Transdisciplinary Sciences for Global Sustainability

Agricultural Science/Environmental Engineering/Astrochemistry

Industrialization has given rise to an unprecedented improvement in our standard of living. However, it has also caused serious global environmental problems such as global warming, ozone layer depletion, and acid rain. The environmental problems we face today increasingly require scientists to cross disciplinary boundaries and think across scales from local to global, and even to cosmic space. By selecting courses in this cluster, students will learn about the connection between skills and knowledge for observing molecules in cosmic space and the environmental pollution on Earth. They will also learn how research on sustainable materials and agriculture in local settings has implication for the global environment and energy resources. Modules in this cluster include (1)Astronomical and Atmospheric Spectroscopy, (2)Environmental Chemical Engineering, and (3)Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Astronomical and Atmospheric Spectroscopy

Molecules in the cosmic space and atmospheric environment can be observed or monitored with the knowledge and technique of spectroscopy. Atmospheric spectroscopy is the essential tool for atmospheric chemistry, which spans the disciplines of environmental chemistry, physics, computer modeling, and many others. Study of astrochemistry and atmospheric chemistry improves understanding of our terrestrial environment and celestial outer space, which may lead to potential breakthroughs in knowledge to resolve environmental problems.

Sample Course Titles:
  • Atomic Physics
  • Molecular Structure
  • Molecular Spectroscopy
  • Astrochemistry and Atmospheric Chemistry
  • Spectroscopic Methods

Environmental Chemical Engineering

Industrialization and mass consumerism are also causing the depletion of material and energy resources, and the production of a vast amount of wastes. The main focus of this module is the construction of a sustainable society with minimal negative impact on the environment. Topics such as the promotion of material and energy recycling, waste management, the development of material and energy efficient technologies, and the development of alternate green technologies will be covered.

Sample Course Titles:
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Catalytic Chemistry and Advanced Catalysis
  • Biomass and Bioenergy
  • Environmental Process Engineering
  • Glass Science for Resource Recycling
  • Structure and Properties of Biodegradable Polymer

Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Stable production and distribution of safe and reliable foods, environmental preservation and biodiversity conservation are fundamental challenges that secure human existence. In order to attend to such challenges, we must improve our understanding of animals, plants, and microorganisms, including pathogens. We must develop, improve and disseminate efficient, sustainable and practical technologies based on an understanding of ecology and bioscience. Topics covered in this module include biotechnology, agrochemistry, plant science and animal science, and ecology.

Sample Course Titles:
  • Agricultural and Life Science
  • Biological Chemistry
  • Applied Plant Science
  • Applied Animal Science
  • Applied Environmental Ecology
  • Social Science for Sustainable Agriculture