The Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies this week welcomed the 160 members of the Class of 2018, the 117th class in the history of the School.
The incoming class includes 28 international students from 18 different countries — including Kenya, Peru, Spain, New Zealand, Ecuador, and Nigeria — and students from 28 U.S. states. (Another four international students enrolled in the joint degree program with Tsinghua University will arrive during the spring semester.)
The group also includes a diverse group of eight mid-career professionals who will share their many years of experience with the broader F&ES community.
Last week the first-year students completed the School’s traditional summer modules, or MODs, the three-week orientation period when students learn skills critical to careers in environmental research, management, and policy — and become acquainted with one another. A cornerstone of the F&ES experience, MODs include fieldwork at the Yale Myers and Great Mountain forests and an urban ecosystem course conducted in the streets and green spaces of New Haven.
On Monday, Interim Dean James Saiers welcomed the group as they began academic orientation in Kroon Hall, and told them that their talents are sorely needed.
“More than ever we need your contributions,” he said. “We need your contributions if we’re going to address some of today’s thorniest problems. We need your leadership to address issues associated with biodiversity loss, the assault on clean air and water, to energy transitions and to addressing issues of unequal access to healthy environments where people live and work.”
He told the students that they were welcomed to F&ES not simply because of past good grades or strong GRE scores. It’s also because they’ve shown a willingness to tackle those global challenges.
“To not only to get a good job in a great location when you’re done,” he said, “but to advance the common good and make part of the world a better place.”