YCELP: Student Board, Environmental Protection Clinic, and Opportunities for Students!

From Sarah:

Welcome, intrepid readers, to Part II of my blog postings about the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy (YCELP).  This week I’ll discuss the newly formed YCELP student board, the Environmental Protection Clinic, and opportunities for readers like you!

First I should clarify that YCELP offers scholarships and even more programs that I have space to describe.  I’ll summarize with just a few sentences.  Last spring, YCELP awarded two Yale Center for Environmental Law & Policy Research Prize Fellowships – each for $7,500.  One prize went to a joint Master’s student with the Yale School of Public Health who is studying water quality near the Marcellus shale development sites in southwestern Pennsylvania.  The other was awarded to a PhD candidate here at F&ES who is working to improve the reliability of national inventories for greenhouse gas.  Another great program that YCELP offers is the Environmental Attitudes and Behavior Program (EAB).  EAB is a Climate Change program coordinated through the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and started in part by YCELP.  It measures how attitudes translate into policy and decision-making for climate change adaptation

Now we shall move to the meat of my story.  The Environmental Protection Clinic is joint program with F&ES and the Yale Law School, where students work on behalf of real clients on environmental law and policy problems.  Projects range from litigation and drafting legislation, to participating in stakeholder working groups and writing policy proposals covering air, water, climate change, energy, and endangered species.

From a non-law student perspective, this Clinic is an invaluable opportunity to work on legal cases and initiatives.  From a non-F&ES student’s perspective, the Clinic provides the chance to work with peers in environmental science and policy.  Although I can’t share the names of actual clients with you – those are confidential – I can tell you that the students at the Clinic work alongside the Natural Resources Defense Council.  A student team recently completed a formal complaint to the European Commission and a policy paper for Archipelagos, Institute of Marine Conservation, regarding Greece’s legal obligations relating to the sinking of the Sea Diamond cruise ship off in the Aegean Sea in 2007.  Research included drafting policy papers regarding Greece’s liability in its failure to implement EU and country-level environmental laws.

As a new Research Assistant at YCELP, I am especially happy to share some outreach opportunities that we plan to host.  Although I’m admittedly biased as a joint law/MEM student, we’re brainstorming a panel discussion, “Do I need a JD?,” that will bring in alumni who work in policy, some of whom have a JD and some who do not.  We are also talking about hosting a “Green Drink” mixer with local environmental policy experts.  I hope to update you with more information about these events soon, but I invite you to check out YCELP’s website in the interim: http://envirocenter.yale.edu/

If you’re interested in getting involved once you arrive at F&ES, I would suggest that you contact current students in a similar way as I discussed in my CBEY blog.  Associate Director Josh Galperin is enthusiastically leading students this year and I’m sure that he’d love to hear from an incoming student interested in YCELP’s great initiatives.  The F&ES Research Assistants are listed on the YCELP website, as is a list of activities and programs.  Go ahead and explore the program a bit!  I’m sure that, like me, you’ll find a hundred things to keep your interest piqued!