2014 Fellows

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Uma Bhandaram M.E.Sc. ‘15 is exploring the dynamics of urbanization and water resource management. Bhandaram, who hails from a water-rationed town in India, is working on a series of storm water management projects in the southern Connecticut, including potential green infrastructure projects in New Haven, a proposed 5.5-acre wetland — or “Yale Swale” — on campus, and a coastal adaptation plan for the city of Bridgeport, Conn.
Yaping Cheng M.E.M. ‘15 is studying the potential to use industrial ecology to achieve sustainable development in China. Next year she plans to focus her YSE research on the business and financial aspects of this development in order to better understand the balance between environmental protection and economic development. She plans to work as a sustainability consultant in China during what she describes as a critical period of urban growth.
Sangay Dorji M.E.M. ‘15 has spent nearly a decade working to improve agricultural sustainability in Bhutan. Working with the Department of Agriculture, Dorji has worked to increase farmer access to quality seeds and seedlings, constructed irrigation channels, and helped coordinate farmers’ groups. After graduating from YSE, Dorji plans to return to Bhutan to continue working with the Department of Agriculture and to initiate a project on climate change and agricultural adaptations.
Heri Hermawan M.F.S. ‘15 is exploring the human dimensions of forestry, particularly agroforestry in the tropics. Hermawan, who has worked for the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry and a local government for 13 years, plans to spend this summer researching the social and psychological determinants of agroforestry adoption in Indonesia. Ultimately he hopes to earn a Ph.D. degree.
Tianjun Hou M.E.M. ‘15 is studying the environmental impacts of infrastructure projects in Africa, with the goal of mitigating those effects during future projects. As a student, Tianjun helped organize a YSE forum on the corporate and social responsibility of Chinese transnational enterprises. This summer she will research how stakeholders have managed the environmental risks of the hydropower projects in Zambia. Meanwhile, she is also interested in the urban transportation system. As a side project in summer, she is studying the operation of the minibus system in Lusaka, Zambia.
Jie Pan M.E.M. '15 hopes to tackle pollution in China through work in the public sector. After spending four years working on pollution prevention and control policies for the Chinese government, she enrolled at YSE to bolster her understanding of the science behind major policy decisions and quantitative skills. Upon returning to China, she is interested in returning to the Ministry of Environmental Protection and advocating for more incentive-based regulations and improved transparency and accountability. 

2013 Fellows

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The 2013 Andrew Sabin International Environmental Fellows, left to right; Jin Yin (China), Lia Nicholson (Antigua and Barbuda), Elizabeth Babalola (Nigeria), Renzo Mendoza Castro (Peru), Juer Song (China), Alemayehu Belay Zeleke (Ethiopia), Gladys Caballero (Colombia), Sonam Choden (Bhutan), Yufang Gao (China).
Elizabeth Babalola (Nigeria) looks ahead to building Nigeria’s next generation of passionate environmental professionals and volunteers. Combining her knowledge gained as a volunteer for the Nigerian National Youth Services Corp, her contacts within the environmental community and the model North American School curriculum for environmental education, Ms. Babalola’s plan is to establish “Green Clubs” – an extra-curricular environmental education program for secondary schools in her country.

Gladys Vivienne Caballero (Colombia) has almost 10 years of experience working with the United Nations. Upon graduation, she will focus on climate change adaptation and sustainable development in Latin America, especially in regard to water resources. Ms. Caballero plans to serve the Latin American and Caribbean regions, in the Colombian Government or in the regional United Nations system.

Sonam Choden (Bhutan) plans to return to Bhutan’s Department of Forests and Park Services where she will focus on wetlands management. These Himalayan wetlands are critical not only for Bhutan but also as sources of fresh water for the neighboring countries of India and Bangladesh. She looks forward to contributing her expertise in maintaining Bhutan’s pristine environment and strengthening the “Gross Domestic Happiness “of her people.

Yufang Gao (China) is dedicated to biodiversity conservation in the Tibetan Plateau, particularly in the Sanjiangyuan region. He has an offer of employment from Shanshui Conservation, a prominent Chinese conservation NGO.  China’s “Open up the West” campaign has caused large scale environmental degradation in the once undisturbed region. As an undergraduate student at the Peking University, Mr. Gao investigated the impact of policy changes on the Tibetan people and their land. Mr. Gao hopes to contribute to policy making for the conservation for Sanjiangyuan’s unique ecosystem and culture.

Renzo Mendoza Castro (Peru) is focused on public-private partnerships to attain urban sustainability. Upon graduation, Mr. Castro will return to Peru and work for the City Government of Lima as an Urban Sustainability Consultant. He expects to address the urban governance challenges of this typical Latin American city, for example the urban squalor that often accompanies economic progress.

Lia Nicholson (Antigua & Barbuda) has non-profit experience in the Caribbean and would like to continue her family’s legacy of protecting the culture, history and ecology of the region. With a Masters in Environmental Management, Ms. Nicholson will seek employment as a Regional Liaison Officer at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Climate Change Center, transitioning to the prestigious CARICOM Secretariat. Ms. Nicholson will work toward closing the gap between “elite” policies and their implementation at the local level.

Juer Song (China) seeks sustainability for China’s urban development. With the world’s largest population, highest growth rate and enormous energy consumption, the country needs skilled environmental professionals to achieve its objectives. Ms. Song aims to be a researcher and a communicator at the Chinese chapter of an international environmental institution or think tank, focusing on customizing policy to China’s unique needs.

Jin Yin (China) is focused on developing community forestry and eco-tourism practices among the Miao ethnic group in South-western China. Ms. Yin hopes to be an advocate for the Miao people and their traditional forest management system.

Alemayehu Zeleke (Ethiopia) is dedicated to serving Ethiopia in the areas of agricultural development and food security. In the short term he wants to continue his research on natural resource management and agricultural policy. However, Mr. Zeleke recognizes weak governance as one of the impediments to agricultural development in the region, so he would eventually like to pursue a career in the public sector. 

2012 Fellows

  • Jorge Barbosa – MESc 
    2012 Sabin Fellow from Colombia
    Latin American Regional Environmental Governance: The role of UNASUR in strengthening regional ties toward sustainable development post Rio+20
  • Bunyod Holmatov – MEM 
    2012 Sabin Fellow from Uzbekistan
    Academic interests in managing water resources and waste-water treatment technologies; summer internship with Energy and Environment Unit of UNDP's Uzbekistan office
  • Vijeta Jangra – MEM 
    2012 Sabin Fellow from India
    Academic interests in energy system analysis, renewable energy, private investments in clean energy technologies, and environment economics; internship with World Bank on low carbon technologies
  • Ambika Khadka – MEM 
    2012 Sabin Fellow from Nepal
    Studying the impact of different land use changes in the hydrological cycle of a watershed, Jiangxi Province, China
  • Aparna Mani – MEM 
    2012 Sabin Fellow from India
    Cultivating Food Security: Ni-Vanuatu Women's Relationship with Food, Bio-diversity, Natural Resources and Food Policy
  • José Medina Mora de León – MEM 
    2012 Sabin Fellow from Mexico/US (dual)
    Academic interests in conservation and development issues; summer internship with permanent mission of Mexico the the United Nations
  • Pablo Peña – MEM 
    2012 Sabin Fellow from Peru
    Summer research focused on the role of law and institutions in the Costa Rican Payment for Environmental Services program
  • Lucía Ruíz Bustos – MEM 
    2012 Sabin Fellow from Mexico
    Academic interests in natural resources management, sustainable development, and environmental governance in Latin America; internship with the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)
  • Sumana Serchan – MF 
    2012 Sabin Fellow from Nepal
    Summer research focused on the distribution of Ritha, a non-timber forest product, in community and private forests of western Nepal
  • Wen Wang – MESc 
    2012 Sabin Fellow from China
    Academic interests in environmental economics, valuation of health impacts of pollution, economic modeling of environmental problems; summer internship with WRI shale gas initiative.

2011 Fellows

  • Lakshmi Krishnan – MEM 
    2011 Sabin Fellow from India
    Areas of Interest: Social ecology, sustainable development, development economics
  • Jing Ma – MEM 
    2011 Sabin Fellow from China
    Areas of Interest: Energy issues and development of renewable energy in China, environmental economics
  • Munjed Murad – MEM 
    2011 Sabin Fellow from Jordan 
    Areas of Interest: Social ecology, community forestry, issues of environmental justice and social justice
  • Paulo Quadri Barba – MEM 
    2011 Sabin Fellow from Mexico
    Areas of Interest: Disaster risk reduction, ecosystem conservation and management, adaptation issues
  • Kavita Sharma – MEM 
    2011 Sabin Fellow from India 
    Areas of Interest: Sustainable development, water resource management and agricultural practices in India
  • Kanchan Shrestha – MESc 
    2011 Sabin Fellow from Nepal
    Areas of Interest: Disaster management policy in Nepal, water resource issues, climate change
  • Shiyue Wang – MEM 
    2011 Sabin Fellow from China
    Areas of Interest: Clean energy technology, energy markets, climate change, and carbon finance