The Forest School

Connecting people, forests, and forestry for a sustainable future

TFD participants in Indonesia

Education and Research

Education and research centered in applied forest ecology and social sciences with a global scope spanning a spectrum of forest landscapes, geographies, and societies.

Training and Practice

A hub for practitioners and land stewards in forest-related fields worldwide, bringing together cross-disciplinary research in science and practice to find solutions to the challenges that face the world’s forests.

Student and Alumni Impacts

Reid Lewis on a snowy day near a frozen lake

Stewarding Forests in the Face of Climate Change 

Forests help mitigate climate change because of their ability to remove and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but they become carbon emitters during wildfires. PhD student Reid Lewis '20 MF is researching how satellite data and machine learning models can help fire-prone forests become more resilient.

“When we make these forests more fire resilient, we can not only store more carbon, we can also help protect human communities, foster wildlife habitat, safeguard watersheds, and can use the process of restoration to partner with and empower Indigenous nations,” says Lewis.

Pete Caligiuri in a forested area

Fighting Fire with Fire

As wildfires across the U.S. and Canada continue to endanger human health and wildlife, Pete Caligiuri ’10 MF, forest strategy director for The Nature Conservancy in Oregon, is working on fire suppression.

And these efforts include setting fires. “Frequent, extreme wildfires are a threat, but fire has to be part of the solution. Fire always has been a part of these landscapes. Beneficial fire — like prescribed burns and managed wildfires — is essential to the long-term resilience of these forest landscapes into the future,” Caligiuri says.

Caroline Tasirin at Y20 Indonesia

Empowering Young Leaders

In July, Indonesia hosted the Y20 Summit, an annual gathering of youth leaders from G20 nations. This year's summit emphasized a sustainable and livable planet, and its recommendations will be presented at the upcoming G20 Summit in November. Caroline Tasirin ’19 MFS — a lecturer in the forestry program at Indonesia’s Sam Ratulangi University and co-founder of SULUT Semangat, a program that empowers Indonesian youths to connect with nature — represented the host nation and served as co-chair of the selection committee for Indonesia. “I'm proud to have contributed my insight and honored to collaborate with diverse youth leaders,” she says. 

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.

Ki’ila Salas

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.

Hugh Brown under a canopy of bamboo

Rehabilitating Ghana’s Forests

After a decade as director of operations for Ghana’s Forestry Commission, overseeing the country’s commercial forest plantation development and land restoration, Hugh Brown ’10 MF was named executive director of the Commission's Forest Services Division in 2022.

The Commission has begun the restoration of more than 450,000 hectares of degraded forests and planted millions of new trees under Brown's leadership — part of a major reforestation initiative by the Ghanaian government to contribute to global climate action.

Cecilia Rogers in a forest glen

Mapping Panama’s Sustainable Farmlands

A researcher for the Environmental Leadership & Training Initiative, Cecilia Rogers ’22 MFS is mapping the success of ELTI’s Panama program that helps cattle ranchers incorporate sustainable practices, such as the use of forested pastureland, into their land management.

Working with fellow students, she found that the amount of sustainably managed farmland had significantly increased from 4% in 2011 to 66% in 2020.

Portrait of Nikola Alexandre

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.

Rich Guldin leaning against a tree in the forest

Tracking Forest Inventory

Richard Guldin ’76 MFS, ’79 PhD has helped reinvent the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program by integrating new sampling designs, field procedures, and innovative software to create an annual inventory that has become a global model. His work earned him the Society of American Foresters’ Sir William Schlich Award.

Our Priorities

Forests and Climate Change

Conducting innovative research, trainings, and multi-stakeholder dialogues to increase understanding and leadership on forest-climate interactions, forest resilience, and the role of forests in mitigating climate change.

People and Livelihoods

Engaging forest communities on stewardship, conflict resolution, and environmental justice through place-based knowledge and relationships with the land.

Sustainable Management

Leading the way in forest and natural resource management education, research, and engagement for more than 120 years.

The Forest School Faculty

Centers and Programs

Two foresters managing a controlled burn
Centers & Programs

Yale Forest Forum (YFF)

The hub of communications and engagement for The Forest School, the Yale Forest Forum brings together a diverse group of leaders in forestry and forest policy through regular events and programs.

Marlyse Duguid teaching in the Yale-Myers Forest
Centers & Programs

Yale Forests

Our homes away from home, the Yale Forests manage 10,777 acres of forestland that provide educational, research, and professional opportunities to the Yale community and beyond.

Map of every street tree in New Haven
Centers & Programs

Urban Resources Initiative

Making New Haven cleaner and greener, URI works with local partners to plant trees, restore community green spaces, and build bioswales to filter stormwater runoff.

Fmers learning techniques to use silvopastoral systems
Centers & Programs

Environmental Leadership Training Initiative (ELTI)

In critical natural landscapes rich in biodiversity, ELTI empowers local leaders to design and implement land use practices and initiatives that protect tropical forests and the livelihoods of local landowners and their communities.

Map with more than 40 red pins across the globe marking Dialogue locations
Centers & Programs

The Forests Dialogue (TFD)

The Forests Dialogue provides a platform for ongoing, multi-stakeholder conversations focused on collaborative solutions to challenges in achieving sustainable forest management and forest conservation.

Tropical Resources Institute
Centers & Programs

Tropical Resources Institute (TRI)

The Tropical Resources Institute supports student research and on-campus programming aimed at solutions to complex challenges within the conservation and management of tropical environments.

Overhead image of tropical farmland
Centers & Programs

Yale Applied Science Synthesis Program (YASSP)

Centered on generating science to support decision making, YASSP produces quantitative, reputable, scientific syntheses that guide and inform direct actions around land stewardship.

Contact Admissions

Contact the Yale School of the Environment admissions team for more information about admission into the forestry-focused degree programs.

Contact The Forest School

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