Students sitting next to an array of solar panels

Knowledge & Leadership for

Choose a Topic

a sustainable future

We are a community that is all-in on creating a more sustainable world — for ourselves and for future generations
Jump To Programs & Degrees

CLIMATE SOLUTIONS

Eight of the inaugural Three Cairns Fellows

Three Cairns Fellows Tackle Climate
Change from Multiple Angles

From advancing renewable rural electrification in South Asia to restoring woodlands in Central Africa, the inaugural Three Cairns Fellows are implementing innovative climate solutions in the Global South.

Read the Article

spacer
Paulo Brando
News

International Tropical Ecology Expert Paulo Brando Joins YSE Faculty

Paulo Brando, an internationally recognized expert of tropical ecosystems, joins the Yale School of the Environment. His research explores the causes of deforestation and forest degradation in the Amazon and the associated consequences to climate, ecological stability, and the potential future pathways of forests.

Read this Story

News

tree with a maze of branches and green leafs
Research

Researchers Solve Hundred-Year-Old Botanical Mystery that was Key to the Spread of Plant Life on Land

A team of YSE-led researchers have now solved a 100-year-old paleontology mystery: How did ancient plants emerge from swamps and riverbanks to new habitats with limited access to water?

business & the environment

From commercial giants to innovative startups, we help businesses develop sustainable solutions to meet human needs within planetary boundaries.
Jump To Programs & Degrees

Innovative, Implementable Solutions

climate science & solutions

We provide cross disciplinary training that allows professionals to tackle the urgent challenge of climate change.
Jump To Programs & Degrees

Innovative, Implementable Solutions

Dar es Salaam
Faculty

Latest IPCC Report Highlights How ‘Smarter’ Cities Can Mitigate Climate Change

Providing some hope in the push for climate action, the IPCC report’s chapter on urban mitigation, led by Yale School of the Environment Professor Karen Seto, outlines how cities have an opportunity to increase resource efficiency and significantly reduce GHG emissions through smarter design and greener infrastructure.

ecosystem management & conservation

We give students the skills to steward and conserve ecosystems, ensuring that human and nonhuman species can coexist across landscapes.
Jump To Programs & Degrees

Innovative, Implementable Solutions

Andis Arietta taking notes in the field
Student Research

Research on Rapid, Fine-Scale Evolution in Wood Frogs Wins 2022 Bormann Prize

Andis Arietta’s doctoral research found that frogs have evolved in response to climate change in recent years, but that continued warming would likely outpace the species’s ability to adapt to extreme environmental change.

energy & the environment

We examine ways to effectively meet society’s energy demand, from the pursuit of more sustainable sources to ways of influencing individual choices.
Jump To Programs & Degrees

Innovative, Implementable Solutions

environmental policy analysis

We focus on understanding the strengths and weaknesses of policies designed to address today’s most pressing environmental challenges.
Jump To Programs & Degrees

Innovative, Implementable Solutions

forestry

Building on over a century of leadership in forestry and land conservation, we train professionals to work with people on managing forests.
Jump To Programs & Degrees

Innovative, Implementable Solutions

industrial ecology & green chemistry

We apply systems thinking to improve the sustainability of industry and production/consumption systems, from creating greener products to improving recycling processes
Jump To Programs & Degrees

Innovative, Implementable Solutions

Illustration showing interconnected industrial systems
Centers and Programs

The Center for Industrial Ecology: Pathfinders in Life Cycles and Resource Reuse

This is the first in a special series that takes an in-depth look at Yale School of the Environment’s Centers, Programs, and Initiatives. This month’s focus is on the Center for Industrial Ecology, which seeks not only to advance our understanding of the environmental impacts of production and consumption on an international scale, but also to be part of tangible solutions.

people, equity, & the environment

We teach students to critique and improve the relationship between people and the planet with a focus on deep-seated, systemic challenges.
Jump To Programs & Degrees

Innovative, Implementable Solutions

urban

We examine the impacts of an ‘urbanized’ world, from effects on resources and biodiversity to public health and climate change.
Jump To Programs & Degrees

Innovative, Implementable Solutions

water science & management

We impart knowledge needed to safeguard and restore the world’s water resources, while promoting their sustainable use and equitable access.
Jump To Programs & Degrees

Innovative, Implementable Solutions

Meet Our Students and Alumni

Morgan Pierce

Greening the Supply Chain

As a YSE student, Morgan Pierce ’20 MEM did her summer internship at McDonald’s, where she worked with its global suppliers on strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. After graduating she was hired as manager of strategy and alignment, where she has continued to address sustainability issues related to customers’ experience with dining and take-out.

“If we have YSE graduates like me sitting at the tables in these large organizations that control decisions on sustainability, then we can really be a catalyst of change,” Pierce says.

Siria Gamez in a climbing harness placing a camera in the tree tops

Tracking Big Cats in the Sierra Madres Mountains

Siria Gámez tracks big cats — all the way up 80-foot trees.  A doctoral student in YSE's Applied Wildlife Ecology lab, Gámez had special training to set up camera traps in the tree canopy of the El Triunfo Biosphere to examine how jaguars, pumas, and other carnivores use vertical spaces in the Sierra Madre de Chiapas mountains in Mexico.

“This particular region of Mexico is quite understudied,” says Gámez. “We’re exploring how these animals survive in this three-dimensional forest structure.”

Ian Leahy standing beneath a ginkgo tree

Tree Equity

Using income, age, ethnicity, health, and surface temperature data and tree canopy surveys, Ian Leahy ’21 MEM, vice president of urban forestry at American Forests, helped create a Tree Equity Score. Wealthy urban communities, it found, have 65% more tree cover than low-income neighborhoods where temperatures can range 10 degrees higher.

The issue is a matter of health, Leahy noted in a New York Times Op-Ed., and his efforts have led to more financial support for urban tree growth. “What we're trying to do right now,’’ he says, “is close the canopy gap to save lives.’’

Aarthi Kannan

Swimming with Sharks

In the middle of the South Pacific, Aarthi Kannan ’22 MESc is doing a deep dive into predator ecology to inform wildlife conservation initiatives worldwide. As a Fulbright scholar, she is spending eight months in French Polynesia researching the impacts of shark-diving tourism practices on shark behavior, and their ecosystem-wide effects. 

“Shark-diving is a million-dollar global industry,” she says. “This exhaustive assessment of shark-diving on the behavior and conservation of reef sharks and other endangered species will contribute to the world’s first shark-safe diving guidelines.”

Rita Effah

Financing Community-led Climate Action in Africa

As a YSE student, Rita Effah ’12 MFS participated in COP 17 in Durban, South Africa. She says her experience at the annual U.N. climate change conference was the catalyst that sparked her interest in working to mitigate climate change impacts in Africa.

Now a senior climate finance officer at the African Development Bank, Effah is managing the Africa Climate Change Fund, which implements small grant projects in 28 African countries.

Leigh Whelpton

Where Capital Meets Conservation

The art and science of raising and deploying capital for conservation is at the heart of the work being done by Leigh Whelpton ’12 MESc. She is executive director of The Conservation Finance Network. “You often hear people talk about how there’s not enough money,” says Whelpton. “That’s not quite true. It’s a lack of capacity and connection, a lack of risk-adjusted return opportunities, and a limited supply of projects that can meet the requirements for financing. We focus on increasing the project pipeline and scaling up capacity to get more money on the ground.”

Ben Girgenti

Experiments in Reducing Methane Emissions

Researching natural ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Ben Girgenti ’22 MESc tested whether adding minerals to wetland ecosystems can reduce biological methane emissions. After adding iron to the soil of mini wetlands, Girgenti found that methane was reduced by the mineral enhancement.

“If you’re building or using wetlands for natural carbon capture, you could shut off or decrease methane emissions, reducing the amount of time it takes for wetlands to begin having new sequestration of carbon,” Girgenti says.

Liz Plascencia

Where My Heart Will Always Be

Liz Plascencia — ’22 MEM (she/they)
“I’m a surfer from Los Angeles and have always been obsessed with the oceans. In college, it was shocking to learn about the effects of plastic pollution on the coastlines, and I wanted to do something about it through plastic pollution policy. That’s what drew me to apply to graduate school. I was a Posse Scholar as an undergrad and found out about YSE through the Posse Graduate Affiliation Programs.”

More about Liz
Julia Talamo

Knowing Where to Look

In her first semester of college, Julia Talamo’s (’23 MEM) career advisor asked her to draw a map illustrating what the next five years would look like. What classes would she take? What experiences would she pursue? Where did she hope to be after graduation?

“In that fifth year, even from my very first semester, I knew that I wanted to be at the Yale School of the Environment,” Talamo says. The question, then, was how to get there. 

More about Julia
Liam Gunn 21 MEM

Growing a Grassroots Movement for a Just Transition

Liam Gunn — ’21 MEM
“I wanted my internship to focus on grassroots environmental justice, and WE ACT in New York City is one of more prominent groups in the U.S. They’re working on building a coalition of environmental justice leaders; for a while, I’ve felt there needs to be a network for leaders of grassroots environmental justice groups. Grassroots is hard, and being able to share resources, skills, and knowledge will help build out the movement.”

More about Liam
warner-watnick

Protecting An Underrated Resource — Soil

For Darya Watnick ’21 MEM and Abbey Warner ’21 MEM, soil is an underappreciated resource. So, they authored an innovative guide to help states craft community-driven policy guidelines for soil health. The guide, Soil Health Policy: Developing Community-Driven State Soil Health Policy and Programs, addresses topics from food production to drought prevention to climate resilience.

“We have a Clean Air Act, A Clean Water Act, but no clean soil act,” Watnick says. “To me, it’s just as important.”

Why Yale School of the Environment?

Students on a field trip at a water treatment facility

Experiential Learning

At YSE, education and training extend well beyond the classroom. Participate in our unique summer orientation program, MODs; travel widely for field research and internships; attend global conferences and climate talks such as the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP).

Class in session in Kroon Hall

Acclaimed Faculty

Working closely with some of the top experts in their fields is one of the advantages of a YSE graduate degree. Our faculty are committed to mentoring the next generation of environmental leaders to tackle the world’s most urgent problems.

Fast Facts

Student Data

85%

Receive Financial Aid

85% of students depend on financial aid to attend YSE.

 

Student Data

3.7

Undergraduate GPA

The average undergraduate GPA for incoming students is 3.7.

Student Data

22%

U.S. Students of Color

Of the incoming class of Fall 2022, 22% of the U.S.-based students identify as students of color.

Degrees & Programs

The Yale School of the Environment offers a variety of degree programs, many of which can be customized to meet each student’s professional goals, and prepare them for careers in environmental science, management, and policy.

Master’s Program

Application Deadline: December 15th, 2021

Apply to a Master's Program

Doctoral Program

Application Deadline: January 2nd, 2022

Apply to the Doctoral Program
By-county choropleth map of the United States measuring opinions on climate change

Climate Opinion Maps

72%

Estimated 72% of U.S. adults think global warming is happening.

 The Yale Center for Climate Change Communication's YCOM model estimates, however, show that only 48% of people in Emery County, Utah agree. Meanwhile 71% in neighboring Grand County, Utah believe global warming is happening.

View the Climate Opinion Maps