Environmental Impacts of Demand-Side Technologies and Strategies for Carbon Mitigation

Energy efficiency and renewable energy are widely recognized as two of the most effective ways to greatly reduce the threat of climate change. But how much do we know about other environmental impacts of a large-scale deployment of these technologies? What are the benefits (or impacts) from a life-cycle perspective? By how much can the gains from energy efficient technologies be multiplied if greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from electricity production are also reduced?

CFL w vineIn a special issue, Yale’s Journal of Industrial Ecology aims to advance our understanding of environmental and natural resource implications of energy efficiency technologies. This special issue, “Environmental Impacts of Demand-Side Technologies and Strategies for Carbon Mitigation,” was prepared…

The 2016 Environmental Film Festival at Yale

This April, Yale students came together to voluntarily run one of the largest film festivals across the country. The Environmental Film Festival at Yale, or more lovingly called EFFY by Yale students in the know, ran from April 1-9, screened over 20 short- and feature-length films.

The event is run mainly by students from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies who work throughout the year to provide relevant environmental stories from around the world to the greater New Haven area. Most films are followed by a panel discussion led by academic leaders from Yale, filmmakers, and stars of the films.

The 2016 was a great success, and students, staff, and faculty from across Yale, as well as New Haven community members came out to support…

F&ESers Find City Climate Action Plans Are Missing an Important Piece

An F&ES student and recent alum recently published an article in The Nature of Cities, based on research done at Yale as part of the COP21 Fellowship. The research, by Emily Wier ’17 M.E.M. and Alisa Zomer ’14 M.E.M., found that even though cities pledge to reduce emissions and fight climate change, the commitments don’t measure up.

Some cities are getting it right. After Oakland’s Energy and Climate Change Action Plan was implemented in 2012, the city’s transportation emissions decreased slightly. Other cities that integrated transportation and land use planning in their climate plans, including Atlanta, Georgia and Columbus, Ohio, also reduced their transportation emissions.

Other cities are not doing as well. Transport-related emissions increased by around 18 percent in Boulder, Colorado and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania after they implemented…

For those unable to attend Admitted Student Open House!

For prospective students out there that can’t make it to the Admitted Student Open House next week, here is a list of questions to peruse that will give you a better sense of the School!

Q: How do I find a faculty advisor?
A: If you’re an MESc or MFS student, you already identified potential research advisors at the time of your application. If you’re an MEM or MF student, you will be assigned an advisor upon arrival on campus. You should be prompted to email your top faculty choices during the summer.

Q: Is it difficult to have a work-study job and be a full-time student?
A: Around 80% of F&ES students receive financial aid and therefore are eligible for work-study jobs and student assistantships on campus…

ELTI: Protecting Forests in Panama

An article recently published by the California Academy of Sciences illustrates how the F&ES-based Environmental Leadership and Training Initiative (ELTI) is helping local communities protect their forest lands in Panama.

Reporting on a presentation made by Eva Garen, the ELTI director, and Jefferson Hall ’92 M.F.S. ’02 Ph.D., at the recent annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the article highlights how forests help regulate water flow, providing a critical service for people living in a watershed in western Panama.

Hall, a staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, makes the case that smart reforestation and land management is needed “for both the natural world and the humans that share it” — and that education can make a big difference…

Many new and prospective F&ES students wonder if a joint degree program is right for them. A joint degree – whether with the School of Management, the School of Architecture, Divinity School, Law School, or one of the other nearly dozen joint degree programs F&ES offers – has the potential to advance your career and enhance your professional school experience. At the same time, a joint degree takes longer, costs more, and can present some practical challenges. As a joint degree student myself – and after talking with several of my joint degree classmates – I hope to provide some insight into the benefits and potential pitfalls of pursuing a joint degree at Yale.

Housing in New Haven

New Haven is a fun, small city for F&ES students to call home.

Most F&ES students live in the East Rock neighborhood of New Haven (named for nearby East Rock Park). This neighborhood provides a close-knit graduate community and cute Italian grocery stores. There are plenty of places to park and the Orange shuttle line serves this area.

Other popular neighborhoods are Science Hill (right by F&ES), Mansfield Street, and downtown. Science Hill and Mansfield Street are the closest to the School and have plenty of graduate students of their own. Downtown, although farther from F&ES, is a wonderful place to live if you want to be near many restaurants, bars, shopping, and the hub of New Haven. These areas are served by the Red and Blue shuttle…

Yes, Consumption Really Does Drive Climate Impacts and Resource Use

Intuition has long suggested that consumption plays a key role in driving climate impacts and resource use. A recent article in Yale’s Journal of Industrial Ecology brings rigor and detail to this understanding. Using a new multiregional input-output database (EXIOBASE 2.2), which describes the world economy at the detail of 43 countries, five rest-of-the-world regions, and 200 product sectors, the authors are able to trace the origin of the products consumed by households and represent global supply chains for 2007. It shows that household consumption contributes to more than 60 percent of global GHG emissions and between 50 percent and 80 percent of total land, material, and water use.

Traditionally, the analysis of household environmental impacts has been based on national statistics and production systems, treating imported goods as if they…

Career Chat with Austin Lord ’14 MESc

On February 16 I sat in on a career coffee chat put on by CDO and the RRAD (Disasters) Student Interest Group​. The featured guest was Nepal-based Austin Lord ’14 M.E.Sc., a Fulbright Scholar, Research Consultant to UNDP on post-disaster response, and founder of volunteer humanitarian initiative Rasuwa Relief.

It was interesting to hear about Austin’s journey post-F&ES. After graduation he went to Nepal through the aid of the Yale Himalaya Initiative and the Cornell Summer Funding Program. At the time Austin had no idea that he would do anything related to disasters. As an F&ES student he hadn’t been involved with the disasters SIG. But he would quickly discover that for a social scientist, there is an incredible demand and need for working in the setting of disasters…

ConBio members get a back stage tour at the Peabody Museum of Natural History.

A new scholarship for conservation science leadership has reenergized the community at F&ES. Margaret McCarthy ’82 B.A. and Robert Worth, with their joint passion for the preservation of all things wild, contributed to a fantastic new opportunity for students. The MK McCarthy-RW Worth Scholarship honors two individuals with demonstrated dedication to problem solving and leadership in the conservation realm.

Two 2015 F&ES graduates, Tara Meyer and Danielle Lehle, were key in the creation of this scholarship opportunity. They are also avid conservationists themselves.

Tara is a wildlife biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, where she manages regional wildlife conflict and private lands programs. During her summer at F&ES, she studied snow leopards in the Hissar Mountains of Tajikistan using camera traps and DNA analyses. Tara…