Muh Aris Marfai is a professor, faculty member and researcher of the Faculty of Geography, Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) Indonesia, where he has been since 1999. Born in Klaten, Central Java, Indonesia, he received his doctoral degree in Geography from Justus-Liebig-Universitaet, Giessen, Germany in 2008 after completing an MSc in Earth System Analysis at International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) The Netherlands in 2003. He completed his bachelor’s degree program in Physical Geography in 1998 from the Faculty of Geography UGM. In September 2013, at the age of 37, he assumed his professorship at Universitas Gadjah Mada.
Marfai headed MPPDAS Program in 2010-2015, assisted by Dr. rer. nat. Djati Mardiatno, M.Si as his secretary. Under their leadership, MPPDAS Program has grown significantly through national and international cooperation, both university and institution. MPPDAS started establishing coperation with Chiba University, Cologne University, University of Twente, and other universities to hold exchange students, researchers and lecturer as well as organize international conference and training. However, national cooperation between MPPDAS and several Indonesian universities and institutions keep on enhanching, such as with State University of Yogyakarta, University of Indonesia, Universitas Sebelas Maret Surakarta (UNS), Universitas Khairun Ternate, Indonesian Agency for Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysic, Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education, Ministry of Public Works, Local government, etc.
Marfai is a highly active member of the Center for Natural Resource and Development (CNRD), a worldwide university network promoting academic exchange and cooperation in the area of natural resources management, in particular related to water, land, ecosystem and renewable energy resources, on which some of his research interests center. In addition, he has made numerous contributions to the study of coastal areas and watersheds; one is shown by his involvement in Delta Alliance, an international knowledge-driven network organization with the mission of improving the resilience of the world’s deltas. As of 2015, he has produced over 100 publications (books, textbooks, journal articles, chapters, conference papers), including some which have been published in reputable journals at national and international levels.