For students enrolled in the Master of Environmental Management program at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES), choosing courses is like being a kid in a candy store. The choices are abundant, even wondrous, and F&ES students are curious and interested in a lot of things. But while the plethora of choices is considered a virtue—the M.E.M. offers over 100 electives—their lack of organization has been a frequent source of confusion—until now.

Read more about the M.E.M changes

Hello from FES!!

I greet you today first and foremost as a first-year FES student at Yale University. I am also a female international student pursuing a Master’s degree in Environmental Management (MEM). I also happen to be a new team member at the Admissions office here. Throughout the ensuing school year, I will be providing you short tidbits about my experiences here at FES, which I hope will be of some help to you while making important life decisions.

My name is Onon Bayasgalan and I come from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Unless you’ve been to Mongolia, or have other substantial reasons to know about Mongolia, I’d recommend

Office open, please enter.
Office open, please enter

Admissions Office doorway

Greetings from Yale F&ES Admissions & Financial Aid!  Just as the sign on our office door states, “office open, please enter,” the F&ES Master’s application officially opens on September 1, 2011. We are excited to welcome and assist a new round of applicants as you prepare materials for the admissions process.

By way of introduction, our office consists of 5 people: Alex (Fin Aid), Angela (Admissions/Fin Aid), Danielle (Admissions/Fin Aid), Linda (Admissions/Fin Aid), and Quetcy (Admissions).  We are a small troop, but we work diligently to meet your needs and answer your questions in a timely fashion.

The office experienced a major restructuring, said farewell to two dedicated staff…

I just ran into senator John Kerry as he walked from one event to another. He’s giving a talk at 1:15 entitled “The Critical Role of a global Deal in Advancing U.S Legislation.”
He’s almost always followed by a parade of cameras, journalists, and delegates…

Batilda Burian, Minister for Environment, United Republic of Tanzania, discusses the African walk-out during the COP Plenary on December 14, 2009, speaking at Climate and Development Days.

By Angel Hsu and Christopher Kieran, part of ‘Team China’ tracking the Chinese delegation a the Copenhagen climate negotiations. These posts are originally being featured on Green Leap Forward and also cross-posted on and the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy blog.

Plenary sessions were closed off to observers today, which means that we unfortunately cannot beat the Earth Negotiations Bulletin with insights as to what went down on the negotiating floor.  Nonetheless, we were able to get quotes from Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs He Yafei (seated center; on his left is Yu Qingtai, a leading negotiator in the Chinese delegation) – the highest level Chinese government official that has…

Climate Change Impacts to Coral Reefs

Part of my interest in attending the 15th COP is to understand how climate change impacts to the oceans are featuring in these environmental negotiations.

In this spirit, I attended today’s U.S. Center science presentation on “Coral Reefs and Climate Change: the link between reef resilience and human well-being“.

The COP is LOCO with six formal bodies meeting simultaneously, numerous official side events going on from 9am – 9pm, a week-long IETA Carbon Finance event, Forest Day, Climate and Development Days, and Business Day all in parallel.  There could be 10 other meetings I could be attending right now, but it’s time for a break, post in the blog, and relax a bit before welcoming our guests at our Yale reception :-)

Parties are discussing mechanisms for technology and financing, as well as long-term mitigation targets under the Ad-hoc Working Group for Long-term Cooperative Action (AWG-LCA).  There is agreement on some issues, but in my opinion discussions still seem too general and it would be interesting to see what conclusions the group reaches at the end of the…

Good COP Bad COP: fashion


Today I’ll kick off the first in a short series of observations of everyday life at the COP, as seen through the eyes of an outsider, just so everyone at home can get a feel for it. I’ll start with one of the most visible (if superficial) topics – fashion.

COP seems to have a really heterogeneous style of dress. Men pretty much universally wear suits and collared shirts. You can spot some corduroy jackets and vests – those are the university professors. Jeans are only appropriate for certain NGO events.

Many women wear suits as well, but I’ve noticed that COP actually has its own style. To pull…