Learning Communities Composite Illustration

Learning Communities

YSE's Learning Communities were created to offer robust interdisciplinary experiences and networks. Students may engage with as many learning communities as they choose, regardless of their degree program or specialization.

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    Working in any environmental field today requires agile, innovative thinking and the ability to approach an issue from a wide range of perspectives. In order to maximize opportunities for interdisciplinary learning and collaboration, the Yale School of the Environment has created learning communities which provide students with expanded education, training, and career opportunities. Through conferences, workshops, internships, and other forms of engagement, they provide opportunities to pursue areas of research and professional interest regardless of degree specialization. Each learning community is directed by a faculty coordinator who is a leading expert in the area and is supported by one to three student leads. Students are free to engage with as many or as few learning communities as they choose, making them an excellent framework and resource to enrich their scholarship and expand their network within YSE and across Yale.

    Business and the Environment Illustration

    Business and the Environment

    Students who engage with this LC join a dynamic circle of scholars and practitioners who are thinking about the many opportunities and challenges for businesses in developing more sustainable approaches to meeting human needs.

    Business Learning Community
    Climate Change Illustration

    Climate Change Science and Solutions

    Businesses, ecosystems, industries, societies, and political systems are all vulnerable to climate change. This LC focuses on the science of climate change and on investigating innovative, interdisciplinary ways to address it.

    Climate Learning Community
    Ecosystem Illustration

    Ecosystem Management and Conservation

    Students engaged with this LC build a knowledge base and develop skills they can use to help steward and conserve ecosystems, ensuring that human and nonhuman species can coexist across landscapes.

    Ecosystem Learning Community
    LC Energy Illustration

    Energy and the Environment

    Students engaging with this LC examine issues related to energy systems and technologies, policies, and economics — helping them to build a knowledge base they can use to assess the problems posed by both traditional and emerging alternative energy sources.

    Energy Learning Community
    LC Policy Illustration

    Environmental Policy Analysis

    This LC helps students gain a deeper understanding of the foundations and methods of policy analysis, including how to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses and how to apply these frameworks to a broad range of environmental and resource management issues.

    Policy Learning Community
    LC Forestry Illustration


    Building on over a century of leadership in forestry and land conservation, this LC helps students gain the knowledge base they need to work collaboratively across environmental disciplines to manage forests in a way that respects the land and one another.

    Forestry Learning Community
    Illustration of a household cleaner spray bottle spraying a mist of summer sky

    Industrial Ecology and Green Chemistry

    Industrial ecology and green design are key to addressing many of the sustainability challenges posed by ever-increasing industrial production. In this LC, students study the energy and materials used in industry and develop strategic approaches to the design, use, and re-use of materials.

    Industrial Ecology and Green Chemistry Learning Community
    Illustration: leaves on oak branch each leaf a different skin tone

    People, Equity, and the Environment

    This LC helps students develop the skills they need to thoughtfully critique and improve the relationship between people and the planet, with a focus on deep-seated, systemic challenges. Emphasis is placed on the interplay among the environment, systemic social issues, and the emerging environmental justice movement.

    Equity Learning Community
    Illustration of intersecting tire tracks, foorprints, and animal tracks on a city street


    Students engaged in this LC develop the knowledge,  skills, and context they need to assess environmental issues in towns, cities, and other urban areas and to understand how urban processes contribute to global environmental change.

    Urban Learning Community
    Illustration: lab bottels and test tubes filled with water samples, looking through to lanscape in background

    Water Resource Science and Management

    This LC builds knowledge of the science, policy, and management of the world's water resources, while promoting their sustainable use and equitable access.

    Water Learning Community