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Doctoral student earns Fulbright scholarship to study environmental issues

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Posted: Aug 17, 2011

Wendy Miles
Wendy Miles
Wendy Miles, a doctoral student at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship to Indonesia. She will travel abroad for the 2011-12 academic year to live and conduct research in Indonesia, an APEC member economy, through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program.
The announcement was made by the U.S. Department of State and J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
Miles, originally from Kansas, earned a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, in 2003, and a Master of Science degree in Biodiversity, Conservation and Management from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom in 2005.
Since 2008, Miles has studied under the guidance of Dr. Krisnawati Suryanata at the UH Mānoa Geography Department. Her previous honors include the Ann Dunham Soetoro Award, East-West Center Graduate Fellowship, East-West Center Distinguished Community Service Award, United States-Indonesia Society Language Scholarship, Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship, F.C. Osmaston Scholarship in Forestry, and Thayer Raymond Scholarship for Involvement in the Betterment of Society.
“The Fulbright fellowship is unique because of its emphasis on mutual understanding between people from different cultures,” said Miles. “The goal of my year in Indonesia will be to understand the perspectives of Indonesian people personally involved in and impacted by the evolving global carbon market— particularly local people whose livelihoods depend on the rainforests being set aside for carbon sequestration. The ultimate aim of my research project 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 in the future.”
Indonesia is estimated to be the world’s third largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China and the United States. Unlike the U.S. and China, whose gases come largely from industry and fossil fuel burning, Indonesia’s emissions are primarily the result of deforestation and forest fires. Indonesia is also ranked extremely high in terms of biodiversity – second to only Brazil – making it an international conservation priority.
Miles has a background in forest ecology, environmental conservation, political economy, strategic planning, and management. She has lived, worked, and studied in Indonesia. According to one of the UH Mānoa faculty members who interviewed Miles, “She has a deep and thorough understanding of Indonesia and its bureaucracy . . . and has spent considerable time there doing in-depth research related to this project.”
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the U.S. and the people of other countries. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.
The program operates in over 155 countries worldwide.
 For more information on the Fulbright application process at UH Mānoa, or to interview Wendy Miles, contact Graduate Division Associate Dean Kenneth Tokuno at 956-8950 or
For more information on the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, please see the website at or contact James A. Lawrence, Office of Academic Exchange Programs at 202-632-3241 or