SHIMA Island Sustainability Collaborative


SHIMA is a collaboration of educational and outreach projects related to island biocultural sustainability, developed by the OIST Graduate School. The SHIMA concept has four interconnected branches: Outreach, OIST Students, Communities Near and Far, and Ridge to Reef Connections.

  1. Outreach: OIST runs several science outreach programs to inspire the next generation of scientists. For example, OIST regularly leads sustainability-themed science activities in high schools in Okinawa and beyond. OIST also helped to establish a Reef Health Monitoring curriculum at Unna Middle School.
  2. OIST Students: As part of their professional and career development program, OIST PhD students engage in outreach and community activities. In turn, this contributes to a sustainable ecosystem of education and human resources in Okinawa.
  3. Communities Near and Far: OIST has developed several projects on both a local and global scale to help communities build a more sustainable future. Close to home, OIST is collaborating with Onna Village Office in an initiative that is using honeybees to protect coral reefs from red soil erosion. Much further afield, OIST is also collaborating with Kuaʻāina Ulu ʻAuamo, a nonprofit in Hawai’i, to develop a joint STEM education workshop that promotes cross-cultural learning exchanges focused on traditional methods of managing natural resources.
  4. Ridge to Reef Connections: Based on the idea that island sustainability is a microcosm of global sustainability, OIST is developing initiatives to help island communities enhance and share their knowledge of land-ocean connectivity.