New Haven, my home!

It is no secret that I’m New Haven’s biggest fan. There is so much delicious food, art, beauty, and fun packed in this small city that I think it is truly such a wonderful place to be a grad student and live. We may not have sunny California’s steady weather, but we do have incredible seasons and get to experience the best of each. A little snow just makes us tougher, you know?

Anyway, before the offices closes for the holiday season, I just wanted to share this really cute video that some Yale undergrads made. I think it is pretty clever, but it also goes to show you how fond other people are of this place, besides me!

To watch on YouTube, click here

F&ES Class Helps Get New Haven Green Infrastructure Project 'In the Ground'

Earlier this year, a group of F&ES students traveled down the I-95 corridor, from New York to Washington, to explore how four major cities are using “green infrastructure” to handle storm water runoff. In each city they received an important piece of advice: Just get projects built.

“What all these cities helped us understand was the importance of getting projects in the ground, just to see how they function in your own city,” said Caitlin Feehan M.E.M. ’14, who helped organize the research trip.

This week, the students can say they’ve helped New Haven put its own project in the ground. The research they conducted as part of their class, F&ES 963: Payments for Ecosystem Services, helped inspire plans for new green projects in the Elm…

Packages of cheese puffs in a grocery store dumpster

Leading up to and at COP 19, I worked with the Union of Concerned Scientists, helping them to develop policy positions related to climate change adaptation and mitigation in global agriculture. Agriculture is a nascent subject within the UNFCCC, but by 2020, global emissions targets relating to both forests and agriculture will be incorporated under a single heading of “land use.” Addressing agricultural emissions will be a significant step for the UNFCCC. The following statistics convey why:

  • According to a recent report published by the Union of Concerned Scientists, demand for food is predicted to increase by at least 60% by 2050 – not simply because of population growth, but because of changing consumption patterns, referred to as the “nutrition transition.” Developing countries are rapidly adopting a
Twitter Campaign Helps Yale Project Spread Important Climate Message

During the week of the Thanksgiving holiday, the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication (YPCCC) found an effective way to generate a buzz in the global climate debate: Add a hashtag.

More than 2,600 Twitter users responded to the YPCCC’s challenge to give “#ClimateThanks” on the popular social media site, posting nearly 8,000 tweets about individuals and groups making a difference in the climate fight. Those tweets generated more than 25 million timeline deliveries, and reached more than 7.2 million unique followers.

Participants included high-profile climate scientists, U.S. lawmakers, journalists, non-governmental organizations and thousands of individuals who simply care about climate issues.

“All in all, the campaign far exceeded our expectations,” said Anthony Leiserowitz, director of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication. “I was…

LAST MINUTE TIPS!

Our application deadline is quickly approaching! Only a few days left until December 15th and we can feel the nerves pouring through.

1) Proof read! This is my number 1 tidbit for applicants. It doesn’t matter how last minute your application is, take the time to proofread it and have someone else proofread it. It doesn’t particularly matter who other proofreaders are – your personal statement should be pretty readable by anyone. It’s about you, your goals, your career ambitions, and why you want to come to F&ES. It shouldn’t be overly technical, or, conversely, overly vague. My friend, Amy “the grammar queen” proofread my application and helped me take out unnecessary portions, showcase my writing skills, and clarify unclear sections. I can’t stress this enough: your personal statement…

The Reality of Grad School

Hello Prospective Foresters,

It’s exam period here, so I thought I would use my perspective as a beleaguered first year masters student to offer you (what I hope is) some cogent advice on your grad school plans.  At exactly this time last year (literally to the day) I was in the exact same position that you probably currently find yourself in.  I was working a full time and on weekends and evenings I was crafting application essays, trying to pull myself out my workload far enough to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  When I was about halfway through the application process, I called home to vent about my essays.  During this conversation my mom pointed out that what I was working on was not 1…

Knowledge Crosses Oceans at the Third International Marine Protected Areas Congress

I traveled to the port city of Marseille, France, to attend the Third International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC3), expecting to be immersed for several days in formulating policy recommendations that would have little practical impact on marine management. Ocean acidification, coral bleaching, and plummeting fish stocks were all familiar topics from my years working in Hawai‘i with a climate change research program, and I anticipated spending hours rehashing these issues with conservation professionals who daily fight an uphill battle, rather than forging meaningful solutions.  On all counts, I could not have been more wrong.

My journey to IMPAC3 began months before I set foot in Marseille when I applied to work with the Global Island Partnership (GLISPA) as part of the International Organizations and…

Interview with our Sustainability Cup Winner and Joint Degree MBA, Rachel Mak!

Vanessa: Hey Rachel! Thanks for sitting down with me and telling all these prospective students about your experience before and after F&ES. How about you tell us what you did before F&ES and how you chose to come here?

Rachel: Sure! I graduated from Harvard in 2010 and was an environmental science and public policy major. I knew when I graduated I wanted to go into the sustainability field, but as I was interviewing for jobs, it became really apparent I didn’t have the skillset I needed to get my dream job. So, I decided I wanted to go to grad school, but I wanted a bit of life experience first. I always wanted to go abroad, so after I graduated, I moved to Shanghai and worked in mergers…

Grassroots Organizing in a #FlatWorld: Technology Lessons from a Slum in Nairobi

If you live in one of the world’s poorest places, you probably do not have running water, raw sewage might flow past your door, and doubtlessly your government ignores you. Yet, you get the same 140 characters on Twitter as Barack Obama.

Last week I drove north from the upscale city center of Nairobi, veered right off the Thika Superhighway onto a dirt road, and suddenly found myself crowded in by shoddy metal shacks, people, and piles of trash. This is Mathare, Nairobi’s second-largest slum, where approximately 1/2 million (the more exact number is uncertain) live in extreme poverty in the middle of one of Africa’s biggest cities. Electricity, garbage pick-up, newspaper delivery, and running water do not reach many of the houses or storefronts in Mathare, but the…