Why All the Waste?

Welcome to day three of the 2014 World Parks Congress, a paperless event. Online schedules and phone apps have replaced paper schedules and delegates can rest easy knowing that their discarded paper wont contribute to the 30% – 40% of municipal waste that is paper.

Thirsty you say? Well, hope you remembered your water bottle. Refill stations dot Olympic park, but you wont find a water bottle for sale. Which considering it takes over 1,000 years for a plastic water bottle to degrade is a great thing for landfills and planets alike.

Didn’t finish your lunch or just enjoyed a delicious banana? Throw your rubbish in a bin conveniently labeled compost and replenish the soil with your waste.

Have some garbage that is neither compostable nor recyclable?…

World Parks Congress: Day Two

“I wanted to on the one hand give you a sense of confidence and … to end with an outlook that hopefully gives you a sense of opportunity and the enormous expectation that the world holds when it comes to you as a community.” – Achim Steiner

Day two of the World Parks Congress and the pressure is on. Today’s opening plenary shifted in tone from the welcome addresses of last night. While celebratory, the speeches also served as a call to action, touching on current environmental issues and challenges.

Australian Conservationist Professor Robert Dodson opened the plenary with a call to remember the interconnectedness of humanity and nature and that that connection should drive our problem solving. He also acknowledged that achieving harmony with nature will require a…

Yale President Peter Salovey, left, and F&ES Dean Peter Crane, far right, present The Aldo Leopold Prize to Teresa Heinz on Nov. 10.

On Monday evening, as the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies presented philanthropist Teresa Heinz with its highest honor, The Aldo Leopold Award, School leaders ticked off some of Heinz’s many commitments to the environmental field over the years: her work as Chair of the Heinz Endowments, which supports social and environmental causes; her founding of the Alliance to End Childhood Lead Poisoning; the annual conferences she sponsors on women’s health and the environment; and her service as U.S. delegate during the Rio Earth Summit.

But beyond the projects, conferences, and board work, there are also the stories of individuals who have been personally affected by her generosity. “She has fostered collaborations among scientists, trained future groundbreaking leaders, and provided much needed encouragement to those engaged in…

Photo from La Casa Cultural: The Latino Cultural Center at Yale.

The Latino Cultural Center at Yale works to unify Latinos/as across campus and in the greater New Haven community. The current cultural center has existed since 1977, when La Casa Cultural unified the Puerto Rican and Chicano groups on campus, as well as opened its doors to all Yalie Latinos/as. The center provides a large library of books and resource materials on Latin American subjects, lounges for students to work and gather in, and ESL programs for non-native-English speakers on- and off-campus.

La Casa Cultural invites undergraduate, graduate, and professional students to participate in its events and get involved in the greater community. It serves as a link for Latinos/as across graduate schools, bringing together students from Yale’s Law, Medical, Divinity, and Forestry Schools. The Latino Cultural Center…

The 2014 World Parks Congress Begins

“Welcome to aboriginal lands.” It begins with streaming light patterns projected on the walls, tropical rainforest creatures calling out over the sound system, and traditional aboriginal dancers passing along the aisles in the old Olympic Park in Sydney, Australia.

Paying tribute to the original stewards of the land was a prominent theme in the opening ceremony to this World Parks Congress (WPC). Cheers rang out from the roughly 5,000 delegates in attendance as certain indigenous groups were named, delegates who will soon attend the hundreds of events following the opening ceremony. With over 160 nations represented, including many First Nations, this 6th World Parks Congress will be the largest yet. Some of its attendees have been waiting years for this event, which only happens once every 10 years…

Meditation Guru Leads Stress Management Workshop

This past Thursday, meditation consultant Beth Roth led Yale FES students in an hour long stress management workshop at Sage Hall. Roth – a graduate of the Yale School of Nursing –has been teaching meditation for more than twenty years. She works with patients with chronic pain and life-threatening illnesses and presents to students and teachers at universities, corporate employees, hospital staff, and other organizations throughout Connecticut.

The workshop was one of several Technical Skills Modules being offered at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies this semester. Yale’s TSM program identifies skill sets valuable to graduate students and provides workshops designed to equip students with the skills needed to be successful in school and beyond.

The Office of LGBTQ Resources at Yale

The Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) Resources on campus works with staff, faculty, and students from all of Yale’s Schools to create a network to learn about Yale’s LGBTQ social, cultural, and academic programs and events. The Office provides many services to students, including online databases of resources for the LGBTQ community, one-on-one meetings with staff members to discuss student life, Roundtables for Queer Leadership for LGBTQ networking on campus, and peer liaisons for first-years on campus.

The Office of LGBTQ Resources also hosts and co-sponsors many LGBTQ themed social and cultural events almost every night of the week. Events on campus range from Queer Meditation and Yoga, to Reel Queer Film Screening, to Queer Tea, to Graduate and Professional Receptions, to dance…

TFD Week 2014: Understanding ‘Deforestation-Free’

Deforestation is not a new problem. Since the early 1990s, we have tried various methods to stem the tide of forest loss, including international law, voluntary certification, REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), and legality verification. But despite the contributions that these and other mechanisms have made, we are still losing forestland at an alarming rate. So what do we do now?

One approach that has recently been gaining traction is to sever the link between industrial agricultural expansion and deforestation. In the last few years, scores of multinational companies that produce and consume commodities such as palm oil, timber, soy, and beef have committed to eradicate deforestation from their supply chains. While some observers have characterized this trend as a “supply chain revolution”…

Students gather on Indigenous Peoples' Day (Photo credit: Yale Native American Cultural Center).

In order to help prospective F&ES students gain a better understanding of student life on the Yale campus, we’ve decided to launch a series introducing the bevvy of student centers at the college and university open to all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. This week, we outline the history and mission of the Native American Cultural Center (NACC).

Yale College graduated its first Native American student, Henry Roe Cloud of the Winnebago Tribe, in 1910. Since that time, the Native American presence has grown significantly on campus, and in 1989 the Association of Native Americans at Yale (ANAAY) was founded with the hopes of attracting more Native American professors and students to share their knowledge of their rich culture and history with the wider Yale audience. The NACC…

The Forest Dialogue Week at Yale

Every morning at 9:00, the administration emails students the calendar of events at the school for the next seven days.  A steady stream of guest speakers, informational interviews, and networking lunches vie for students’ attention.  This week’s Forest Dialogue Week is a prime example of the embarrassment of riches we constantly face when sorting out our daily schedules.

The Forest Dialogue (TFD) is an organization that facilitates discussion and collaboration across stakeholders on the most pressing local and global issues facing forests and people.  TFD Week at Yale brings together international leaders from the forest sector to address current issues in forest management and to build shared understanding and work towards collaborative solutions.  Participants in TFD include activists, industry representatives, community leaders, academic researchers, and of course students…