Students gather on Indigenous Peoples' Day (Photo credit: Yale Native American Cultural Center).

In order to help prospective F&ES students gain a better understanding of student life on the Yale campus, we’ve decided to launch a series introducing the bevvy of student centers at the college and university open to all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. This week, we outline the history and mission of the Native American Cultural Center (NACC).

Yale College graduated its first Native American student, Henry Roe Cloud of the Winnebago Tribe, in 1910. Since that time, the Native American presence has grown significantly on campus, and in 1989 the Association of Native Americans at Yale (ANAAY) was founded with the hopes of attracting more Native American professors and students to share their knowledge of their rich culture and history with the wider Yale audience. The NACC…

The Forest Dialogue Week at Yale

Every morning at 9:00, the administration emails students the calendar of events at the school for the next seven days.  A steady stream of guest speakers, informational interviews, and networking lunches vie for students’ attention.  This week’s Forest Dialogue Week is a prime example of the embarrassment of riches we constantly face when sorting out our daily schedules.

The Forest Dialogue (TFD) is an organization that facilitates discussion and collaboration across stakeholders on the most pressing local and global issues facing forests and people.  TFD Week at Yale brings together international leaders from the forest sector to address current issues in forest management and to build shared understanding and work towards collaborative solutions.  Participants in TFD include activists, industry representatives, community leaders, academic researchers, and of course students…

Seeing the Forest from the Trees: Yale at the Global Gathering

Technology is not a silver bullet. These words of caution are oft repeated but hard to abide by, especially when we are constantly bombarded with new devices promising to improve how we eat, live and even how we think. The promise of “technology for good” is increasingly prominent in the environmental movement, which is seeking momentum to break the stalemate over international climate change negotiations and worsening environmental degradation.

The challenge then is how to embrace new technology with cautious optimism. One emerging tool for consideration is Global Forest Watch, a satellite-based tool to monitor deforestation in near real time, managed by the World Resources Institute. For three days (October 29-31), civil society experts from around the world are meeting in Bogota, Colombia to…

Liza Comita: representing women in environmental science

It’s no secret that women are under-represented in STEM fields.  The National Science Foundation reports that women comprise just over 40% of graduate students in science and technology.  However, women with a Master’s degree or higher who are actually employed in science or engineering occupations currently comprise only 30% of workers in those fields.  For this reason alone, we are excited to welcome Dr. Liza Comita as an assistant professor of tropical forest management at F&ES.  However, although Dr. Comita is an excellent role model for women pursuing STEM fields, this is far outshined by her depth of knowledge and experience, as well as the opportunities she brings for F&ES students to pursue tropical studies while at Yale.

This spring, Dr. Comita, along with Dr

F&ES Celebrates Diversity with its Annual International TGIF

TGIF (“Thank God I’m a Forester”) is a Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies tradition. The Friday events are hosted by the Forestry Club – a student-run group tasked with organizing FES social functions – and bring foresters together to relax, unwind, and enjoy each other’s company after a week of hard work.

On Friday, the Forestry Club hosted its annual International TGIF – an evening intended to celebrate the School’s diverse student body (roughly 30 percent of F&ES students come from abroad!). Flags and photos adorned Bowers Auditorium and music played while international students prepared dishes from their home countries to share with classmates. Many countries were represented, including Japan, Kenya, Mexico, and Norway –

Professional Skills Courses at F&ES

To follow up on my post last week about one-time Technical Skills Modules, I thought I’d go ahead and tell you a little bit more about the opportunity to learn professional skills here at F&ES through one-credit courses offered each semester that aim to teach us about skills we might need in our future careers. These courses, known as Professional Skills Courses, or PSCs, here on campus, usually meet once a week during the evening, and are often taught by professionals in the field, rather than professors at the university.

This semester I’m taking a PSC taught by Kris Morico, a Global Leader of several Corporate Environmental Programs at General Electric Co., with a background in environmental engineering. The course, titled “Foundations of Environmental Leadership and Management,” is an…

Class After Class

It’s Friday and you’ve just finished and turned in your last problem set for the week, your classes are through for the day, and it’s a beautiful day outside. There isn’t much out there that would be better than taking a walk in the park, maybe running up to the top of East Rock, and grabbing a beer with some other foresters, right? What if I were to tell you that instead, a lot of people end up going to another class? One that doesn’t even count for credit, but instead you just take for “fun”?

Sounds improbable, right? The last thing anyone wants to do on a Friday afternoon is take their few free hours during the week to sit in another class.

Turns out, though, many…

This past Thursday evening, I was fortunate to be in the audience of Dean Crane’s leadership seminar, live-tweeting the week’s eminent guest, former F&ES Dean Gus Speth. I had gone to see him give a lecture before, back in 2012 while I was a senior in college, while he was on tour promoting his book Bridge At the End Of the World. Since then, he has continued on the path that many consider “radical,” advocating for a metamorphosis of our current consumerist economy into something that will work toward, not against, a sustainable future. Those in attendance were extremely enthusiastic to have our former dean back at Yale; for those who saw our F&ES’ers at the Climate March, our t-shirts actually had his face on them!…