Six Yale Graduate Students Awarded Sabin Fellowships

Six graduate students at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES) have been chosen as Andrew Sabin International Environmental Fellows, with each Fellow to receive up to $40,000 for their education and post-graduation careers in the environmental sector.
This year’s Fellows are Uma Bhandaram (India), Yaping Cheng (China), SangayDorji (Bhutan), Heri Hermawan (Indonesia), Tianjun Hou (China), and Jie Pan (China).
Each Fellow is eligible to receive tuition assistance up to $20,000 and another $20,000 in post-graduation awards. The post-graduation award is contingent on the students returning to their home countries or regions within 18 months of graduation and completing work in the environmental sector for at least one year.
“I am excited to support these dynamic and energetic scholars from around the world through scholarships and by jumpstarting their environmental careers,” said Andrew Sabin. “My goal is to lower their debt burden while in School, and then offer a powerful incentive for each of them to return to their home countries and regions as quickly as possible to work on pressing environmental issues. In the long-run, I’m hoping to help create a global network of committed young, environmental leaders who are tackling tough issues like climate change and biodiversity loss.”

Located in East Hampton, N.Y., the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation is a private charitable foundation. It provides grants to nonprofit organizations with the single goal of protecting and preserving the environment. The Foundation also started the Sabin Sustainable Venture Prize at Yale, which supports student and faculty efforts to start sustainable for-profit businesses through a business plan competition.
Since 2011, the Foundation has supported 32 Sabin Fellows, all graduate students attending F&ES.
“We are once again deeply grateful to Andy Sabin for his generous support of international students at F&ES,” said Dean Peter Crane. “This fellowship not only provides financial support to talented students who enrich our community in important ways, but it also encourages them to return to their home countries and work for a more sustainable future.
“This marvelous support has both an immediate and lasting impact around the globe.”
Lara Iwanicki ’16 M.E.M. (Brazil) is focused on marine conservation, and the development and implementation of Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in her home country of Brazil.  She is studying marine ecosystems, fisheries and conservation, ichthyology, and working on clinical projects.  This summer, she will be based in the Caribbean US Virgin Islands conducting research to evaluate the effectiveness of MPA’s in conserving marine biodiversity, as well as examining social and political acceptance of MPA’s.  Lara’s career goals include working for non-governmental organizations to conduct scientific research, and promote marine conservation projects at local, state and federal levels in Brazil. 

Hassaan Sipra ’16 M.E.M. (Pakistan) is pursing studies in energy, with a focus on renewable energy development in rural areas as an economic development tool, and in the context of climate change.  In addition to his coursework, he is pursuing collaborative partnerships with local and regional institutions to assess development projects and models in his home region, supplemented by research into carbon trading and waste management programs in Pakistan.  This summer, Hassaan would like to intern with the International Energy Agency to gain exposure to their operations and strategy.  In the future, he is interested in working on renewable energy issues in his home region, and promoting regional cooperation in renewable energy deployment.

Mohammad Aatish Khan ’16 M.E.M. (India) is pursuing an interdisciplinary approach to develop a framework for analyzing project design and policy development in the context of climate adaptation and clean energy in developing countries.  His specific interest is to explore public and private finance options for clean energy finance, and identifying pathways to design, implement, and evaluate adaptation projects through climate finance.  This summer, Mohammad plans to work on climate finance, and continue his research analyzing 16 adaptation projects to identify best practices and innovative tools.  Longer term, he wants to work for a non-governmental organization in the area of climate finance, and project and policy evaluation.

Tamara Thomas ’16 M.E.M. (Trinidad and Tobago) is researching international marine policy for small island developing states, with a focus on water resource and coastal zone management.  This summer, she will be interning with the UNDP and WAITT Institute in her home country to help develop and implement best management practices designed to protect local drinking water sources from polluted surface water runoff.  She will also be working on the development of a coastal zone management plan to reduce storm water runoff into the coastal zone.  In the future, Tamara wants to work in the Caribbean region on coastal zone management and climate adaptation.

Paloma Caro Torres ’16 M.E.M. (Chile) is interested in building upon her previous experience in production agriculture by studying agricultural policy and governance issues.  She is studying agricultural and rural development, and natural resource management in a public policy context.  This summer she hopes to work with an international non-governmental organization working on policy implementation related to sustainable development and agriculture.  After graduation, Paloma will return to Chile to work on policy development and implementation contributing toward environmental protection and sustainable development in Latin America.

Mariana Vedeveto ’16 M.E.M. (Brazil) is passionate about conservation of the Amazon rainforest, and is studying development models that combine economic growth with forest conservation.  At F&ES, her academic goals are to strengthen her economic and finance skills that can be applied to policy development to incentive forest conservation and restoration.  This summer she hopes to examine how market mechanisms and agreements are impacting deforestation in Brazil and Indonesia.  In the future, Mariana aspires to work in the Amazon for a non-governmental organization to conduct research and advocacy on conservation, policy and market-based approaches in support of forest conservation.

Luciana Maia Villalba ’16 M.E.M. (Argentina) is focused on the study of industrial ecology which combines her interests in the natural sciences and engineering.  Her goal is to apply her industrial ecology training to develop sustainable practices that can be applied in industrial processes and settings.  In particular, Luciana will focus on life cycle assessment and investigate industrial symbiosis in the context of economic development in Argentina.  This summer, she is hoping for an international internship to learn more about water resource management, energy efficiency, and circular economy applications in industrial applications.  After graduating from F&ES, Luciana will pursue opportunities in both the public and private sectors where she can apply industrial ecology principles to industrial development and environmental protection.

Raymond Waweru ’16 M.E.M. (Kenya) is concentrated his studies on conservation and development in Africa.  His interests are in environmental economics, natural resource management, energy, and policy development.  This summer, he hopes to work with a non-governmental organization in his home country engaged in conservation and development activities.  Raymond aspires to work for the United Nations Environment Program in Nairobi, addressing issues of climate change, drought, economic development and policy.