Indonesia is estimated to be the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gasses, after China and the United States—primarily because of deforestation and forest fires. It is second only to Brazil in terms of biodiversity. That makes it a destination of choice for University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa doctoral student Wendy Miles, who is pursuing geography studies related to carbon sequestration and rainforest conservation.
Miles, who has previously lived, worked and studied in Indonesia is spending a year in the archipelago nation under the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. She will bring her background in ecology, conservation, political economy and management to bear on the question of how the evolving global carbon market affects local people whose livelihoods depend on the rainforests.
“My ultimate aim is to document these people’s experiences so their voices can be added to global discussions on how rainforest conservation and climate change mitigation strategies can be improved,” she says.
The Kansas native holds a bachelor’s in environmental studies from Evergreen State College in Washington and an MS in biodiversity, conservation and management from Oxford University. She has received a number of awards for language and area studies and community service, including an East-West Center graduate fellowship and the Ann Dunham Soetoro Award.