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 –

Gender Equality through Disaster & Climate Change Readiness: from Policy to Practice

Right now marks the middle of the 58th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York City, the annual taking-stock of Millennium Development Goals as they relate to successes, challenges, and progress for women and girls around the globe. Like many UN events, the annual CSW is two weeks of prepared statements, panel discussions, and working group meetings packed with lofty and generalized language, seemingly perfectly designed to simultaneously aggravate and bore participants.

Last Thursday I was a participant in that process. I spoke at a CSW parallel event put on by the Tzu Chi Foundation, a humanitarian disaster relief organization. I presented on the state of gender equality through a climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction lens, from my perspective as a junior researcher…

Celebrating Women and the Environment: International Women’s Day at F&ES

Women make up over half of the world’s population and nearly 60 percent of the F&ES student body – yet, when it comes to women environmental leaders the numbers do not match up. When asked who is an inspirational environmental woman, who comes to mind? Rachel Carson, Wangari Maathai, Christiana Figueres, Barbara Boxer, Frances Beinecke… the obvious answers seem to dry up fast.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, the Yale Environmental Women, an F&ES student interest group, pushed people to think further about women who have influenced the environmental field – in science, academics, politics, art, and life. After some prodding (and snacks), we collectively came up with a list that spanned across the globe, across F&ES faculty, and back to ourselves.

Here are some of the…