Nerves and impasse in the wake of Hurricane Maria

“Javier, how are your friends and family?” was for a while the question many asked me at Yale F&ES. Every time felt sincere and I appreciated it. Two weeks had not passed before some people found themselves asking it again. Wait, was that the same hurricane?

Summer Reflections: A Love Letter to Puerto Rico

Back in August, I wrote a sun-bathed reflection about my experience this summer in San Juan, Puerto Rico. When Hurricane Irma hit, I updated the story to highlight the critical role Puerto Rico was playing as a hub for staging and coordinating aid for its neighbors. Then came Maria.

The photos and stories of an island ripped apart, of people (who, by the way, happen to be U.S. citizens) left without running water, power, and reliable communication for weeks now, and the agonizing slowness of getting desperately needed resources to the people who need them is a jarring manifestation of how far we haven’t come with preparedness for the type of natural disasters that climate change is already producing. As a neighbor, we have a responsibility to…

FES in Ghana

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Spring break is a notorious time for adventure. At FES, many students take the opportunity to travel all over the country and around the world for Yale coursework. About 40 of us participated in various Global Network Weeks, an offering through the School of Management and its partner institutions as part of the Global Network for Advanced Management.

Taking a minute to talk about living in New Haven, Connecticut.

Hello class of 2019,

Welcome to F&ES! My name is David McCarthy, I am a second-year MEM student and a lifelong CT resident who has resided in New Haven for the past nine years. I study climate change adaption through the lenses of: resiliency, conservation, strategic communication and policy.

I want to take a minute and talk about living in New Haven, Connecticut and tell you how great my home state is! CT is a very diverse state with a lot to offer in regards to food, scenery, city and rural life. We are smack in the middle of Boston and New York City, two great destinations. I have driven through almost all of CT’s counties, cities and towns, each one is very different from the next. Some…

F&ES in Patagonia and Santiago, Chile

Over the winter break, Jessica Leung (MEM ’17) and Ross Donihue (MEM ’18) travelled to Chile for 2 weeks as part of the Environmental Protection Clinic, a course cross-listed at F&ES and the Law School. The course is an interdisciplinary clinic that addresses environmental law and policy problems on behalf of client organizations such as environmental groups, government agencies, and international bodies.

Their client was Futaleufú Riverkeeper, a non-governmental organization in Chile dedicated to protecting the natural and cultural heritage of the Futaleufú watershed, located in northern Patagonia. More about them here.

The team spent the fall semester working with the organization’s International Director, Patrick Lynch, to do a research project on hydroelectric power and clean energy policy in Chile. Chile currently relies on hydropower for…

F&ES / CDO Washington D.C. 2017 job trek

Last week, the Career Development Office (CDO) of F&ES hosted a job trek to Washington D.C. and it was amazing! One hundred graduate students traveled into the nation’s capital to meet with chief environmental organizations. It was an incredible opportunity to be inside their headquarters, meet with their human resources departments, learn about internship and hiring practices and speak F&ES alumni who live and work in DC.

The trek was very well organized. There was planned carpooling as well as gracious alumni who offered up spare rooms to put us up for a few days. I stayed with Theodore Varns, Green Growth Landscapes Program Advisor at The Nature Conservancy. He was very courteous and hospitable, he provided me with a bike share and a metro card! We were able…

Water and Climate Change: Are Humans Prepared to Adapt to Growing Challenge?

The link between water and climate change is palpable, yet it had never been addressed during a meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) until this year in Morocco. On this occasion, an entire day — fostered by the Moroccan Kingdom — was dedicated to water. But water is still not an important part of global climate negotiations. Although it is included in the “Nairobi Work Programme” — formed in 2005 to “facilitate and catalyze” the development and dissemination of information on the impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change — many countries are blocking the inclusion of water because it would mean trans-boundary catchment negotiations, collaboration and planning, and affect sovereignty or geopolitical positions.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognizes that water is…

Last week, newly released data by the Climate Change Institute from the Arctic confirmed that, yet again, winter temperatures in the North Pole have reached unprecedented highs. This year, the temperature is 36 degrees Fahrenheit above the historic average. This is already greater than what many experts consider a tipping point that could lead to climate and security impacts on a global scale. In the face of a drastically changing climate, it is even more imperative that we as environmentalists not just collect information, but also question how exactly we are contributing to creating a more sustainable future.

This week, a group of concerned students, alumni, faculty, and staff from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Science added their voices to a growing number of environmental…

Watching the events unfold at Standing Rock has felt something like an out-of-body experience. I am seventeen hundred miles away, watching safely from my living room. But every picture and every story that comes out of Standing Rock hits with such impact that the great distance seems negligible.

I am a child of the Dakotas. I was born in North Dakota. I spent almost every holiday and summer in the Badlands of North Dakota, or with family in the Black Hills of South Dakota. When I was young, my family moved to the prairies of Saskatchewan, Canada, but we stayed close, just a few miles above the border. My childhood memories of the Dakotas and the Canadian prairies have blended, forming idyllic vignettes of golden sunsets, gorgeous but fierce…

F&ES Treks to Quito, Ecuador

During the October fall break, a group of roughly 30 students from three Yale graduate schools (FES, School of Management, and Public Health) traveled to Quito, Ecuador. The majority of these students were FES-ers, who 1) attended the UN Habitat III conference as accredited stakeholders and 2) either presented research related to urban resilience or participated in a consultancy project.

The UN Habitat III conference was a unique occurrence. It is an event that only happens every 20 years, where national and subnational governments gather to discuss urban development. In this past Habitat, the New Urban Agenda was adopted. This is a guidance document that will dictate how urbanization will occur worldwide, and encompasses many areas including but not limited to social inclusion, ending poverty, environmentally sustainable…