The Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies has selected six graduate students as Andrew Sabin International Fellows, with each Fellow receiving up to $40,000 of funding for their education and post-graduate service in the environmental sector.
The 2016 Sabin Fellows are Pooja Choksi ’17 M.E.M. (India); Dickson Njunge ’17 M.E.M. (Kenya); Kristin Qui ’17 M.E.M. (Trinidad & Tobago); Martin Becker Toro ’17 M.E.M. (Chile); Tudeng ’17 M.E.M. (Tibet); and Edwin Garcia Valdez ’17 M.E.M. (Ecuador).
Started in 2011 by the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation, the fellowship provides scholarship support for students from developing countries, and postgraduate awards to those students returning to their home countries and regions to pursue environmental careers. Each Fellow is eligible to receive tuition assistance of up to $20,000 and another $20,000 in post-graduation awards within 18 months of graduation.
Since inception, 46 F&ES students have received this prestigious fellowship, many of whom have since returned to their home countries to work on conservation, forestry, climate change, biodiversity, wildlife, and agricultural issues.
About the 2016 Andrew Sabin Fellows
Pooja Choksi (India) is pursuing an interdisciplinary approach to wildlife conservation that will benefit wildlife and people. She is combining studies in conservation science, population ecology and landscape management with community-based conservation, policy and management. She will conduct her summer research in Belize examining community conservation partnerships that employ co-management models for wildlife conservation. After graduation, Choksi hopes to return to the Pench Tiger Reserve in central India to make wildlife conservation efforts more inclusive and sustainable.
Dickson Njunge (Kenya) seeks to combine his strong interest and background in community development with water resource management policy and financing to improve water supply throughout Kenya. Through an independent study and summer research project, Njunge will research the Kenyan water sector’s institutional framework and infrastructure, public-private partnership models, and pricing models. In addition, he hopes to obtain a business degree and specialize in water finance before returning to Kenya to pursue a professional career in water resources management.
Kristin Qui (Trinidad & Tobago) is interested in renewable energy, transportation and the transition to a clean energy economy in her island country. This summer, she is pursuing an internship with a federal or international environmental agency to gain exposure to environmental policy and regulation related to greenhouse gas emissions and energy production in the oil and gas sector. Qui aspires to a career with the Ministry of Energy or Ministry of Environment where she can help develop energy and transportation policy.
Martin Becker Toro (Chile) is focused on land conservation and ecosystem management in Latin America, and is acquiring skills to work as a conservation and protected area practitioner. He is exploring collaborative conservation models, including public-private partnerships with government and industry, to engage resource-intensive sectors in conservation efforts. This summer, Toro will intern with a New England regional land trust to gain exposure to private land conservation practices in North America. He dreams of returning to Chile to create a nonprofit organization supporting new public-private models for managing eco-tourism in national parks.
Tudeng (Tibet) aspires to work with communities in or near the forests of Tibet to implement community forestry projects in combination with community development and income generation, such as organic agriculture. His goal is to create a new non-profit organization that incorporates local religious and culture beliefs into tree-saving campaigns that will fundamentally change the way local people value trees and forests. This summer, Tudeng will be working with Winrock International on a forestry project in eastern Tibet where he will be able to assess the potential success of these new ideas and methods.
Edwin Garcia Valdez (Ecuador) is a trained engineer concentrating on energy and sustainability issues. He is interested in working with government and industry, specifically the utility industry in Ecuador, on energy efficiency, waste reduction and recycling, and proper disposal of hazardous waste in order to increase sustainability throughout the energy sector. This summer, Valdez will be interning with a landscape design firm to create a sustainability strategy that will serve as a model for the industry.