Career and Professional Development
Our office supports students and alumni in all stages of their professional growth for leadership roles in environment- and sustainability-related scientific, academic, and management careers across a broad spectrum of sectors and fields.
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For Prospective Students
CPD offers a wide array of specialized career assistance exclusively for its students, including networks connecting to our alumni, summer internships, and career tools.
Take the next step in your career with our guidance, networking assistance, and online resources specifically for YSE alumni.
Our graduates are actively making a difference in the world at nonprofits, government agencies, businesses and entrepreneurial startups, academia, and in the research sector.
Tracking Bear Movements
After Rae Wynn-Grant ’10 MESc studied bears in the Nevada mountains, the National Geographic Society sent her to conduct similar work with the American Prairie Reserve in the grasslands of Montana — a region where bears are not common.
The nonprofit is seeking create a national wildlife refuge. Wynn-Grant began working with carnivores while at YSE, tracking lions in Tanzania. She has leaned on her expertise to predict which habitats will attract bears, using state and federal data and camera traps to monitor bear movements and habitats.
As founding chair of the New York City Public Housing Authority Recycling Committee, DeNeile Cooper ’22 MEM is working to boost recycling efforts in public housing units.
Only 2% of waste from NYCHA units is recycled. Nationally, that rate is 32%.
“This work has been successful so far because it involves a variety of stakeholders who bring unique perspectives to create programs that work for everyone,” says Cooper, who is a member of the Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board.
Indigenous Restoration Approaches
As co-founder and executive director of Shelterwood, Nikola Alexandre ’18 MF, MBA leads the restoration of a 900-acre forest in Northern California with Black and Indigenous community approaches to land care.
His work creates partnerships with and between traditional conservation NGOs, Indigenous and racial justice organizations, government agencies, and private landowners to model socially just and ecologically sound pathways to protecting and restoring nature. In 2020, Alexandre was named a Pritzker Emerging Environmental Genius Award candidate for his work.
Preserving China’s Biodiversity
As the executive director of the Shan Shui Conservation Center in China, Irene Xiangying Shi ’13 MESC is helping conservation efforts in the Tibetan Plateau and southern regions. The Center focuses its work on urban ecosystems and endangered species, such as giant pandas and snow leopards.
“If we have the right incentives,” she says, “people will conserve nature in the best way." Her efforts have helped build a biodiversity conservation alliance, an information sharing platform on biodiversity, and long-term funding mechanisms to continue work on these issues.
Restoring Belize’s Landscapes
Ki’ila Salas ’19 MF returned to her home country of Belize to participate in its first landscape restoration initiative, helping to develop its National Landscape Restoration Strategy for the Belize Forest Department. The project is part of the country’s national restoration commitment to the Bonn Challenge, which has a global goal to bring 350 million hectares of degraded and deforested landscapes into restoration by 2030.
“The project gave me great pride and joy in guiding the process of how the restoration strategies should be accomplished,” Salas says.