Frances Seymour, Former Director General of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) will give the keynote lecture of the 19th Annual Conference of the Yale Chapter of the International Society of Tropical Foresters on Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 6pm in Burke Auditorium of Kroon Hall, 195 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT.

About the Speaker–  Frances Seymour is currently a Senior Advisor to the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. From 2006 to 2012, she served as Director General of the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), an international organization headquartered in Indonesia. She led the development of a new strategy for CIFOR, guided the launch of the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry, and contributed to CIFOR publications on forests and climate change. Prior to CIFOR…

Featured Alum: Lily Zeng and the PhD Program

Happy New Year FES Blog readers! Emily here, and I feel I must first start with a quick apology: it’s been waaaaaay too long since I posted something on here. I know I have many adoring fans (ha! Just kidding!), and I want to make sure you all are getting the info you need to make the right grad school decision. Alas, the holidays got the better of me.

In any case, this week I have another featured alumna to introduce to you: Lily Zeng. I get a lot of questions from perspective students about the PhD program here at FES (either starting the program out right or making the transition from masters student to doc student at FES) and while my office doesn’t have much to do with…

The exciting work of the Center for Business & Environment

Wow! Its been quite some time since we last posted… Between the application deadlines and the holidays, we have been absolutely swamped. I tasked Sarah with doing some blog posts on some of the amazing work that the Centers and Programs are doing here on campus. They are an incredible resource for our students and many are quite prolific in the field!

Sarah started with CBEY. Did you know that in this year’s applicant pool, Business and the Environment was the most popular area of interest selected?

From Sarah:

The Center for Business and the Environment, or CBEY, is a joint initiative of the School of Forestry and our neighbor, the Yale School of Management (SOM).  CBEY (pronounced “see-bay”) examines integrative business approaches to address…

From January 24th to January 26th, 2013, Yale’s chapter of the International Society of Tropical Foresters will host a conference, “Food and Forests: Cultivating Resilient Landscapes,” which will assess the complexities of building equitable and resilient food systems while facilitating  tropical forest conservation. The conference will commence with a keynote speech delivered by Frances Seymour, the former Director General of the Center for International Forestry Research and will feature a workshop on facilitating multi-stakeholder dialogues led by Gary Dunning of The Forests Dialogue. For more information and to register please visit: and Please register by January 15th.

After driving by artificial islands, sprawling construction, and manicured gardens in the desert, it would be easy to approach the Qatar Sustainability Expo with some skepticism. However, after a closer look at this country, one can see a very real problem that regional governments and companies are trying to solve. Sustainability for Qatar and the region is more than a buzzword. It is a necessity.

Qatar’s vulnerable future

The pavilion, like all things United Nations, was massive. At the center of the hall was a hospitality tent in the shape of the Zubara Fort, built in 1938 and most recently a station for the coast guard. The Expo’s free food provided our class with sustenance throughout the day when overpriced conference center food was not an…

Obama’s Second Term – The World Awaits Much Needed Leadership on Climate Change

“We want our children to live in an America that […] isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.” Many still remember this brief, yet hopeful and encouraging moment during Obama’s acceptance speech after his re-election in November.  Observers hoped that Obama and his administration would bring much needed leadership from the top in addressing climate change issues during the UNFCCC COP18 Summit in Doha. Yet, the conference is now done and dusted, and the United States was again among the array of developed countries to block the progress with an unwillingness to commit to collective mitigation and adaptation goals. In fact, the second largest emitter has since scored not one, but four of the Fossil of the Day “Awards” civil society doles…

“She’s welcome to stay for as long as she likes” my mother says when I ask her if I could bring a friend home to stay over for winter recess “we now have daily water supply”, she adds triumphantly.

Provision of water to households in Bangalore, India’s sixth largest city and my parents’home city, is at best erratic and at worst non-existent. The state owned water and sewerage works department, BWSSB supplies water to the city’s 8.45 million inhabitants. The supply runs (or trickles in, especially during the summer months) for only a few hours every day and for a few days a week. The volume of water delivered per day totals 0.34 billion gallons. New York City delivers 1.2 billion gallons of water per day to its 8…

Last Words of Advice on Preparing Your Application

I recently asked Sarah, our Student Assistant, to write up some last words of advice to those of you putting the finishing touches on your applications. The biggest thing that we want you to walk away with is the idea that the application is many parts to a whole. Therefore, each piece should tell part of a cohesive story as to who you are. The personal statement is probably the best way to pull everything together for us. This is what Sarah had to say (and I’d second all of her advice!):

Ask two new people to read over your personal statement. First, find someone who has applied and been accepted to the program. Then ask another person, whom you respect, but is not a close friend. This close…

I arrived for the second week of the COP18 to replace David Emmerman and Kathryn Wright to continue our project with the Latvian NGO homo ecos:. The goal of this project was simple, to get progress updates from working groups on matters that are important to Latvia. These updates were then disseminated to the broader public via a social media campaign (@LatviaCOP18Chat).
Unfortunately, I only had observer status and was not able to attend most of the important meetings. But the updates on the progress made in the three tracks were still accessible from tweets and emails at the COP. In fact, everyday there was more information coming in than one person could handle. Sorting through all the information, picking and choosing messages was difficult and time consuming. Thus, from…

Featured Alum: Matt Strausser and...Space Cows?

Hello again, FES Blog readers! Emily again with latest from the Admissions Office.

Applications are trickling in, just before the dam breaks and the flood of just-before-the-deadline applications hits us. Looking forward to the reading season—cozying up with a cup of tea (maybe some hot chocolate?) and some applications, it’s almost like a good book.

This week, I’ve brought another recent alum to the spotlight, Matt Strausser, MEM ’12. We sat down to talk about his time at FES and what he’s doing now, which, like many of our alums, is pretty awesome.

Emily: So, Matt, what do you do these days?

Matt: I am the wildlife biologist on NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas.

Emily: Why would a space center need a…