John Pontius

John Pontius, who, after a long struggle, finished his doctorate at CIE in the late 80’s (he doesn’t remember what year exactly) has lived in Indonesia for most of the time since then.  He writes this brief from a café in Jogjakarta, a city of art and longing on the island of Java.  He has lived in the area since 1990. 


Over the almost 30 years that he has struggled both professionally and not so professionally in Indonesia he has been associated with several wildly successful projects.  Not a single one of which was found to be less than fantastic despite investigations by various U.S. government organizations plus their Indonesian counter-parts.  Obviously the success of the projects is owes much to Dr. Pontius’ efforts in roles that focused on training, evaluation and management.  (He can claim this because there aren’t many people left to contradict him.)  The projects themselves focused largely on environmental issues including eliminating the use of pesticides in rice agriculture, improving watershed and water resources management, conserving biodiversity in Indonesian forests and reducing the impact of climate change in rural areas.


His career may be on the wane with opportunities for work declining due to the present administration’s efforts to ridicule the idea of climate change, but with dependents galore that Dr. Pontius dearly  loves there remains a continued need for income.  And so retirement has become much like Achilles chasing of the tortoise:  he never quite catches it.   


Indonesia is home and Dr. Pontius will not make it back to the forests of western Massachusetts.  He is considering opening “Lansia Tour” (Tours for the Aged) in the much visited Jogjakarta region.  If you feel the need to visit the temples of Borobudur or Prambanan, contact Dr. John.




Entrance Year: 
Graduation Year: 
5-year span: 
CIE Graduate