A little fun in Hawai'i--exploring's the US's southern most point

Aloha and welcome to part four of my journey through analyzing the material flows for biofuels production in Ka’u, Hawaii. Friday wrapped up our formal interviews on the Island although we still have many phone calls to make and many charts to create.

We started Friday as bright and early as we had planned. Lynette aptly navigated the unlit roads – many unpaved – down to the southern-most point of the United States. We parked a few hundred yards north of the Point because we wanted to hike to Green Sands Beach first to catch the sunrise. The hike was on an uneven path that might have once been used for four-wheeling. It was both rocky and sandy, and our hiking boots stained yellow in the fine soils. At…

New Haven is Awesome - Part II

Hello again, blog followers. I’m back with the other half of cool things to do in New Haven (so you new students don’t feel totally lost when you get here). I’ve decided to highlight a few more things that pass the time (in between school work and FES events) in the most excellent way.

Music: With NYC only an hour and a half away by train, you can easily access some of this biggest music venues hosting the biggest names out there. However, New Haven has some sweet spots for music as well. And who doesn’t love a little music now and again?

Toad’s Place—Toad’s is probably the most popular music venue in town. It’s right in the center of campus, which certainly makes it convenient. They…

Thinking about biofuels in Hawaii

Greetings, intrepid readers, and welcome to the third post highlighting an F&ES research field trip in Hawaii. To quickly recapitulate, we are a team of budding industrial ecologists studying the material resource and energy flows in and out of a proposed biofuels production plant in Ka’u, Hawaii. The biomass needed for the project would be cultivated on about 10,000 acres of land that is currently used for ranching and coffee production.

Today we took Saddle Road from Kona to Hilo, crossing between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea and passing through desert and then lush green pastures. The climates of Hawaii have always amazed me and today’s drive across Hawaii Island felt like time travel: in a matter of minutes we saw three distinct climate zones. When we arrived in…

Yale Team Wins at DOE Better Buildings Competition

7 Yale students participated in the Department of Energy’s Better Building 2nd annual competition this month, winning both categories they were entered in (Best Proposal, Energy Efficient Buildings Hub Case Study and Best Proposal, U.S. General Services Administration Case Study)! The competition “Challenges university teams to develop and present real-world business and technical solutions to cut energy waste and improve the efficiency commercial buildings across the country…and supports President Obama’s goal of cutting energy waste from homes and businesses in half over the next two decades, as announced in the State of the Union address.”

For the entire story, please see: http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/progress_alerts.cfm/pa_id=851…

Some insight into farming in Hawaii

Aloha, readers! This is the second posting about my research for Industrial Ecology in Hawaii. My intrepid teammates (Lynette, Jeff, and Angelo) and I have visited many more coffee farms and spoken to Hawaii County’s research and development experts for the island’s energy. We’re gathering so much data about the material flows for the farming and the proposed biofuels production in Ka’u!

What I find especially interesting is the farmers’ ability to adapt to a new livelihood. Sugar cane plantations were phased out about fifteen years ago – due in large part to sugar competitors from abroad. Since then, people who worked the sugar plantations have transitioned to incredibly diverse crops. We met farmers who harvest everything from bok choy, cabbage, and carrots (that dinner was unforgettable) to “ice…

Sarah's journey to Hawaii

Aloha, readers! Sarah here on Hawaii Island, writing to tell you about yet another fantastic opportunity that F&ES offers to some lucky students. I write quietly to not disrupt the tempo of the waves crashing against weathered lava rock on the coast close to Ka’u. But I’ll try to share as much as I possibly can before heading to dinner with my industrial ecology team. Menu to follow – read on!

Professor Tom Graedel teaches a course on Industrial Ecology, which has landed me in Hawaii. In a (overgeneralized) nutshell, industrial ecology aims to study the stocks and flows of resources and energy, as influenced by humans, from the perspective of natural resources and the environment. Three of my classmates and I were assigned, with this framework in mind…

Dean Crane Featured in New Haven Register

Dean Crane’s new book has been featured in the New Haven Register today!…

Advice for New Students—New Haven is Awesome!

 

The Office of Admissions is starting our first week without Emily, our incredible recent grad who has brought you many exciting blog posts. She has left us to pursue bigger and better things–and we are so excited to see where the adventure takes her! However, she left me a series of posts to post in her absence — and here is the first! Enjoy!


Hello again, Blog World! Emily again with another bit of advice for living in New Haven. For this one, I thought I’d highlight some of the places that make this city so much fun to live in—restaurants, bars, stuff to do, etc.

Food: I’ve heard New Haven referred to as the “Foodie Suburb of NYC.” And I…

Featured Alum: Megan McVey and Climate Communication

Hello, hello, FES Blog World! Emily again with another installment of Alumni Who Are Doing Awesome Stuff in the World (that’s the official name of this series). New Haven appears to be warming up again (the snow from Nemo is almost gone!), but I doubt we have seen the last of winter this year.

Today, I’ve got Megan McVey (MEM ’12). Megan does communications for the US Global Change Research Program. Basically, she has created a career out of being on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media websites all day–if only we all could get paid to be on Facebook, right? Well, anyway, I’ll let her tell you about her work. Without further ado,

Emily: Megan! I’m so happy you agreed to sit down and chat with me…

The Tropical Resources Institute at Yale

From Sarah:

Following Nemo’s frigid, uninvited arrival in New Haven (Nemo apparently didn’t see Punxsutawney Phil’s memo), I want to share warm thoughts with you about the Tropical Resources Institute (TRI). TRI is an interdisciplinary program within Yale F&ES. It aims to help students with funding and research tools for managing and conserving tropical resources. TRI provides research fellowships for students and assists students with research design, proposal development and field methods for projects in the tropics. It also helps connect students with local, in-country institutions. For example, students have teamed with organizations in Panama like PRORENA (Proyecto de Reforestacion con Especies Nativas) and Agua Salad Project. These organizations, along with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, in turn link students with local entities like the Panama Canal Authority, Panama’s…