Student testimonial

Peter - specialisation Biogeochemical Cycles

Peter Kuijten got his degree in Climate Study from Wageningen University in May 2012. Before he started this master programme at Wageningen University, he studied Forest and Nature Conservation at a University of applied science. During some of his master courses Peter spent a lot of time outside doing fieldwork and those were the courses he liked the most.

By working with a model or in the field you immediately see the results of your project.

Study choice

The master programme investigates the earth from a different perspective than Peter was used to in his bachelor. This perspective caught Peter’s interest immediately. ''I have chosen this programme because I am interested in the functioning  of the earth as a system, the cycling of chemical elements and how these are influenced by people. In this programme, we discuss many issues and there is a lot of space to specialize.''

Programme

Peter liked the programme Climate Studies a lot: ''The courses are very interesting and offer a lot of in-depth knowledge.'' Especially the more practical courses were appealing to Peter. ''By working with a model or in the field you immediately see the results of your project. I liked the courses that included fieldwork the most. I went to Spain for one month for the course “Practical Land Dynamics”. In Spain, I was constantly busy with geology and soil science. Through the analysis of land use, you can get information about relevant processes, time scales and different visions on climate change.''

Of course, Peter did not spend all his time in the field. ''During my studies, I took courses in soil science, but also modelling and the cycles of chemical elements. The projects I did were very diverse: from developing models to investigating the absorption of heavy metals by grasses with the help of laboratory displays.''

Student life

''I have also been a member of the programme committee, which is responsible for the continuous evaluation of the programme. We investigated strengths and weaknesses and discussed the future design and development of the programme. I also became a member of the student alpine association (IBEX). I have a lot of great memories of the climbing wall and I also went to Germany to climb in an old quarry.''

Plans for the future

''I am currently looking for a job. I would love to combine my knowledge of climate adaptation and soil science, preferably at a consultancy firm.''