The Institute of Low Temperature Science (ILTS) was founded in 1941 as the first research institute affiliated with Hokkaido University. Since then, the ILTS has achieved development in the areas of basic studies on snow and ice, and natural sciences in the cryosphere and cold environments. After reorganizations in 1995, 2004, and 2008, the ILTS is now composed of three research divisions and one research center, such as the Water and Material Cycles Division, Frontier Ice and Snow Science Division, Environmental Biology Division, and the Pan-Okhotsk Research Center. In 2010, the ILTS was designated as a Joint/Use Research Center aiming for "Fundamental and applied researches of scientific phenomena in cold regions with climatic low temperatures" by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Japan. The Joint Research Division was established for the enhancement of functions as a joint-use institute by promoting interdisciplinary cooperative researches with research institutes and universities domestically and internationally.
We understand that the role of university-affiliated joint/use research institute is to launch unique, creative, and long-range research projects with domestic and international partners. In view of the importance of cryosphere in the earth climate system, various field researches have been implemented in the cold marine regions, including the Pan-Okhotsk Sea area adjoining to Hokkaido, the Antarctic and the Arctic, and they have made significant achievements. In addition, fundamental studies in the areas such as crystal physics, geochemistry, planetary science and biological environment science have produced unique and outstanding achievements. Considering the research fields the ILTS covers, the size of the institute is not that large. However, we aim to develop interdisciplinary researches irrespective of conventional study fields, to promote research projects with domestic and international partners, and to create new research communities by taking advantage of our institute's mobility.
For education, we have accepted a large number of graduate students from the Graduate School of Environmental Science, the Graduate School of Life Science and the Graduate School of Science, Hokkaido University. We also promote the International Antarctic Institute, an international educational program on cryosphere science. The program provides an international educational program in cooperation with the University of Tasmania in Australia (UTAS), the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH), Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology and the National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR). Fostering of competent young scientists is a critical issue determining the future of researcher's communities. We are trying to provide opportunities of education and training directly connected to the frontiers of cryospheric sciences for graduate students and young scientists.
The ILTS is widely acknowledged both domestically and internationally as a Joint Use/Research Center for environmental science in cryosphere, and we are fully aware that the society expects us to elucidate the role of cryosphere on the system of climate change. We are also expected to develop and exert uniqueness as an affiliated institute to National University Corporation Hokkaido University. The ILTS is determined to continuously fulfill its role through challenges to natural science of cryosphere, such as physics, chemistry, biological environment science, water and material cycles, and predictions of global environmental change. We appreciate your further support and encouragement.
April 1st 2014
Director of the Institute of Low Temperature Science