Hello from Freiburg, Germany. The city sits at the foot of the black forest in what feels like a sleepy corner of one of Europe’s most affluent and industrious nations. Though its beauty and charm make for a generally attractive tourist destination, Freiburg is a center for energy research and proved to be the ideal place for your fellow FESers to begin our exploration of Germany’s renewable energy and energy efficiency landscape.

With the FES a small group of M.E.M. students left New Haven four days ago to find out what makes the German energy system unique, special, and, ultimately, what has driven its leadership in renewables and energy efficiency deployment. For us, this trip and the questions we are seeking to answer, are a culmination of two years of energy…

Among other “sustainability” goals, Yale is committed to reducing its solid waste by 25%, and increasing its recycling rate by 25%, by 2013.  The Yale Office of Sustainability has embarked on an educational campaign which is informative and fun.  See some of the recent campaign posters here and here.

Not surprisingly, F&ES students are very involved with sustainability activities on-campus, and we hope that you are also passionate about these issues.  You  and/or your employer may already be doing some of these things.  If not, try proposing some ideas, especially if you can tie it to reduced costs and increased benefits for individual employees and the company’s bottom line…

Pair Pioneers Ecology & Religion Program by Liliana Varman

After spending four days by himself in the Mojave desert without access to food, Stephen Blackmer FES ’83 DIV ’12 found his calling. The 49-year-old had spent his life working to conserve New England forests, but said that trip expanded his views on how to protect the environment…

Read full article at:

http://www.yaledailynews.com/news/2012/feb/28/pair-pioneers-ecology-and-religion-program/

New Haven's Arts and Culture

I’m really excited—tomorrow night I’m going to my first New Haven Symphony concert at Woolsey Hall in close to 15 years. For over a hundred years, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra has been playing for the citizens of the Elm City, and I really can’t wait to re-expose myself to some of the cultural history of New Haven. Something about entering a space like Woolsey Hall (see the picture!), and being transported to another place through sights and sounds… it is just an occasional indulgence into the arts for me (I’m more of a sports girl), but one I really look forward to!

When living in New York City, my favorite thing to do every summer was claim a piece of grass as my own for a few hours…

Bibliography - Keynote Address by Robin Chazdon

Photo: Austin Lord

Dr. Robin Chazdon has shared a bibliography of papers referenced in her Keyonte Address, “Making Tropical Forest Succession Successful” at the 18th Annual Conference of the Yale Chapter of the International Society of Tropical Foresters.

ABSTRACT – Tropical forest succession follows distinct pathways depending on prior land use, post-abandonment disturbance, faunal diversity, and the dynamics of the surrounding landscape. These distinct pathways determine rates of change in species composition, forest structure, and ecosystem processes. Metrics of “success” during forest regrowth are largely determined by values of different stakeholders. Conservation biologists value regrowth as habitats for endemic species and forest specialists. Local people value regrowth for numerous ecosystem products and services…

2012 ISTF Photo Contest

Every day a new picture is painted and framed, held up for half an hour, in such lights as the Great Artist chooses, and then withdrawn, and the curtain falls. And then the sun goes down, and long the afterglow gives light. Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862).

Community-based forest monitoring has been gaining traction as a means to achieving the elusive win-win scenario of sustainable forest management and meaningful involvement of local communities. The question is – How can we make it happen? What does a successful community-based monitoring system look like?

FES Masters student Meredith Martin led a workshop on this topic, based on her personal experience with community-based monitoring of Agave harvest in tropical dry forests in Guerrero, Mexico. Most of you will know Agave as the plant used to make the Mexican traditional liquor, mescal, and its more widely consumed cousin, tequila. The Acateyahualco community has been monitoring wild agave in their communal area for four years, as a result of a collaboration with a local NGO and researchers from the New York…