RIHN research projects are multidisciplinary and multimethod; in common they share the need for high quality physical observation and chemical and biological analysis of the surface environments of the earth. As a national institute, RIHN houses eighteen basement laboratories designed to address this need. There are state-ofthe-art laboratories dedicated to microscopic, DNA and stable isotope analysis. Additional facilities include two fieldwork preparation rooms for storage and maintenance of observational and sampling equipment, three lowtemperature rooms for organism and ice core storage, three incubator rooms for storage of organisms requiring specific temperatures, and a clean room in which samples can be processed in a contamination-free environment.
Environmental Isotope Study
As an inter-university research institute corporation, RIHN maintains state-of-the-art laboratories, with a central emphasis on stable-isotope analysis.
In 2012, RIHN established the “Environmental Isotope Study” cooperative research program. This program promotes the utility of stable isotope analysis in contemporary environmental studies and enables collaboration with researchers from other universities and research institutes. RIHN’s laboratories are widely used by external researchers and students, and more than one hundred universities and research institutes within and outside of Japan have utilized our up-to-date isotope research facilities so far. We hold annual training courses and held our latest annual symposium on environmental isotope studies in December in order to create national and international research networks and support environmental isotope studies around the world. From 2020, we have been conducting a designated research program on “applied research platform based on environmental traceability” to apply this methodology to environmental research, collaborating with various stakeholders.