physiology and metabolism could provide useful information to advance our science and technology as well as protect environment.