Creating a more inclusive environment in F&ES: Changing the application to include non-binary gender options

This coming application cycle, The Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies has decided to make a small but significant change to the application. This year, applicants to F&ES who do not identify as either male or female (or who might identify as both) will have the opportunity to apply as their preferred gender identity.

Danielle Curtis Dailey, F&ES’s Director of Enrollment Management, comments on the change:  “We believe that it is essential that F&ES builds a diverse student body, in order to train leaders who will tackle the world’s toughest environmental problems. When we think about diversity, it is in the greatest sense of the word – race, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, region of origin, interests, and so much more. We constantly strive to make sure that we…

TALKS ON THE WILD SIDE

Guest lectures are an almost daily occurrence at Yale F&ES. This semester, the F&ES course Conservation in Practice: International Perspective, the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies, and the student interest group, ConBio, are hosting a six-part series called “Talks on the Wild Side”. The series will bring a number of professionals in the field of wildlife and ecosystem conservation to campus on Thursdays throughout the semester.

Last week, Dr. Justina Ray kicked off the series with her talk entitled, Challenges of Species-Level Conservation Policy and Practice. Dr. Ray is the Executive Director and Senior Scientist of Wildlife Conservation Society Canada. As a wildlife biologist, she has studied the community ecology of forest carnivores in Central Africa and is now involved in research and policy related to conservation planning in…

NAVIGATING THE F&ES FINANCIAL AID PROCESS

Attention prospective students! With admissions applications in, it’s time for the next step – applying for financial aid. For most graduate students, finances play a big role in deciding where to apply, and ultimately attend. Sometimes the process can seem daunting, but as someone who’s navigated the process and made it out alive, I hope I can provide some helpful insights.

Most importantly, the deadline to apply for financial aid is February 15 at midnight. Make sure you submit your Financial Aid Application and Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by that date to be considered for financial aid. Yale F&ES’s financial aid application is a relatively simple, one page form you can fill out anytime. You’ll be asked about employment history, assets, and any outside funding you…

With the spring semester underway here at F&ES, I thought I would take a moment to reflect on one of Yale’s more unique practices – the “shopping period”. At the start of each new semester, Yale students are given two weeks to “shop” courses – that is, to visit as many courses as they’d like before officially registering.

As someone who thrives on lists and calendars, I’ll admit it – I was a bit skeptical at first. Arriving on campus without knowing what classes I would be taking was unsettling to say the least. After two years of law school, I was used to registering for courses weeks (if not months) before each new semester. Following

New Year, New Semester

The New Year has begun, and with it so has my first spring semester at F&ES. I spent the holidays with my family in sunny southern California, and coming back to New Haven was a bit shocking, to say the least. Winter has settled in, and those of us on campus are hunkering down in preparation for the big blizzard, which has already arrived and is currently covering Kroon Hall and SageBoy in a chilly blanket of snow.

With the new year comes a slew of new classes to try, professors to meet, and things to do in New Haven, making this transition equal parts exciting and contemplative. In the first two weeks back we shop classes, trying out different courses that we think we might like, and slowly…

Getting Scale (and Context) Right

Imagine standing in a vast grassland, a gently undulating sea of grass underneath a cloudless blue sky. The only sound is the wind howling across the landscape, sending pale yellow stalks rippling in waves. You are tiny, no more significant than one of those blades of grass. This is the Daurian Steppe, the grasslands of eastern Mongolia.

It is the home of the Mongolian gazelle. They roam across an area of 250,000 square kilometers, approximately the size of Oregon. They move continuously across the landscape, following the greening of the grass. However, the location of the best grass changes from year to year, as rainfall patterns vary. A herd of gazelle might visit an area one summer, and not return for ten years. They are nomadic, not migratory. How…

No-Go at the WPC

The topic of no-go on industrial activity was salient at the 2014 World Parks Congress. It came up particularly in reference to conservation of World Heritage Sites, one of the conference’s cross-cutting themes. Natural World Heritage sites are internationally recognized as the world’s ecological jewels. They include the Galapagos Islands, the Grand Canyon, and the Great Barrier Reef, places so treasured they are recognized as having “Outstanding Universal Value” by the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, an international conservation framework ratified by 187 countries. Numbering only 200, they encompass less than 1 percent of the world’s surface and only 10 percent of all protected areas, yet, as one would reasonably expect, their immense ecological and cultural value earns them special designation among protected areas. The World Heritage Committee’s position has long…

Who's Gonna Stand Up?

The closing ceremony of the 2014 World Parks Congress capped a long week of discourse on the future of protected nature. It was a week of didactics, discussion, and occasional debate, impassioned at times but often fragmentary and frustrated. In the opening ceremony we’d been hit with over-the-top theatrics involving fog machines, cirque de solei acrobats, choreographed dancers, and one very distressed owl. The closing ceremony was notable less for its spectacle and more for its stifled political undertones, glimpses of an unspoken contentiousness underlying both the congress and conservation and sustainable development at large.

After warming up the audience with droning didgeridoos and chanting, the ceremony went promptly into high-ranking bureaucrats making wonderfully neutral speeches. Each began by acknowledging the “traditional owners of this land and elders past and present.” Manicured…

Why (do) We Fly

The total carbon footprint for my round trip flight to Australia – from New York JFK to Sydney via Beijing – amounts to 3.18 metric tons of CO2 equivalent. The 15 of us who went to Australia arrived on 7 different flights and left on 9, most with layovers. Conservatively estimated, each of those trips emitted 1.69 tons of CO2e. Our round trip flights to Australia emitted about 27 tons of carbon equivalent. According to the EPA, that’s equal to the total annual emissions from 5.7 passenger vehicles or the carbon sequestered by 22 acres of U.S. forest. Yikes.

Of the many experiences and reflections I have brought back with me from Sydney, I also return with inner conflict about the air miles we just logged…

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like . . . Exam Time

With my first F&ES semester coming to an end and finals just around the corner, I thought I would take a moment to answer one of the most common questions I get from visiting students: What are the exams like? As a joint MEM/law student who has spent the last two years in law school, the F&ES exam season is like a breath of fresh air! Current and former law students know the law school routine: at the end of each semester, you sit for three or four essay-based exams, where you write (or type) furiously for four hours in an attempt to convey all you have learned over the semester. Occasionally, there might be some multiple choice questions or short answers thrown in, and in upper level electives, you…