[REPORT] Fujiyoshida Fieldwork 2014

Fujiyoshida fieldwork

On September 5th, 11 students from EBA partner universities, including the University of the Philippines, Bandung Institute of Technology, Hanoi University of Science and Technology, Universiti Sains Malaysia and Chulalongkorn University, arrived in Japan, joining the 4 students from Keio to begin the 10 day-EBA fieldwork course. (We are so sorry that one student from ITB had to cancel the trip at the very last minute because of health problem).

For the first three days, the students participated in the post-workshop session which includes the training of Japanese language and media related skills. On the 8th, the students  moved from Hiyoshi Campus to Shonan Fujisawa Campus for a pre-fieldwork training with Professor Tomoko, with the assistance from her Lab members. The students were taught how to measure trees and set up camera traps for the real practice in the following days.

On the 9th, the 15 EBA students and Tomoko Lab embarked on the trip to Fujiyoshida- about 2 hour ride from Fujisawa Campus. After we arrived, some members from Fujiyoshida Local Government and Forest Unison were waiting to assist our fieldwork. After a quick lunch, we were divided in 5 groups including 3 vegetation groups, specifically assigned to measure trees and research on the flora diversity in Fujiyoshida, and 2 animal groups, assigned to climb up Mt Fuji to set up camera traps in order to track the frequency of appearance as well as the diversity of animals in the area. Each group, under the guidance of one of the Tokomo Lab’s members and local staff, headed to different directions, trying to accomplish part of the assignments for the day. For the two days, the 9th and the 10th, unlike Minamata Fieldwork and Sanriku Fieldworik, Fujiyshida members stayed put and did fieldwork only at Fujiyoshida area. However, there was a lot of tough hands-on experience. The students had to spend hours climbing both pave and unpaved trails to set up camera traps and measuring hundreds of tall trees within the two days. Except for mosquito bites and one member having her leg twisted, there was no injury among the members, fortunately.

On the night of the 10th, the 14 students almost did not have any sleep preparing for a report presentation before Professor Tomoko in the morning of the 11th at the Youth Hostel. The room where we had the presentations was a small tatami room. The setup for the students’ performance was very simple with a few chairs and tables. Most of the audience were sitting leisurely on the tatami floor. Somehow it was cozy but no less professional as the students were into presenting their findings with actual evidence that they collected themselves. Prof. Tomoko even offered one of the groups to have their finding published. We spent the rest of the 11th touring around Yamanaka Lake- one of the five lakes surrounding around Mt Fuji. The fieldwork ended with a farewell dinner at Fujiyama beer factory.

While still recovering from the 3 day fieldwork, the students had to start the post workshop session immediately in the following day at Hiyoshi Campus. They had to prepare both a poster about the fieldwork and also a final presentation. But they did an amazing job again given the short time for preparation.

It is obvious that what they have seen has boosted up the confidence among every one of them and what they collected inspires them to think of developing their own actual researches.


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