Hello, I will apply for EMJMD FRM scholarship.
Please kindly help me with your feedback about my Motivation Letter.
Here are some instructions for the Motivation Letter.
Letter of Motivation stating the applicant's interest in the study programme. The following needs to be addressed in the motivation letter:
1. Reference to issues of Flood Risk Management in your country and/or worldwide;
2. Clear description of own qualifications and experience;
3. Specific reference to the FRM study programme and objectives;
4. Coherence of own intended career with the FRM study programme (Preferably the motivation letter should have a maximum of 1000 words).
New Year's Eve has to be a moment for people to gather and celebrates with their family and friends. Unfortunately, it does not happen in Muara Angke, Jakarta, where the people should face their nightmare of coastal flooding that happens on January 1, 2021. This is not an extraordinary phenomenon for the people of Jakarta as coastal flooding had been their routine disaster lately. It is also the reason why Jakarta is labelled as The Fastest Sinking City in The World.
Many aspects cause the routine coastal flooding in Jakarta. One of them is that the Jakarta's land elevation is lower than the sea level. As the consequences, it will be easily inundated if there is a storm surge, high wave, or tidal anomaly. The low topography of Jakarta is caused by the fact that Jakarta is a very densely populated area and people excessively extract the groundwater for living. This activity will make land subsidence in Jakarta which will lower its topography periodically. Experts say that if there is no quick action to anticipate this phenomenon, Jakarta will continue to sink by 25 cm per 10 years and 95% area of North Jakarta will be submerged in 2050. This is an issue that I intrigued and want to find a solution since I was an undergraduate student.
I got my bachelor degree from Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) with the major of Oceanography. I chose this program as a pursuit to reach my future career goal as a coastal disaster researcher. From my degree, I got the skill of manifesting natural phenomenon into a mathematical equation and also simulate it numerically through the fluid mechanics and hydrodynamics concepts. I was also actively involved in voluntary activities related to disaster mitigation. I became the chairman of Oceanography Students Association of ITB that one of its main programs is community development for coastal disaster awareness for society in the district of Tanjungsari, Cianjur. My team analysed the vulnerability of Tanjungsari to the potential megathrust tsunami of the Indian Ocean and try to mitigate it by educating the people. After I graduated, I work as a research assistant of disaster risk management in the Centre for Coastal and Marine Development of ITB. I analyse the risk assessment of coastal disasters including wave overtopping, tsunami, sea-level rise and other coastal phenomena.
From my experience as a research assistant, I learnt that Jakarta is facing a more complex situation. Besides the facts mentioned above, global warming may negatively impact Jakarta. Sea-level rise and storm surge are two among other ocean phenomena that threaten the local coast community of Indonesia, especially Jakarta. Even a global strategic and risk consulting company namely Verisk Maplecroft said that Jakarta is one of among 15 most at-risk sinking cities because of sea-level rise. Meanwhile, there is no significant mitigation action as a response to this threat. A quick and holistic solution is needed to save the capital city of Indonesia from sinking. This is my responsibility as a disaster researcher of Indonesia to contribute to finding an effective solution. Therefore, there is a need for a higher level of knowledge for myself and it can be reached through pursuing a master degree in Flood Risk Management (FRM) program.
Currently, with the educational background of oceanography, I analyse coastal flooding only from a natural science point of view. Meanwhile, if we look at the problem that happens in Jakarta require a multidiscipline solution. It is caused by socio-economic, spatial planning, and engineering problem that could not tackle down by me as a pure oceanography scientist. FRM provides a curriculum that integrates all of the aspects that lead to flood risk problem. It equips us with the knowledge of socio-economic as well as science in form of courses. Moreover, FRM provides a specific thesis track for designing a flood-resilient city collaborating with some of well-known water engineering companies. This is suitable for me as there is an urgency for me to add my skills in designing a flood-resilient city to be adopted to Jakarta. The collaboration with the water engineering companies also enables me to adapt to the industrial atmosphere, coordinating with multi-cultural people, and working inside a project. Generally, FRM will prepare me as an all-rounder researcher that have a holistic knowledge of flood risk management as well as implement it on a project that crucially needed for my future career goals.
After I graduated from FRM, I want to continue my career as a disaster researcher that specifically solves the flood risk problem regarding the rise of global warming through research and policy. I will join the government institution such as The Ministry of National Development Planning, Republic of Indonesia (Bappenas) to develop a design of the flood-resilient city in Jakarta, and all of the cities in Indonesia. Bappenas is a government institution that able its staff to design and implement a solution of a particular problem that happens in Indonesia including flooding based on scientific research. The knowledge from FRM will be useful because I could directly implement it through projects and policies. The master degree from FRM will also help me to catalyze my grade in the hierarchy of the staff of Bappenas and I could directly serve as a decision-maker and recommend a solution that I already learnt from my master degree.
The existences of scientist that are aware and willing to solve the flooding problem in Indonesia are crucial in this global warming era. Given the working experiences I have had in the past years as a disaster research assistant, pursuing a master degree in the FRM program is the best way to contributes as well as step up my career. I believe that this program will equip me with a holistic flood risk management knowledge as well as expose me to the industrial atmosphere to be applied to the real world.