Fabian Kemps Verhage - MSc Climate Studies

“After my graduation I started as a Research Assistant at CGIAR. Based mainly in their office in Wageningen, I was working on the international research programme ‘Climate Change Agriculture & Food Security’. My task was to support the management unit with funding requests, and reporting and communicating about the projects within this research programme. Eight months later I changed jobs after successfully applying for a traineeship at the Dutch foundation the Nationale Denktank (in English: National Think Tank).

I liked to focus on the impact of climate change on agriculture at a global level

I started my MSc Climate Studies because I like to work on social and global topics. By learning about climate change, which is going to be big problem in the future, I hoped to be able to help people that are directly affected by climate change, and farmers in particular. I followed a quite general bachelor, and by choosing the MSc Climate Studies I wanted to expand my technological knowledge. The specific in-depth knowledge I have obtained in my master was useful for me to get a job quickly after my graduation. 

Within the MSc Climate Studies you have many possibilities and options. I think it is very important that you start the study with a specific aim or question, so you can select your courses accordingly and fully make use of all the possibilities. I liked to focus on the impact of climate change on agriculture at a global level. I selected the thesis track ‘Crop and Weed Ecology’ and for my thesis I went to Brazil to investigate the effect of climate change on the coffee production. I wrote a nice publication about it! My wish to go to Brazil could be realized by asking professors in Wageningen University for their contact persons at Brazilian universities. Overall, during my master I could do what I intended to do, and this was facilitated by the study.

At the moment of this interview, I am in the middle of my traineeship at Nationale Denktank. With 20 young academics we work on a specific social theme: we are analysing the problems related to the implementation of the circular economy. We are receiving good support from the partners of this foundation: municipalities, companies and the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. I can use my scientific knowledge obtained during the master and also get a better understanding what is happening in practice by visiting stakeholders. Our final aim is to come up with solutions that can be implemented to stimulate the circular economy.”