American University of Central Asia - AUCA - Zheenbek Kulenbekov

Zheenbek Kulenbekov

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Technical University of Freiberg Mining Academy, Germany                           

Ph.D. in Hydrogeology and Environmental Geology                                        2008 - 2013

The doctoral dissertation was written and defended in English

Dissertation Title: Environmental Impact Assessment Study of Kadji-Sai Uranium Tailing and Issyk-Kul Lake, Kyrgyzstan

  • Hydro-, geochemical analysis of rivers and lake water samples and soil samples
  • Weather data analysis (multi-year time series)
  • Hydrological simulation modeling and proposing hypothesis related to Issyk-Kul Lake
  • Study of natural environmental radioactivity and estimation of radiation exposure of uranium tailing site
  • Weathering and erosion study of uranium tailing using GIS and RS techniques
  • Geostatistical analysis


Kyrgyz Russian Slavic University, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan                                    

Postgraduate study for Candidate of Physico-Mathematical Sciences              2006 - 2008

  • Research Topic: Radiological and Biophysics Investigations of South-Eastern Coast of Issyk-Kul Lake (Radiological measurements; radiation safety, hydrochemical analysis of surface and groundwater, chemical analysis of soil and study of main nutrients with regard to water quality in the vicinity of Kadji-Sai uranium tailing, Kyrgyzstan).

 Academy of Management under the President of Kyrgyz Republic, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan            

Master of Business Administration                                                                       2004 - 2006

  • Marketing and Advertisement 

Additional Training:                                                                                          

Introduction to ENVI, course in remote sensing                                                   2003

  • International Institute of Aerospace Survey and Earth Science. This course was done by visiting lecturer from ITC, Enschede, Netherlands

Arc GIS Basics of Operation, course in geographic information systems (GIS)      2002

  • Held at the Microsoft Technical Education Center ”SEVEN LEVELS”, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan

 Environmental Policy Programme, course (in English)                                          1998

  • Offered by the Academy of Istropolitano Nova in Bratislava, Slovakia


Kyrgyz National University, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan                                              

Diploma, Faculty of Physics                                                                             1983 - 1990

  • Investigation of electro-physics properties of semi- and superconductor materials


  • Training on using an appraisal system of The Ex-Ante Carbon-balance Tool (EX-ACT), Food and Agriculture Organization of UNO, Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic, 2015.

Content of the course: - EX-ACT has been developed using mostly the Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (IPCC, 2006) complemented with other methodologies and review of default coefficients for mitigation option as a base.

  • IAMG Student Chapter Short Course, TU of Freiberg Mining Academy, Germany, 2012

Entitled “Statistical analysis in the Earth Sciences using R - language and environment for statistical computing and graphics”; Also Geostatistical analysis in Environmental Studies, 2011


 American University of Central Asia                                                                 Associate Professor

Program Coordinator of Environmental Management and Sustainable Development 2014 – Present


Teaching and Research interests:, Hydrogeology and Environmental Geology, Environmental Chemistry, Hydrology and Watershed Management, Hydrological Modeling, Sustainable Water Management, IWRM,  Radiation Safety, Environmental Radioactivity, Environmental Awareness, Waste Management, Climate Change Impact and Adaptation, Environmental Management, GIS and Remote Sensing Application. Publication of scientific papers in local and international journals and conference proceedings. Engaged in curriculum development, upgrading and updating it as well as involved in recruiting new staff for the program. Teaching credits per semester or two semester-length courses and for research per semester. As part of my regular teaching load, I am involved in student advising and senior thesis supervision per year.  Additionally, one of my responsibilities is to deal with developing, writing and submitting relevant project proposals to international foundations to obtain some funds for research activities.

Co-editor of scientific-research papers of the Central Asian Journal of Water Research (CAJWR).

Deputy Chair of AUCA Expert Council of BFP USAID project in 2016, 2017, 2018

Principal Investigator 2017- 2019

PEER NAS USAID regional research grant called Integrated Water Resource Management and Strategic Environmental Assessment of Kabul and Amu Darya Rivers, 2017-2019. 

Eco-Leadership Program - 2016

In 2016 from 01-12 August, seven AUCA students volunteered to attend the Ecological Leadership Program in beautiful Ala Archa National Park to improve their leadership skills and learn more about the Kyrgyz environment. The Ecological Leadership Program, or ELP, focused on three main subject areas – teaching ecology and water resources through outdoor immersion, increasing leadership skills through practical scenarios and mentorship, and teaching outdoor living skills to help students to be capable of working independently in the outdoors.

Consultant in WWF Conservation and Adaptation in Asia’s High Mountain (AHM) Landscapes and Communities Project - In Kyrgyzstan, AHM field activities were primarily conducted in the Sarychat-Ertash State Reserve and in three remote villages in the reserve’s buffer zone. Sarychat-Ertash is Kyrgyzstan’s largest protected area with a total area of 149,117 ha, although it will soon to be surpassed in size upon establishment of the proposed Khan Tengri National Park. The Sarychat-Ertash reserve features alpine shrub and grasslands and unique high altitude syrt ecosystems that support argali, ibex, snow leopards, wolves, brown bears, and other wildlife species.

 Climate Change Adaptation Consultant at World Food Programme in Support Development of National Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan in Agriculture Sector

Worked as a GIS consultant in Mountain Societies Development Support Program, Kyrgyz Republic, Aga Khan Foundation. The project called “Urban Planning on Water Supply and Sanitation of Naryn town, Kyrgyz Republic”. Also additional project called “Disaster Risk Management of Naryn Town”.

 University of Central Asia (UCA)                                                   

 Research Fellow, Mountain Societies Research Institute (MSRI)                                     2013 - 2014 Bishkek,Kyrgyzstan

Responsibilities include:

  • Academic planning including the design of a new course curriculum and syllabus for undergraduate students of the Earth and Environmental Sciences program
  • Using GIS and remote sensing tools, datasets and meteorological data for hydrological modeling (focused on investigation of Lake Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyz Republic, and the creation of an Atlas of Water Resources of Issyk-Kul Lake Basin, Kyrgyz Republic) including collection of relevant state statistical and vector data for the project database, and report composition.


Climate Change Adaptation Expert with the Mountain Societies Development Support Program (MSDSP) on the Strengthening Civil Society to Lead Climate Change Adaptation in Rural Kyrgyz Republic project including activities such as promoting project sustainability, reviewing pertinent project related documents, and designing assessment methodology and tools. Assess project proposals for quality and consistency. Identify project delivery issues and ensure effective coordination of project resources. Work closely with national counterparts to build cooperative relationships and establish the organization as an effective partner


TU of Freiberg Mining Academy,                                                                     

Dept. of Hydrogeology & Environmental Geology                            2012 (3 months) Freiberg, Germany                                                                           Teaching Assistant

Responsibilities included:

  • Classes taught: Hydrological modeling (MapWindow (SWAT) software)
  • Class preparation, leading discussions, grading and student assessment


Pamir-Alai Transboundary Conservation Area (PATCA) Project                  

      Head of GIS Lab, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan                                                           2008 - 2009

Responsibilities within this European Union funded project included:

  • Cartographic and informational support of the project
  • Lab data processor, GIS Analyzer, result interpreter, and reports writer, uploading thematic maps to PATCA website


Kyrgyz Russian Slavic University                                                                    

Radiology & Biophysics Scientific Research Lab                                             2006 - 2008 Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan       

First Class Engineer

Responsibilities included:

  • Scientific research, radiation safety, environmental awareness.
  • Lab data processing, GIS Analyzer, result interpreter, and reports writer
  • Developing projects on environmental impact assessment study


ECONET in Central Asia - “Life Net” Project,                                                

    GIS Expert Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan                                         2005 - 2007

Responsibilities within this World Wildlife Foundation funded project included:

  • Cartographic and informational support of the project
  • Maps of flora and fauna of Kyrgyz Republic were created and designed as well as included Central Asia ECONET database


Central Asia Transboundary Project for Biodiversity                                       

Conservation in Western Tien-Shan                                                                 GIS Expert Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

                                                                                                                        2002 - 2006

Responsibilities within this GEF/World Bank funded project included:

  • Cartographic and informational support of bioregional management plan of the project
  • Creation of the Atlas of Biodiversity of West Tien-Shan
  • Conduct training for natural reserve staff in GIS application for biodiversity conservation

Kyrgyz State Technical University (KSTU); Academy of Management under President of Kyrgyz Republic (AMPKR); State Agency of Tourism and Youth Policy                                                               1997 - 2002

     Leading and Senior Specialists

  • Developing and promoting educational projects for high schools (Agreement between German Universities and KSTU; Agreement between AMPKR and USA universities; Project in the sphere of education for improving knowledge and skill of resorts staff located in Issyk-Kul Lake)

 Kyrgyz National University                                                                              

Physics of Semiconductors and Dielectrics                                                     1991 - 1997 Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan   


Responsibilities included:

  • Classes taught: Common physics for biology, geography and chemistry division’s undergraduate students
  • Class preparation, leading discussions, grading and student assessment
  • Investigating electro-physics’ properties of superconductor materials



PEER NAS/USAID research grant on a topic of Integrated Water Resources Management and Environmental Strategic Assessment of Kabul and Amudarya rivers, with amount of $300,000 for three countries such as Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan, 2016-2019;

DAAD Material Resources Project: Grant with amount of €20000 for Establishing GIS lab in MSRI, UCA, 2014

Mountain Societies Development Support Program (MSDSP) on the Strengthening Civil Society to Lead Climate Change Adaptation in Rural Kyrgyz Republic project: consulting-research services with amount of $4000

International Association Mathematical Geoscience (IAMG), IAMG Student Chapter Freiberg, Member of Consultative Board,, 2011

German Service of Academic Exchange (DAAD), PhD Scholarship Award to pursue a Ph.D. studies in Germany, 2008-2012

University of Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan), travel grant to conduct field work in Kyrgyzstan, 2009-2010

TU of Freiberg Mining Academy, travel grant to attend “Goldschmidt-2011”, The International Conference on Geochemistry in the Czech Republic

International Association for Mathematical Geosciences, 2011 Lump Sum Scholarship Award

Student Conference on Solid State Materials, Tomsk, Russian Federation, Honor of first level Diploma


Selected PUBLICATIONS (International Peer Reviewed Journals):

 Nazgul Imanberdieva, ChukunZeki, SeveroğluZeki, Zheenbek Kulenbekov October 2018, Ecology and Environmental Aspects of “Makmalzoloto” Gold Mining Area in Kyrgyzstan, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-99728-5_13, In book: Vegetation of Central Asia and EnvironsPublisher: Spinger-Verlag

Kulenbekov, Zh. and Asanov, B., 2016. Atmospheric Air Quality Assessment of Bishkek City, Vestnik of Sesmology Institute under Kyrgyz National Academy of Sciencies, 2(8).

Kulenbekov, Zh. and Merkel, B.J., 2012. Investigation of the natural uranium content in the Issyk-Kul Lake, Kyrgyzstan. Freiberg Online Geology, 33, pp. 3-45.

Kulenbekov, Zh. et al., 2012. Assessment of radionuclides and toxic trace elements mobility in uranium tailings by using advanced methods, Kyrgyzstan. Freiberg Online Geology, ISSN 1434-7512, 33, pp. 46-105.

Kulenbekov, Zh. and Merkel, B.J., 2011. Risk Assessment Analysis of Kadji-Sai Uranium Tailings Site, Kyrgyzstan, Goldschmidt Conference Abstracts 2011. Mineralogical Magazine, ISSN 0026 461X, 75(3), p. 1251.


Selected PUBLICATIONS (International Peer Reviewed Conferences):

 Kulenbekov, Zh, et al, 2018, Land Cover Classification of Fergana Valley Using NDVI Method, International Conference on Geology & Earth Science, 2-4 May, Rome, Italy.

Kulenbekov, Zh. and Merkel, B.J., 2011. Environmental Impact of Kadji-Sai Uranium Tailing Site, Kyrgyzstan. Sixth International Conference Uranium Mining and Hydrogeology (UMH VI), Freiberg, Germany, 18-22 September 2011. pp. 135-142.

Kulenbekov, Zh. 2010. GIS Application for Support to Establishment for Pamir-Alai Transboundary Conservancy Area between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Proceedings of the Fourth Central Asia GIS conference –GISCA’10. Water: Life, Risk, Energy and Landuse, Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, 27-28 May 2010. pp. 4-9.

Tynybekov A, Kulenbekov, Zh., 2009. Radiological investigation of Issyk-Kul Region of Kyrgyz Republic. In Aycik, G.A. (Ed.) NATO Advanced Training Course on New Techniques for the Detection of Nuclear and Radioactive Agents, NATO Science for Peace and Security Series B: Physics and Biophysics, Mugla, Turkey, 26-30 May 2008. Springer. pp. 287-294.

Tynybekov A, Kulenbekov, Zh., 2008. Radiological Investigation and Ecological Risk of Southern Coastal Section of Lake Issyk-Kul. Fifth International Conference Uranium Mining and Hydrogeology (UMH V), Freiberg. Germany, 14-18 September 2008. pp. 477-486.

Tynybekov A, Kulenbekov, Zh., 2008. Environmental Issues of the Kyrgyz Republic and Central Asia. In Liotta, P.H. et al. (Eds.), NATO Advanced Research Workshop on Environmental Change and Human Security: Recognizing and Acting on Hazard Impacts, Newport, Rhode Island, ISBN 978-1-4020-8550-5 (PB), USA, 4-7 June 2007. Springer. pp. 408-432.



Kyrgyz – Native

Russian - Fluent

English - Fluent

German - Good

Kazakh - Fluent


Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, Access, Outlook, Power Point, Picture Manager;

CorelDraw, Adobe Photoshop, Internet Explorer, FireFox, Google, oJooo

Peripherals (printer, scanner, plotter, duplicating machine).

The Ex-Ante Carbon-balance Tool (EX-ACT)

Hydrogeological software and equipment: MajIC Net 1.x, Plasma Lab, WhAEM, Visual Modflow, PHREEQC 2.6 and TIC, IC, ICP-MS, Ph-EC-Redox-Temp meters.

Radiological software and equipment: Winplot; Gamma Spectrometer, Radiometer.

Special software for GIS technology and Remote Sensing: ArcGIS 10.x., MapWindow 4.6.8, ENVI 4.8., WinTopo Pro., Surfer 9.x and Geomatica 10.x

GIS based hydrological modeling software: MapWindow SWAT, ArcGIS SWAT, TecDEM and River tools 3.x. 

Statistical software: OriginLab 8, SPSS 16, Matlab, R, GeoR, HydroGOF, HydroTSM

American University of Central Asia
7/6 Aaly Tokombaev Street
Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic 720060

Tel.: +996 (312) 915000 + Еxt.
Fax: +996 (312) 915 028
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