2011 Lecturers

Mark Ashton, the Morris K. Jessup Professor of Silviculture and Forest Ecology at Yale's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies (FES), conducts research on the biological and physical processes governing the regeneration of natural forests and on the creation of their agroforestry analogs. The results of his research have been applied to the development and testing of silvicultural techniques for restoration of degraded lands and for the management of natural forests for a variety of timber and nontimber products. Field sites include tropical forests in Sri Lanka and Panama, temperate forests in India and New England, and boreal forests in Saskatchewan, Canada. Prof. Ashton has authored or edited over ten books and monographs and over 100 peer-review papers relating to forest regeneration and natural forest management.  He is also the Director of School Forests.

Benjamin Cashore, Professor of Environmental Governance & Political Science at FES, is the Director of the Yale Program on Forest Policy and Governance and has a courtesy joint appointment at Yale’s Department of Political Science. Professor Cashore’s major research interests include the emergence of private authority, its intersection with traditional governmental regulatory processes, and the role of firms, non-state actors, and governments in shaping these trends. His book Governing Through Markets: Forest Certification and the Emergence of Non-state Authority (with Graeme Auld and Deanna Newsom) was awarded the International Studies Association’s 2005 Sprout prize for the best book on international environmental policy and politics.

Mary Tyrrell is the Executive Director of the Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry at FES.  Her work focuses on land use change, forest fragmentation, sustainable forest management, and U.S. private lands with a particular emphasis on the synthesis of scientific research and making scientific information more accessible to forest managers, policy makers, and conservationists. She is the project manager of the Sustaining Family Forests Initiative, a national coalition focused on research and education about family forest owners in the United States.

Chad Oliver, the Pinchot Professor of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the Director of the Global Institute of Sustainable Forestry, looks at how forests develop and how silviculture can be applied to ecological systems most effectively. Much of this work was incorporated into his book Forest Stand Dynamics (1990, and update edition in 1996, co-author Bruce Larson). During the past decade, he has examined how this understanding can help resolve scientific, technical, and management issues at the landscape and policy levels. He is currently working on landscape approaches to forest management and examines global trade-offs among forest values and among the world's forest ecosystems. Professor Oliver has considerable experience advising public and private forest resource organizations in the United States and abroad. His work has taken him to all parts of the United States and to Canada, Mexico, Turkey, Nepal, Japan, Thailand, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Ecuador, Germany, and France.

Paul Barten is a professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in the Dept of Environmental Conservation.  He studies the development and application of GIS-based analytical methods to identify critical areas for conservation, restoration, and storm-water management in large, diverse watersheds. The primary motivation for this work is the protection of drinking water supplies and aquatic ecosystems in collaboration with local communities, water utilities, non-governmental organizations (such as the Trust for Public Land and The Nature Conservancy), and state and federal agencies. His current work includes hydrologic effects of forest management and land use change, application of the Watershed Forest Management Information System (WFMIS), and a book manuscript (“Forests and People: Seeking an Elusive Yet Essential Balance”).

Emery Boose is the Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) information manager at the Harvard Forest in Petersham, Massachusetts. He received his A.B. in mathematics from Harvard University and went back to Harvard to receive his PhD in Sanskrit and Indian Studies. He is well published in the information management field.

Clarisse Hart is the outreach and education manager at Harvard Forest. She is also an ecologist, with research focused on arthropod food webs in forests and wetlands. She has an MFA in Nonfiction Writing & Publishing from Emerson College and a BA in Environmental Studies from Mount Holyoke College.

Colleen Murphy-Dunning is the Director of the Urban Resources Initiative. Colleen received her B.S. in Public and Environmental Affairs from Indiana University, and a M.S. in Forestry from Humboldt State University. In addition to leading URI, Ms. Murphy-Dunning partners with faculty at FES to teach courses in environmental justice, monitoring and evaluation methods, and urban ecology. Prior to coming to Yale University in 1995, she taught agroforestry at the Kenya Forestry College as a Peace Corps volunteer. She also led the New Guinea campaign for Rainforest Action Network from 1988-90.

Janaki Alavalapati is a Professor and Dept Head of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. As a Jefferson Science Fellow in 2007-2008, he served as a Senior Advisor for International Energy Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC. In 2009, he was appointed Senior Fellow by the U.S.Department of State to promote Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas. Dr. Alavalapati serves as a member of the editorial board for the Forest Policy and Economics journal. He is also the Deputy Coordinator of the Social and Economic Aspects of Forestry Unit for the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) and the chair of Economics, Policy, and Law Working Group of the Society of American Foresters (SAF). His research focuses on exploring market solutions for natural resources, energy, and environmental problems/issues at the local, regional, and international level. His current bioenergy projects include working with the DOE/USDA, the National Council for Scienceand the Environment, the Southern Growth Policies Board, and the EPA.

Deborah Spalding is a founder and Managing Partner at Working Lands Investment Partners, LLC, which specializes in the investment and long-term stewardship of sustainably-managed working lands. She has worked in the financial industry for nearly 20 years serving in senior executive positions in the U.S. and overseas. Ms. Spalding is the Coordinator for Special Projects at the Yale School Forests and has served on several boards including the National Wildlife Federation, the Connecticut Forest & Park Association, and the Guilford Land Conservation Trust. She is a Trustee of the NWF Endowment and the Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation, where she chairs the investment committee. Ms. Spalding is currently a lecturer at FES teaching Forest and Ecosystem Finance during the fall 2011 semester.

Amity Doolittle, Lecturer & Research Scientist at FES, studies property rights and how control over and access to natural resources is defined, negotiated, and contested by different stakeholders.  She is interested in understanding the social and political processes that result in centuries of social inequities and unequal distribution of the benefits and burdens of natural resources. Her research approach is interdisciplinary, combining perspectives from anthropology, political science, environmental history, and political ecology to explore environmental histories, property relations and conflicts over resources use. Her research has been primarily in Southeast Asia, but she has also worked on projects in Costa Rica, Honduras, Panama, and Peru. Current research is focused on history of land use change in New Haven, Connecticut.