In March 2011, the Tohoku/Fukushima region of Japan suffered a “triple disaster” of an earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident, causing widespread suffering and the deaths of over 15,000 people. As environmental disasters continue to proliferate around the world, it is imperative to examine key factors of recovery and resiliency in the face of these global challenges. A critical component is learning from those directly affected. This research and learning project explores the Fukushima disaster within the context of environmental justice and allows for student-faculty collaborative exploration of key concerns. Areas of attention include the business community’s role and response; the interface between businesses, the NGO community and citizens of the region; the implications of language and culture on the experiences of the disaster; and the issues of recovery, resilience and sustainability in the face of energy policies and practice.
Successful applicants will travel with faculty members to Tokyo and Fukushima, Japan, for 10-14 days in May, 2020, to engage in collaborative research through observation, interviews, data analysis, and problem solving with Japanese business executives, engineers, faculty, and community leaders. No Japanese language skills are required. Program dates are to be confirmed but will begin soon after the spring term ends, and be completed by June 1. The timing of the trip is designed to allow students the opportunity to pursue summer internships or other commitments after the research experience.
The project will involve this field experience in Japan, preparation of one or more research papers with the faculty supervisors for academic journal publication, and presentation of the project to the Notre Dame community through a lecture and discussion event during the Fall 2020 semester.
The application can be found here.