Nara Wisesa '10 (Indonesia)

Nara Wisesa '10 (Indonesia)

I am Nara Wisesa from Indonesia, and I was in the Batch 4 MESPOMites (2008-2010).  After stints working for an environmental and an ecotourism consultants, I now work with WWF-Indonesia's Coral Triangle division.  My main role is to monitor and evaluate the progress and achievements of our programs within the Coral Triangle.

However, the highlight of my year was when I was tasked as a field coordinator in one of our big ecological expeditions earlier in March-April in collaboration with the local government and the World Conservation Society. The expedition took place in two of our soon to be established Marine Protected Areas in the Eastern Nusa Tenggara Islands (as well as in control sites). The goal of the expedition was to establish ecological baseline measurements of the coral reef ecosystem there (fish population and coral cover data), which would then be monitored regularly, in order to measure and learn about the impact of MPA establishment on the ecological systems in the area. This study is also supported by a socio-economic survey in coastal villages within the region, carried out by a local partner university.

My studies in the MESPOM Program have provided me with important environmental management skills that I now apply daily in my work, such as developing conceptual models and logical frameworks, designing program monitoring and evaluation frameworks, and contributing in the development of a standardized data collection and research methodology that will be applied in all our field sites. However, what I consider the most important skill that I have gained from MESPOM is the ability to work comfortably and confidently in a diverse work environment, with people who came from various backgrounds (both in their field of education and culturally), and this is a very important ability to have when working in a big environmental NGO. And of course it's always great to have friends (some of whom I still consider as my extended family) all around the world!