Perdinan, a new Ph.D. student in Geography, has a taste for just about everything related to the environment: agriculture, forestry, economics, meteorology, geography – you name it.

“If you want to make a bridge between science and policy,” he said, “you have to understand a lot of things.”

It’s no surprise, then, that Perdinan said he’s enjoying his first semester specializing in ESPP.

“We talk about everything!” he said of his ESP 801 class.

But for Perdinan, it all comes back to the climate. He’s researched the impacts of climate change on his native Indonesia, studied the economics of risks associated with global warming, and looked for ways of helping people adapt to a changing planet.

He said he hopes to learn how to put his experience to work on Indonesia’s recently adopted climate policy.

“How that policy can be implemented is a really tough question,” he said. “I need some tools in order to communicate my research findings to policy makers.”

Perdinan is on the faculty of Bogor Agricultural University in Indonesia, and is here on a Fulbright scholarship. He said he’s excited that his wife and young daughter will soon make the move to Michigan.

In addition to funding his academic work, Perdinan said the Fulbright scholarship gives him other opportunities.

“I get a chance to understand American culture,” and share his knowledge with other Indonesians, he said. “Then maybe I can say, ‘America is not like Hollywood!’”