Who is Eli Fenichel?

Dr. Eli Fenichel is one of the more recent additions to the Yale FES cadre of faculty.  An assistant professor of bioeconomics and ecosystem management, Dr. Fenichel joined us in the fall of 2012 from Arizona State University.  His background in wildlife ecology, agricultural economics, and resource and environmental economics has enabled him to bring a unique and valuable perspective to dynamic common pool resource problems.  I had the opportunity to sit down with him this week to talk about his research, teaching philosophy, and tips for making the most of your experience here at F&ES.

Dr. Fenichel works at the interface of ecology and economics with applied math.  His research applies capital theory to natural resources.  He investigates how to make better decisions with natural resources…

Joint Degree Transition: Back at F&ES!

“Wait, so you’re not getting your law degree?” “You’re a second year law student, but you’re not graduating for another two years?” No, and yes. As a joint degree student, I have fielded many questions and needed to alleviate confusion for prospective employers and classmates alike. The F&ES joint degree program with Pace Law, Vermont Law, and Yale Law is indeed unique. It condenses the three-year law program and two-year master’s program into four years. Intending to enroll in the joint program from the start, I completed two years at Pace Law School before starting one year at F&ES. This year, my final year of the joint program, I spent the fall semester at Pace and am spending this balmy spring semester at Yale.

Transitioning to F&ES from Pace is complicated, but let me…

F&ESers on the Ground: Sochi Style

Hello from Sochi! For the past 10 days, I’ve been in Russia working on an F&ES project with four other amazing graduate students, teammates, and friends. I’m here with Diana Madson, Taylor Rees, Bo Uuganbayar, and Tom Owens. You might remember this story from Bo’s blog post back in November, Winter is Coming to Westeros. For a quick recap, we all took a class together last semester, International Organizations & Conferences, and developed an amazing project idea to partner with Olympians to bring the climate change conversation to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Since September, the five of us have been working to do just that. We’ve been interviewing athletes, writing blog posts, connecting with mainstream media, and crafting a narrative to best deliver this story. From this…

Hotspots for People: A New Conservation Strategy

In 2009, Beth Tellman M.E.Sc. ’14 moved to El Salvador to study the food sovereignty of organic coffee farmers. But after devastating floods and mudslides killed hundreds of people, and left thousands more homeless, her area of focus shifted quickly. In addition to working closely on community disaster resilience, Tellman began exploring how improved land use and forest management can provide a critical ecosystem service in places like El Salvador.

In an article for SNAP magazine (Science for Nature and People), Tellman documents the increasingly dire threats faced by the Latin American country in the face of environmental degradation and climate change, and how investing in natural systems could provide vital social and ecological benefits.
Conservation needs to grapple with what climate change is and will do to…

Sterling Memorial Library, home to the stacks.

In the Fall of 2010 I began at the Yale School of Public Health and that following spring I applied and was accepted to Yale F&ES.

From the moment I was admitted I felt like family. I went up to Admitted Students Day in the spring to test the waters of the F&ES community. I was surprised by the openness and honesty of the current students and faculty, and I was astounded by the breadth of and depth of the other admitted students who would become my future classmates. Admitted students even got to stay for the T.G.I.F. (Thank God I’m A Forester), a long tradition of good beer and good friends, sometimes themed.

That summer I shipped…

REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) is often discussed in terms of finance. That is, who is going to provide the financing, where is it going and how will it be spent? At today’s 20th annual Yale Chapter of the International Society of Tropical Foresters (ISTF) conference, Eva Garen of the Environmental Leadership and Training Institute moderated a panel of talented practitioners working on “REDD+-like” projects in Latin America.

Kate Horner of the Environmental Investigation Agency reminded the audience that in 2007 when the Bali Climate Change Conference moved REDD forward to REDD+, it was primarily viewed as a policy approach to forest conservation in contrast to the current focus on finance. Horner discussed Indigenous REDD, an initiative of the Peruvian indigenous organization…

The Yale team meets with Ileb Olkeriil, of the Koror State Government, to discuss conservation in Palau, law enforcement, and the Koror Rangers.  From left to right:  Rob Fetter, Mariah Gill, Maria Rojas, Ileb Olkeriil, Connie Vogelmann, and Tulik Beck, wife of Ambassador Stuart Beck and the team’s host in Palau.  Photo Credit:  Mariah Gill.

Over winter break, four members of FES’s International Organizations and Conferences class — Rob Fetter, Mariah Gill, Maria Rojas, and I — had the opportunity to visit Palau. We spent 10 days in country and met with many high-level officials and community members to discuss both Palau’s ocean policy and international ocean conservation. The trip was an overwhelming success. We spoke with 18 leaders, including Palau’s President and four members of the country’s 13-member Senate, and learned much about conservation in Palau, gaining valuable insight into how ocean conservation works at different levels of government. Palau may be a small country, but it is trying to do big things for the ocean.

I was repeatedly astounded by the conservation ethic of the people we met: Palau’s culture and economy both depend…

The Yale Chapter of the International Society of Tropical Foresters (ISTF) will host its 20th annual conference at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES) from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1 2014.

The conference, called “Forests as Capital: Financial Mechanisms for Tropical Forest Conservation,” will explore conservation models that employ both the capital approach (top-down) and local approach (bottom up) to attract financing and generate sustainable revenues from forest resources.

The three-day event, held at Kroon Hall, will bring together representatives from international organizations, governments, financial institutions, and nonprofit groups with the common mission of building markets for conserving tropical forests.

“The visiting experts in the field of finance for tropical conservation will address crucial questions, including what tools are available, where have they been…

The road named after my family - where my grandparents first farm was in Monmouth, Oregon.


Happy New Year everyone! Congrats to everyone who finished their applications and may be attending grad school in 2014! Many of you have asked me during our prospective student online chats and through emails why I decided to come to F&ES, how the experience was, and what it was like to do a Joint Degree.

As you may have read, I’m originally from Salem, Oregon [west coast!]. My grandparents owned a tree farm in Monmouth, Oregon and my brother and I grew up playing in the woods and in the ponds. I did my undergraduate work at the University of Oregon and graduated in 2007 with a degree in Speech, Language, and Hearing and a minor in Environmental Studies. I had originally intended to…