Greetings from sunny Durban South Africa!

After a very long trip, we are here with representatives from around the world at the Conference of the Parties 17/Meeting of the Parties 7 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (for you acronym lovers – COP 17/CMP 7 of the UNFCCC).

Students from Yale are participating in a variety of capacities – many are working with the Maldives and others are working with organizations such as Islands First and Latvian Non-Governmental Organizations. You will be hearing from these different perspectives along the way in this blog and you will likely see that, as they say “where you stand depends on where you sit.”

Two of us are working with the representatives of Afghanistan to support their involvement…

A wonderful tidbit of information from this morning’s COP17/CMP7 plenary meeting: the outgoing President of COP16/CMP6 is Patricia Espinosa of Mexico, the incoming President of COP17/CMP7 is Ms. Nkoana-Mashabane of South Africa, and the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC is Christina Figueres. Notice anything in common? Power to the women in leadership positions!…

Seeing the puzzle for the pieces...

Greetings from Durban, South Africa!  My name is Lauren Graham (MEM, 2013) and I am here at the COP17 representing Team Red Cross (TRC) that also includes Kanchan, Vanessa and Sophia from the International Organizations & Conferences course.  This semester, we have been working with Pablo Suarez of the            Red Cross Climate Centre to examine various issues related to climate change and humanitarian response.  I have personally been evaluating how well climate change information has been integrated into the disaster response policy of RC national societies.  Look out for another blog post with a summary on TRC’s work over the past few months.

Here is a brief outline of the categories of issues that I will…

The 17th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has begun.  COP17/CMP7 officially got underway this morning in Durban South Africa but the Yale crew attending the conference got underway on Friday.

We arrived at the Ballito Life Hotel on Sunday Nov 27th at 5:40 PM.  For me this was  47 hours after leaving New Haven.  The total air time was just over 18 hours with a short layover in Amsterdam and a night spent in Johannesburg.  After getting some food I did a little work on my Sustainable Development final paper, which is due this Thursday, and went to bed. I got up at 5:35AM to go for a short run.  Our hotel is an hour bus ride from the…

Over the past several months, we (self-described Team Latvia) have been working hard to decipher Latvian climate policy and to determine Latvia’s stake in the upcoming COP negotiations.  Latvia is a Baltic state, which gained its independence in 1991 after the fall of the Soviet Union.  The official Latvian Tourism Portal states that “the best thing about Latvia is that it is so compact.”  We believe Latvia’s small size is only one of its many assets.  We are also proud to note that all three of us could locate Latvia on a map before this project began.  Grant even has some family connections (Hawaii-Latvia, who knew?)
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But, to us, Latvia  is now no longer just a location far, far away on a map.  Having worked closely with members

The F&ES Admissions Committee consists of 2 staff members and 10 faculty members, and we all actively review application files.  Our goal is to select students from a wide variety of backgrounds – academically, geographically and professionally.  We do not want our students to look alike, think alike, dream alike or sound alike.  We want a class that, when taken together, has a sum greater than all of its individual parts. So what does this mean for you?

First and foremost, we conduct holistic application reviews looking at your 1) academic preparation, 2) your commitment to the “environment” (whatever your specific area of interest), and 3) your experience/leadership/maturity.

The “academic” portion of the admissions file consists of:

  • transcripts – types of courses taken, trends over time

After two long months of recruitment travel where I met with prospective students, alumni and advisors across the country (from Boston to Honolulu and too many cities to mention in between), I have finally arrived back in New Haven. I’ve got to say, it was a joyous reunion with the “Elm City.” As I’ve mentioned previously, the travel season is really one of my favorite parts of the job, since I get to meet so many of you (and get to see the country too, while I’m at it!) but life on the road gets a bit old after a while. Lugging bags everywhere, airport delays, or stressing about missing FedEx boxes quickly loses its glamour… But, I’m most excited for my time back in New Haven simply because I…

We have received lots of phone calls and emails about our new requirement that international transcripts be evaluated.  I realize that many of you may be confused by this is extra step in the application process, and may wonder why we have created this requirement when none of our peer institutions are doing so.  First, let me state that our policies are not based upon what other Yale programs or peer universities require.  The decision to ask for evaluations was not made lightly, and stemmed from a few different issues.  Most importantly, evaluation is the only way we feel that we can fairly consider transcripts from all different educational systems.  And, unfortunately, there have been suspected instances of transcript fraud.  So, in a sense, we have a situation where one…