Gender Equality through Disaster & Climate Change Readiness: from Policy to Practice

Right now marks the middle of the 58th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York City, the annual taking-stock of Millennium Development Goals as they relate to successes, challenges, and progress for women and girls around the globe. Like many UN events, the annual CSW is two weeks of prepared statements, panel discussions, and working group meetings packed with lofty and generalized language, seemingly perfectly designed to simultaneously aggravate and bore participants.

Last Thursday I was a participant in that process. I spoke at a CSW parallel event put on by the Tzu Chi Foundation, a humanitarian disaster relief organization. I presented on the state of gender equality through a climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction lens, from my perspective as a junior researcher…

Too Abundant to Disappear? Not Quite: The Lessons of the Passenger Pigeon

During the mid-19th century, the passenger pigeon was the most abundant bird species in North America, if not the world, with a population believed to number in the billions.

Traveling in formations that might be impossible to imagine today, the bird was ubiquitous across New England, the Midwest and parts of Canada, darkening the skies over major cities and sometimes halting human activity in its tracks with the roar of hundreds of millions of flapping wings, says author Joel Greenberg, author of the new book A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction. In 1860, a British soldier in Ontario recorded a flock whose passage overhead lasted 14 hours.

“Forty years later, they were gone from the wild. Fourteen years after that they were…

Joint Law: To be or not to be?

Here at the Admissions Office, we have begun to notify people of their acceptance to FES.  It’s so exciting!  I love to call newly accepted students and ask them if they have any questions about the program — about classes, professors, or life in New Haven, bikes — anything at all.  And people have many questions, from obtaining research assistantships to finding roommates and an ideal apartment in East Rock.  One question that people frequently ask, though, is whether they can begin a joint degree after they start at F&ES.  Depending on the joint program, the answer may be a bit complicated.  Since I am a joint degree student, I will give you the run-down on the program with Pace Law School.

 

Pace Law School offers incredible…

Celebrating Women and the Environment: International Women’s Day at F&ES

Women make up over half of the world’s population and nearly 60 percent of the F&ES student body – yet, when it comes to women environmental leaders the numbers do not match up. When asked who is an inspirational environmental woman, who comes to mind? Rachel Carson, Wangari Maathai, Christiana Figueres, Barbara Boxer, Frances Beinecke… the obvious answers seem to dry up fast.

To celebrate International Women’s Day, the Yale Environmental Women, an F&ES student interest group, pushed people to think further about women who have influenced the environmental field – in science, academics, politics, art, and life. After some prodding (and snacks), we collectively came up with a list that spanned across the globe, across F&ES faculty, and back to ourselves.

Here are some of the…

A week’s conference just passed. Five days of presentations, discussions, proposals, planning, and relationship building. All in the name of eventually designing a new framework for international forest policy. How did we do?

Where are the trees that we saved from falling? Where the communities whose tenure rights were secured? Did we contribute to increased carbon sequestration and storage? How about clean water provision? Have we helped conserve biodiversity? These are some of the questions floating through my head after a week that—given the format as UN conference—was surprisingly exciting, dynamic, and personal.

The United Nations Forum on Forests is the world’s authoritative platform to develop and decide international forest policy frameworks. Comprised by 197 Member States and situated directly under the Economic and Social Council, the multi-lateral…

CEID: A Hidden Gem

When I left Yale in May 2012, the first floor of Becton Engineering Center was home to the engineering library. Upon returning to Yale in fall 2013, an amazing new space had popped up in its place!

When you walk inside, you’ll find that Becton is now home to the Yale Center for Engineering Innovation and Design (CEID), a space for students and faculty to learn, create, and share. According to the CEID website, the CEID is a whole of many parts:

  • A Physical Space: The CEID gives students and faculty tools and resources for classes, design projects, and collaboration.
  • A Bustle of Activity: The CEID hosts engineering design courses, workshops, lectures, networking events, and exhibitions.
  • A Diverse Community: Students, both undergraduate and graduate
Do not Trash Those Candy Wrappers: F&ES Becomes TerraCycle Collection Site

This spring, the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES) will become a TerraCycle collection site, joining thousands of other organizations around the world in diverting waste from landfills.

TerraCycle is an upcycling company that collects waste items otherwise destined for recycling bins and garbage cans and gives them a new life.

At F&ES, we will collect used candy wrappers and foil-lined energy and granola wrappers. The wrappers can be deposited in bins located in the kitchens of Kroon and Sage halls.

When TerraCycle was created in 2001 by a Princeton freshman named Tom Szaky, it utilized a “Bottle Brigade” to collect plastic bottles. Those bottles were subsequently used to store plant fertilizer that Szaky made from worm castings. The company has since grown to include…

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…