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…

China Pavilion banner and the CNPC logo

The Chinese government again put up an elaborate China Pavilion in the COP18 Climate Change Conference in Doha. Everyday is filled up with fanfares of side-events and ceremonies from dawn to dusk. Despite the heavy dose of corporate footprint in the China Pavilion and official statements on China’s climate achievements, these presentations and performance in some ways reflect China’s strategic positions and dilemmas in negotiating for climate and advancing its economic development.

China Sold-out?

Since the Durban climate summit, China National Petroleum Company (CNPC) has been sponsoring the China Pavilion activities. This year, CNPC gave 1 million Chinese yuan (160,000 USD), which explains the subtle and quite ornate addition of CNPC’s logo at the bottom of the China Pavilion banner (picture left). CNPC is the largest oil and gas producer…

For a week I have been trying to put my finger on the cause of the fog that I feel at COP18.

Durban felt better than Doha.  There is a lingering feeling that something vital is missing, and I’m sorry to say that I am underwhelmed because of it.  To be fair, last year was my first COP, and there’s always something extra special about the initiation experience because the future experiences tend to have diminishing returns.

I’m not jaded, but definitely hoping for something more and not finding it.  Perhaps it is because we are a few months out from Rio+20, and there is a “big conference fatigue” amongst the crowd at the end of 2012.  Maybe I’m just disinclined to sift through the rhetoric of the…


By Yiting Wang and Angel Hsu

DecisionMakr welcomes you back to the final week of the Doha climate conference. Brief showers of rare rain cleared up the afternoon sky on Saturday, but the battle goes on.  As the second week of the Doha climate talks begin, ministers from around the world are arriving, which means the stakes of the negotiations have automatically been raised.  Most of the technical discussions (Subsidiary Bodies, etc.) have concluded, and delegations are working overtime to shape up the text for their ministers to hammer out remaining details. Many people especially the youth constituencies welcomed that the Subsidiary Bodies of Implementation adopted the Doha Work Programme on Article 6 of the Convention, which addresses climate change education and garners support and broader participation, including…


Shown above are Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah (Left) and King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.  The former; once the director of the office of the Minister of Finance and Petroleum, once the director of the Office of the Minister of Interior and the Acting Minister of Finance and Petroleum, once the Minister of Energy and Industry, and curently director of the Gulf Helicopters Corporation, member of the Directors Board of Gulf Airways Corporation and current director of Qatar Petroleum, is a very down to earth guy with concerns for global climate issues.  Enough so that this once OPEC president has become president again of the COP 18 theater show.  Although the Qataris have only attended two COPs…

Life as a joint JD/MEM student

From Sarah:

Last fall, I took my favorite law school class. Karl Coplan, an expert in environmental law and the co-director of Pace Law School’s esteemed Environmental Litigation Clinic, taught a course on the Clean Water Act. He ran the course as a simulation: a quarter of the class represented industry, a quarter environmental activists, a quarter government lawyers or scientists, and the last group was administrative law judges. As the class’s EPA General Counsel, I wrote an internal review on a proposed National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit. I felt good about handing that paper in, but I was marked down for allowing chlorine discharge to continue and for limiting too strictly aluminum and manganese discharges.

At Yale this fall, I am taking Physical Sciences for Environmental…

Old and New Doha

I was one of many surprised when Qatar was chosen to host this year’s Conference of the Parties (COP).  Qatar is the world’s largest liquefied natural gas producer and home to the world’s third largest natural gas reserves. The country’s pro tennis tournament is the Qatar ExxonMobil Open. An OPEC member chairing a United Nations climate change conference? Simply put, carbon has made modern Qatar what it is today. Sixty percent of the nation’s GDP comes from oil and natural gas. Due to high prices and increased output, the country is booming. While some were disillusioned with the selection, Qatar is actually the perfect place to host a COP. Ignoring fossil fuel production and consumption isn’t going to achieve much and OPEC nations have a role to play. Bill…

An egg card

"Mosquitos" can bite humans to lay an egg card or humans can seek "medics" to clean out mosquito egg cards

Doha, Qatar: “mosquitos” (willing participants at UNFCCC) are flying and “breeding grounds” (Red Cross Climate Change Centre team members and myself) are waiting for “mosquitos” to return to lay an egg [card]. Once the “mosquitos” return to the “breeding ground” with an egg [card] they then seek out more humans to bite in order to lay another egg [card].

On the other front “medics” (other team members) are waiting to give out cure/clear out [cards] to humans bitten by “mosquitos.” Once those previously bitten have…