For students enrolled in the Master of Environmental Management program at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES), choosing courses is like being a kid in a candy store. The choices are abundant, even wondrous, and F&ES students are curious and interested in a lot of things. But while the plethora of choices is considered a virtue—the M.E.M. offers over 100 electives—their lack of organization has been a frequent source of confusion—until now.

Read more about the M.E.M changes

Our 2011 incoming Master’s students have come from 67 U.S. and 20 international undergraduate programs.  And here’s a sampling of the various languages they speak:

American Sign Language, Arabic, Bulgarian, Dutch, Dzongka, French, German, Greek, Haitian Creole, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Korean, Latin, Mandarin, Mongolian, Nepali, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Uzbek.

Don’t see your language?  Apply to F&ES and we can add you to the list next year!

F&ES students come from a variety of academic backgrounds (ranging from genetics or biochemistry to music or English literature).  Their professional backgrounds also run a broad spectrum from environmental attorneys to human rights activists to wilderness firefighters.  Learning from your classmates is one of the greatest things about F&ES.

Application tip: Your personal statement should concentration on why…

Hello from FES!!

I greet you today first and foremost as a first-year FES student at Yale University. I am also a female international student pursuing a Master’s degree in Environmental Management (MEM). I also happen to be a new team member at the Admissions office here. Throughout the ensuing school year, I will be providing you short tidbits about my experiences here at FES, which I hope will be of some help to you while making important life decisions.

My name is Onon Bayasgalan and I come from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Unless you’ve been to Mongolia, or have other substantial reasons to know about Mongolia, I’d recommend

On the road again...
On the road again...

On the road again…

Many people in the US will recognize this phrase as the title to a Willie Nelson song (I know some of you are thinking “Who’s Willie Nelson, right?” You can google him if you are really curious…), but to F&ES admissions staffers it literally means that we are traveling.  Recruiting season is now upon us and F&ES has already participated in four different events this week.  The first took place right here in Kroon Hall for Yale students interested in the F&ES/School of Management joint degree program.  Then we visited Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY and two graduate fairs in New York City and Washington, DC.  From here it…

Kroon Hall street sign

Yesterday, Danielle Curtis (Asst. Director of Admissions & Financial Aid) emailed an announcement about the F&ES Master’s application form becoming available today.  The application opened this morning at 9:00am Eastern Time, and I am happy to say that some of you started the process already.  It is truly exciting for us to see your enthusiasm.  Admissions staffers love people who do not wait until the last minute to start their application forms.  We encourage you to research different graduate programs, investigate your options, work steadily to prepare and refine your application materials, and submit a timely and thorough application.  Applying to graduate school isn’t rocket science, but it does take time and effort. Be mindful of the December 15th deadline and think ahead.  Trust me, December will be here soon…

Office open, please enter.
Office open, please enter

Admissions Office doorway

Greetings from Yale F&ES Admissions & Financial Aid!  Just as the sign on our office door states, “office open, please enter,” the F&ES Master’s application officially opens on September 1, 2011. We are excited to welcome and assist a new round of applicants as you prepare materials for the admissions process.

By way of introduction, our office consists of 5 people: Alex (Fin Aid), Angela (Admissions/Fin Aid), Danielle (Admissions/Fin Aid), Linda (Admissions/Fin Aid), and Quetcy (Admissions).  We are a small troop, but we work diligently to meet your needs and answer your questions in a timely fashion.

The office experienced a major restructuring, said farewell to two dedicated staff…

By Angel Hsu, Phd candidate and YCEI Fellow

Escaping the frigid, air-conditioned corridors of the Moon Palace and Cancunmesse convention rooms, I had the rare opportunity to visit the site of a pilot forest carbon project managed by local Mayan campesinos or farmers.

Called Reserva Ejidal, this 1,230 hectare patch of forest reserve is located about a 2-hour drive from Cancun and 15 kilometers west of the Sian Ka’an UNESCO site. The project Much Kana K’aax, which means “together we take care of the jungle” in Mayan, was initiated in 2006 and is an example of a community-managed forest carbon project.


Having had a chance to examine the REDD text of the Cancun Agreement, I find it a relatively positive step forward that manages to avoid some, but not all, of the misperceptions and biases that I encountered while attending REDD-oriented side events during my time at the COP. Below are some observations and lingering concerns.

The emphasis on national-level REDD.

Section C of the Cancun Agreement calls on developing countries to produce national strategies and action plans, national forest reference emissions levels, and national forest monitoring systems. The emphasis on national levels of deforestation and degradation is important in order to limit leakage from REDD projects—without national-level policies or controls, economic activities that cause deforestation could easily move from protected sites to non-protected sites at little to no…

Year 2010 was one of the warmest ones from the last 30 years; floods in Pakistan and Colombia, forest fires in Russia, hurricanes in Haiti are unequivocal proof of global climate change and the challenges it poses for humanity. Despite the importance of the COP16 for the continuity of the planet, the global interest and attention during the Cancun conference was much lower to what the world experienced a year ago at Copenhagen. After a huge expectation from last year negotiations, including the mobilization of the Presidents of leading Nations and intense press and media coverage, the outside vision of this year negotiation was characterized by less global attention, the presence of fewer leaders, and headlines and front pages mainly covered everyday with new “wikileaks” documents. It seemed the negotiations…