The Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES) has selected four graduate students as Andrew Sabin International Environmental Fellows, with each Fellow receiving up to $40,000 of funding for their education and post-graduate service in the environmental sector.
The 2018 Sabin Fellows are Indra Acharja
’19 M.F.S. (Bhutan), Anna Carcamo
’19 M.E.M. (Brazil), Sarah Omusula
’19 M.E.Sc. (Kenya), and Sneha Pandey
’19 M.E.M. (Nepal).
Started in 2011 by the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation
, the fellowship provides scholarship support for students from developing countries, and postgraduate awards to those students returning to their home countries and regions to pursue environmental careers. Each Fellow is eligible to receive tuition assistance of up to $20,000 and another $20,000 in post-graduation awards within 18 months of graduation.
Since its inception, 54 F&ES students have received this fellowship, many of whom have since returned to their home countries to work on conservation, forestry, climate change, biodiversity, wildlife, and agricultural issues.
“It is wonderful to support these outstanding young leaders from Brazil, Bhutan, Kenya and Nepal,” said Sabin. “Their energy and ingenuity will be much needed when they return to their home countries to tackle critical environmental issues such as biodiversity loss, human-wildlife conflict, and environmental justice.
“Through the Sabin Fellowship, our goal is to help launch the careers of future environmental leaders from developing countries. I am delighted to welcome these four students to our growing network of Sabin Fellows working across the globe to help meet the environmental challenges we face.”
About the 2018 Sabin Fellows:
has dedicated his career to conserving threatened wildlife species in the Himalayas and developing a community-led conservation approach. With more than 70 percent of human populations in developing countries, including Bhutan, dependent on either subsistence farming or forest resources — and thus vulnerable to conflicts with wildlife — Acharja says conservation strategies must be built around partnerships that empower and support indigenous communities. At F&ES he has focused on developing communication and professional skills that he will be able to apply in the field in Bhutan. This summer he will study the nesting ecology and migration of the White-bellied Heron, a species that was once common across the Himalayan region but that has now disappeared from most habitats. By filling important gaps in knowledge, he says, he hopes to help with the creation of conservation plans and development of models to assess habitat availability and suitability across the region.
, an environmental lawyer, came to F&ES to strengthen her knowledge of international environmental policy, environmental justice, and environmental communications in order to tackle corruption and environmental injustice in Brazil. In addition to her coursework she has worked to improve her skills in mediating within complex social relationships, helping to organize events — including through The Forests Dialogue, an F&ES-based program — that promote better practices of governance and reduce social and environmental negative consequences through stakeholder engagement. Carcamo has also taken on leadership positions with Yale Environmental Women, the Latin America Student Interest Group, and Yale Environment Review
. This summer she will intern with the UN Development Programme’s Voice and Democracy Governance Program in Panama. Upon returning to Brazil she plans to help lead a growing movement toward more socially responsible laws, wider representation of underrepresented populations, and transparency in business and government.
is a researcher in wildlife conservation, habitat restoration, and the mitigation of human-wildlife conflict. Growing up on a ranch in Kenya’s Rift Valley, she fell in love with the grace and power of the region’s iconic wildlife species, including giraffes and cheetahs, eventually becoming a champion for their protection. Working with Action for Cheetahs, the Soysambu Conservancy, and Earthwatch Institute she came to understand the complexities of conservation, and committed herself to understanding how to support a healthy and mutually beneficial coexistence of humans and wildlife. At F&ES, Omusula has focused on strengthening practical skills in data analysis, understanding how climate change intersects with her work, and building experiences to increase her positive impact in Kenya. Her long-term goal is to work with international and NGOs to bring more resources to Kenya — including for the protection of the beloved giraffes of her childhood.
aims to address critical issues of wildlife and ecosystem conservation in her home country of Nepal. Believing that effective communication and collaboration with local and indigenous communities is vital to achieve successful conservation efforts, one of her goals is to create communication networks that allow larger organizations to work symbiotically with local groups and provide resources and support when needed. This summer she will work with the Wildlife Conservation Society at Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda, where she will examine the effectiveness of a conservation initiative that uses park volunteers as liaisons with neighboring communities to improve communication and mediate human-wildlife conflicts. Ultimately she hopes to incentivize ecosystem and wildlife conservation for different local and indigenous communities in Nepal, which she believes is the only way to make conservation efforts sustainable and cost-effective in the long term.