Welcome to Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Welcome to Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies

Namaste!

My name is Bipul Mayank and I am a first-year Master of Environmental Management (MEM) student from India. I am specializing in Business and Environment along with Environmental Policy Analysis. It has been an incredible experience as an international student – navigating through the rich and versatile opportunities – at Yale F&ES over the last three months. I feel extremely honored and grateful to be appointed as the Admissions Student Ambassador. I look forward to providing support to prospective students by sharing my experiences with our beloved community.

Before Yale F&ES

I was born in the Eastern Indian province of Jharkhand (The Land of Forests), which is abundant in natural resources. Growing up close to forest landscapes, I formed a strong connection with nature and wildlife. However, my passion for environment protection is rooted in having witnessed large-scale destruction of forest cover and wildlife for urban development, that led to drastic changes in the ecological and weather patterns of the region.

Therefore, I decided to study Environmental Engineering after being selected at the Indian Institute of Technology in Dhanbad.

Dhanbad is the coal capital of India and is surrounded by vast coalfields. Unregulated mining has resulted in severe air and water contamination in the area. When I moved to the city for joining the school in 2013, Dhanbad was ranked as the dirtiest Indian city. This encouraged me to work on undergraduate projects to identify healthier mining and conservation practices. First, I worked on analyzing water quality in the coalfields. Later, I took part in research at the Centre of Mining Environment in IIT Dhanbad on estimating the success of ecological restoration at the mining sites. My interest in working for the environment and sustainability grew through these projects.

However, this interested peaked in 2015, when I discovered the perplexing intersection between society and nature, during my summer internship at a Coal India subsidiary. While evaluating the environmental impacts of mining, I was deeply impacted by the conditions of families living around the coalfields. Stripped of their rights to property by mining behemoths, they were subjected to abject poverty and severe health issues emerging from exposure to mine waste and a toxic environment. Their limited access to education and health facilities introduced me to the concept of environmental justice and I was motivated to create impact. Therefore, I participated in and started multiple voluntary projects in the city to spread environmental and health awareness in the families living in the coalfields. Later that year, I represented my institute in the youth program for Paris Summit, 2015, where I realized the importance of active leadership required in accomplishing environmental protection and sustainability.

After graduation, I joined the national team of AIESEC- a global youth-run organization focused on promoting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I worked across 10 countries – gaining invaluable knowledge about SDGs – and built a great network that helped me understand environmental issues from a global perspective. During my annual term, I began envisioning a professional career at the intersection of international environmental policies and sustainable business practices. Thus, I started a certification program in Environmental Law and Policy at WWF-India. With a variety of experiences in projects, volunteering, conferences and policy, I learned to engage with diverse groups of people, including administrators, entrepreneurs, global leaders, and academicians. These engagements shaped my viewpoint that our society and nature face a common threat – irreversible environmental degradation – and that I required greater professional training to tackle this threat at the global level. I was certain that the eclectic mix of courses and opportunities offered at F&ES would provide me with the skills and knowledge to grow as an environmental professional.

At F&ES

IMG_20190731_175530_652In my three months at the school, I have already witnessed a powerful community and abundant resources at our disposal. On-campus I am involved with the Asia SIG, Environmental Film Festival at Yale, and International Society of Tropical Foresters. In September, I had the honor of representing Yale at multiple events at the New York Climate Week. I am also excited to be participating as a delegate at the UNFCCC COP25 in Madrid, Spain where I will be representing Yale and reporting on the latest developments on global climate negotiations. In the spring, I am coordinating the 4th Belt and Road Initiative Symposium and 26th ISTF Annual Conference at Yale. In addition I am constantly invested in the guest talks and events that are hosted by the F&ES and wider Yale community on a regular basis.

During my time as the Admission Student Ambassador, I want to support prospective students with all their questions about F&ES, Yale, the application process, and everything they need to know about settling at Yale. Please feel free to email me with any questions you might have at bipul.mayank@yale.edu.