The UNH Center for International Education Newsletter
Spring 2012

Indonesian Climate Change Researcher Studying Earth Science at UNH


Graduate student Sofyan Kurnianto

Graduate student Sofyan Kurnianto was working for the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Java, Indonesia, when he met Dr. Boone Kauffman, also working there but based at the Forest Service here in Durham. The USDA Forest Service was collaborating with the Center to research tropical wetlands for climate mitigation. Impressed with the young researcher, he encouraged Sofyan to pursue a master’s in earth science at UNH, suggesting furthering the work they were doing on ecosystem modeling in tropical peatlands. This research is important to climate change mitigation strategies, and can be of global importance.

In the first of his two-year master’s study, Sofyan is grateful for the work he has been able to do here and the people he has met. “It's a great experience to study here, and pursue my research. I’ve gotten so much experience, learned so many things and to top it all off, have made friends from many different countries. I get really excited talking about my country to the other people, talking to them about how unique and beautiful Indonesia is.”

Life in Durham was a peaceful respite from the crowded city of Bogor, where he lives back home, but also an intense time of research and study: “I really enjoyed my time at UNH and the social life on campus and in Durham. I think that the learning processes here are pretty intense. I have so many assignments and class projects. My international student friends and I came up with a new acronym for UNH,” jokes Sofyan, “University of No Holiday.” He plans to return to Indonesia this summer to continue his master’s research there. “If there is an opportunity (maybe more funding), I would really like to continue on at UNH to pursue my doctoral study.”

Graduate student Sofyan Kunmianto

To learn more about Sofyan and his research in tropical peatlands and climate change mitigation, please read the informative article produced by David Sims for the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space earlier this year.