I’m Nic and I entered the GPES master’s program in fall 2015. I like saying that I’m originally from Earth as this would just link us all. People hence tend to call me earthman!
I am in fact specializing in environmental and agricultural economics. To be precise, I am analyzing the impact of international trade liberalization on the rural environment, including water quality and green house gases. Therefore, transdisciplinarity is the essence of my research and the flexibility GPES offered me has been crucial for my graduate studies. In addition to environmental science courses offered by GPES (conservation biology, photosynthesis…), I have indeed taken the core courses of the graduate school of economics (microecon., econometrics, international trade…), as well as advanced water chemistry from the engineering department, I studied about the WTO negotiations and Japan’s environmental policy from the graduate school of public policy, I learned how to modelize agricultural crop growth from the G.S. of agriculture, etc… This is a great flexibility that you cannot have in most of other programs, and I am very glad that I have acquired this large panel of analytical and practical skills.
In parallel to my studies, I am volunteering in several environmental NGOs, especially 350.org Japan, with whom we have been conducting several actions to mitigate climate change. As an example, in collaboration with WWF, Greenpeace, Friend of the Earth and other major NGOs, we organized the people’s climate march in Tokyo (so called Earth Parade), as part of the world scale environmental movement before COP21. Currently, we are working on a public awareness raising campaign towards divestment of financial resources out of fossil fuels industries, aiming to incite people to shift their saving towards the most environmental friendly banks or financial institutions. Anyway, these volunteer activities have been a great experience to back up academic skills learned at university, and I welcome any new students to join us in our actions.
Before entering GPES, I was studying in Paris in a double bachelor degree in natural sciences and economics. I indeed recommend students to learn at least fundamentals of various natural and social sciences during your undergrad, in order to make the most out of your GPES experience. Nevertheless, this is not a strict prerequisit so don’t worry if you are already quite specialized. I did my last year of bachelor at the University of Sophia in Tokyo. I later on worked one year in a company providing green subsidies to small scale businesses in Japan, as well as in a rural development NGO in India. In other words I have been in Tokyo (and Asia) for now 3 and a half years, and it has undoubtfully be the greatest and most maturing experience of my life.
I am hence encouraging all of you to join us and am looking forwards to develop together cutting edge transdisciplinary solutions to environmental problems affecting my… our loved planet Earth.