Vision and Mission of the School

Knowledge and leadership for a sustainable future

Yale’s School of the Environment aspires to lead the world toward a sustainable future with cutting-edge research, teaching, and public engagement on society’s evolving and urgent environmental challenges.

Core Values

Our Mission and Vision are grounded in seven fundamental Values:
  • Excellence: We promote and engage in path-breaking science, policy, and business models that build on a fundamental commitment to analytic rigor, data, intellectual integrity, and excellence 
  • Leadership: We attract outstanding students nationally and internationally and offer a pioneering curriculum that defines the knowledge and skills needed to be a 21st century environmental leader in a range of professions 
  • Sustainability: We generate knowledge that will advance thinking and understanding across the various dimensions of sustainability 
  • Community: We offer a community that finds strength in its collegiality, diversity, independence, commitment to excellence and to lifelong learning 
  • Diversity: We celebrate our differences and identify pathways to a sustainable future that respects diverse values including equity, liberty, and civil discourse
  • Collaboration: We foster collaborative learning, professional skill development, and problem-solving—and we strengthen our scholarship, teaching, policy work, and outreach through partnerships across the university and beyond
  • Responsibility: We encourage environmental stewardship and responsible behavior on campus and beyond

Guiding Principles

In pursuit of our Vision and Mission, we:

  • Build on more than a century of work bringing science-based strategies, ethical considerations, and conservation practices to natural resource management
  • Approach problems on a systems basis and from interdisciplinary perspectives
  • Integrate theory and practice—and provide innovative solutions to society’s most pressing environmental problems
  • Address environmental challenges at multiple scales from local to global and multiple settings from urban to rural and from managed to wild—including working lands and landscapes
  • Draw on the depth of resources at Yale and the network of alumni that extends across the world
  • Create opportunities for research and policy application as well as professional development through a structure of faculty-led Centers and Programs
  • Provide a neutral forum to convene conversations on difficult issues that are critical to progress on sustainability
  • Bring special focus on the most significant threats to a sustainable future including climate change, the corresponding need for clean energy, and the increasing stresses on our natural resources