I visited Italy and Russia from 14 March to 13 April, 2019 through the support from the ArCS Program for Overseas Visits by Young Researchers. This is the second time that I was able to get support from the program. My first visit in 2017 was to the Sakha Republic, Russia, where I started the polar bear research project with the Yakutian researchers. The main purpose of my second visit was for disseminating the results of our research and meeting with my collaborators for further development of polar bear study in Russia.
First, I visited Lucca in Italy to participate in the Arctic research seminar “Gordon Research Seminar”. The seminar is held several times a year around the world, and the aim of this seminar is to exchange opinions on the current state of Arctic research beyond the boundaries of the research field. This time seminar was attended by 30-40 researchers from the United States, Scotland, Canada, among others. There were also many doctoral students, who were actively debating the “future Arctic research” following the latest situation in the Arctic. I also presented my research on polar bears in Russia. It was a very meaningful opportunity for me.
After the seminar, I moved to the Sakha Republic, Russia, and visited the IBPC (Institute for Biological Problems of Chryolithozone). I was oriented with the collection of polar bear research materials at each Arctic site in Sakha, which began in 2017. Based on the current progress, I and my research partners discussed specific research plans for this year and next year. During this visiting period, we planned to conduct a field survey in the Arctic, however, it was cancelled due to some circumstances. It was very disappointing, however valuable for planning future field surveys. Through this visit, we were able to further strengthen the Japan-Russia cooperation and likewise set specific goal for our research.
Mina Jimbo (Hokkaido university)