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

FES CELEBRATES DIVERSITY WITH ITS ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL TGIF

TGIF (“Thank God I’m a Forester”) is a Yale School of Forestry and 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 of Forestry’s diverse student body (roughly 30 percent of FES 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

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…

Simon Queenborough - Connecting New Haven to the Tropics

The recent addition of Simon Queenborough to the F&ES faculty team is a major windfall for current and future students here at the School of Forestry.  In addition to his new position as lecturer and researcher at F&ES, Dr. Queenborough has come on board as the new director of the Tropical Resources Institute.  This diversity of roles means that students with a variety of backgrounds and interests will have the opportunity to interact with and learn from this dynamic new instructor.

This spring, Dr. Queenborough will kick off his course offerings with an introduction to tropical ecology.  As a field-based course, it will spend the two weeks of spring break in the tropics, where students will benefit directly from Dr. Queenborough’s extensive field experience and interactive…

New Student Profile: Jessica Webb

Jessica Webb is one of this year’s mid-career students at FES. Because she has been working in the environmental field for more than seven years, she will spend only a year at the school to get her MEM degree. Prior to coming to FES, she worked for a number of years in Latin America, first for a small nonprofit in Costa Rica focused on community conservation. In that area, most of the tropical forest was either privately owned or considered dangerous. Jessica worked on an educational program to make the forest more accessible, especially to young people. She also organized a community census, which helped migrant workers gain title to land, and set up a community ecotourism program.

After this, Jessica worked for the Rainforest Alliance in Costa Rica…

BULLDOG SUSTAINABILITY LEADS FIRST “BIKE TO THE BOWL”

This past Saturday, I attended my first Yale sporting event. I watched Yale Football celebrate a 49-43 win over Army, one of its greatest non-league rivals. The game was exciting from start to finish – it began with four West Point cadets jumping from a helicopter high above to deliver the game ball and ended with Yale senior Tyler Varga’s fifth touchdown in overtime.

Another highlight of the day was the inaugural “Bike to the Bowl,” organized by Bulldog Sustainability. First year Forester Matt Viens and Yale College student Chris Bowman led the approximately two mile bike ride from Payne Whitney Gym to

Yale FES students Danielle Lehle, Tristanne Davis, and Julia Luthringer marching for climate through Times Square. Photo by Pilipp Arndt.

This past Sunday was a big day for environmentalists, as people gathered in city centers across the globe to raise awareness for the growing need for management and policy that accounts for anthropogenic climate change. I was lucky enough to be at the march in New York City, along with a handful of other F&ES students, and walked in solidarity with over 300,000 other people demanding action be taken on the climate crisis. The event has since been monikered “The Largest Climate March in History,” and has been covered by most of the world’s high-profile news agencies.

As I was standing at 70th Street, between skyscrapers and the park, singing and chanting with other F&ES students, and meeting Yale Alums (who upon seeing our large hand-painted signs, would come…

New Student Profile: Iliana Lazarova

FES welcomed its most international class this year, with nearly a third of new students coming from 25 different countries. Iliana Lazarova is one of those students, hailing from Sofia, Bulgaria. Bulgaria and the Balkans in general are rarely represented within FES, so I was eager to sit down with Iliana to hear her perspective on the school.

Iliana did her undergraduate work in Sofia, studying international economic relations. She’s had an interest in the environment, and specifically in energy, for some time. “I realized that we all live in the same place,” she told me, speaking about her revelation about the nature of environmental problems.  After college, Iliana worked for Teach for Bulgaria, a program modeled after Teach for America. Through that work, she came to see the…

Hello from New Haven!

Hello from New Haven! I’m Jules, a first-year Master of Environmental Management (MEM) student here at F&ES and a new member of the admissions team.  I came to F&ES to learn more about coastal and marine policy and management, with the hopes of working with and managing marine protected areas.

I’m a Southern California native, and grew up exploring the beaches of Los Angeles, kayaking and snorkeling around the Channel Islands, and hiking the San Gabriel Mountains. In pursuit of my childhood dream to become a marine biologist, I left California for the east coast to study marine sciences, as well as biology and earth sciences at Boston University. While there, I had the opportunity to study coastal biogeochemical regimes in different parts of the US, coral reef dynamics…