Homepage background image

New Bekenstein Climate Leaders Program Aims to Expand Pathways to High-Impact Climate Careers

An exciting gift from Anita and Joshua Bekenstein ’80 to the Yale School of the Environment will establish a university-wide program to increase the ranks of Yale graduates in climate leadership roles and accelerate the pace of climate action.

YSE News

Matthew Kotchen
Q & A

Are We Ready for a Global Carbon Tax?

YSE Professor of Economics Matthew Kotchen discusses the viability of Africa’s call for a global carbon tax — the benefits and substantial roadblocks. 



YSE Students at COP28

Fiacro Jimenez Ramirez, a Master of Environmental Management student and Three Cairns Scholar at YSE, supported Mexico’s delegation at COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, and this year he will be a member of the Mexican delegation at COP28 in Dubai, UAE. 

MESC Program

Exploring Natural Climate Solutions

Wetlands are the largest natural source of methane on earth. As a YSE student, Ben Girgenti '22 MESc investigated whether adding iron or basalt to soil potentially could reduce methane emissions from wetlands.

Faculty Research

Biomass Loss in the Amazon and Global Warming

Tropical ecosystems store over half the world’s above-ground carbon in their biomass. Associate Professor Paulo Brando describes how the loss of climate change-induced tropical forest biomass could accelerate global warming.

On the Record

When it comes to the climate crisis, the urgency of this moment is unparalleled. YSE and the Bekenstein Climate Leaders program are stepping up to the challenge by helping to ensure that Yale graduates have the financial ability to focus their expertise on solving it.”

Shereen D’Souza ’12 MESc Senior Program Officer for Climate, Skyline Foundation

News in Brief

Nyeema Harris Wins 2023 IDEAL Award

Nyeema C. Harris, Knobloch Family Associate Professor of Wildlife and Land Conservation at YSE, was honored by the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) with the 2023 Inspiring Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, Acceptance and Learning (IDEAL) Award. The award recognizes commendable leadership in advancing inclusion, diversity, equity, acceptance, accessibility, and learning in the biological sciences community.

“Dr. Harris’ work is tremendously important. We applaud her steadfast dedication both to science and the diverse community of practitioners who are its foundation,” Scott Glisson, CEO of AIBS, said.

Harris’ research explores carnivore behavior and movement and ecology and conservation in urban systems and national parks at a global scale, with ongoing projects throughout the Americas and Africa, specifically. She examines spatial and temporal variations in species interactions, how networks are structured, the ecological consequences of species loss and land-use change, and mechanisms that promote coexistence between carnivores and humans. She directs the Applied Wildlife Ecology (AWE) Lab at YSE, which aims to promote human–wildlife coexistence around the world in urban, agricultural, and protected landscapes while demonstrating a commitment to public engagement and inclusivity. She co-founded the Black Ecologist Section of the Ecological Society of America and recently completed a National Science Foundation-funded project centered on environmental literacy in urban youth in Detroit.

"My approach has always been to operate from a place of integration, where my DEIJ efforts are fundamental in my scholarship, pedagogy, and engagement,” Harris said.

Harris received the award at the AIBS Council of Member Societies and Organizations meeting November 30, 2023. It was presented to her by previous award winner Steward T. A. Pickett, a plant ecologist and senior scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies.

Direct Link

Nyeema Harris

Nyeema Harris

Knobloch Family Associate Professor of Wildlife and Land Conservation

YSE Professors Help U.S. Federal Government Account for Environment in Regulatory System

YSE Professors Eli Fenichel and Ken Gillingham played key roles in updating a White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guide on how agencies calculate their regulations’ benefits and costs to account more fully for the environment. 

All major regulations must undergo benefit-cost analysis (BCA), and the U.S. executive branch is responsible for doing BCA for programs and regulations.  Fenichel, Knobloch Family Professor of Natural Resource Economics, worked to update Circular No. A-4, which is the federal government’s primary document for guiding BCA  and was last revised in 2003. Circulars are the highest-level guidance issued by OMB. 

“This document has tremendous influence over what government agencies consider,  how they consider it,  when they make regulatory decisions, and also over the ability of the government to defend or be challenged in court over those decisions,” Fenichel says. 

The new update mentions "ecosystem services" 18 times and "environmental"  74 times, including "environmental justice"  five times. The document is supported by new Guidance for Assessment Changes to Environmental and Ecosystem Services in benefit-costs analysis

While on leave to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, which works closely with the OMB, Fenichel was central to this historic effort to modernize regulatory guidance and helped draft these updates. The documents go through extensive public comment and peer review. Gillingham, professor of environmental and  energy economics, was one of the official peer reviewers on the critical document. 

Yale Law Professor Zach Liscow led an update of a related federal guidance for BCA for programs and operation, OMB Circular A-94 (last revised in 1992), which Fenichel also helped to revise.

Direct Link

Eli Fenichel

Knobloch Family Professor of Natural Resource Economics

Kenneth Gillingham

Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs; Professor of Environmental & Energy Economics

Three YSE Faculty Included on List of ‘Highly Cited Researchers’ 

Three Yale School of the Environment faculty members have been named to the world’s most influential researchers list by Clarivate Analytics, a company that compiles a list of scientists and social scientists whose papers rank in the top 1% of citations.

Included in this year’s list were Mark Bradford, professor of soils and ecosystem ecology; Karen Seto, the Frederick C. Hixon Professor of Geography and Urbanization Science; and Anthony Leiserowitz, founder and director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (YPCCC). In total, 48 faculty members from Yale University made the list of 6,849 researchers worldwide.

Bradford’s research focuses on the health, biology, ecology, and carbon storage potential of forest, grassland, and agricultural soils. More specifically, his work develops knowledge that helps predict how environmental change and management will affect the rates of carbon stabilization and decomposition processes, and how the size of soil organic carbon stores changes in space and time. 

Seto is a world-renowned expert on urbanization, integrating remote sensing, modeling methods, and field interviews to study urbanization and land change, forecast urban growth, and examine environmental consequences of urban expansion. The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) recently selected Seto as one 30 new foreign academicians. Academician is the highest academic title in China, and foreign academician is the highest honorary title awarded to foreign scholars and experts who have made significant contributions to the field of science and technology in China, and who hold a high academic status internationally. CAS selects 30 foreign members every two years, and there are only 154 foreign academicians in total.  Seto has been a coordinating author on two U.N. climate change reports, including the urban mitigation chapter of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment released in 2022. She is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a lifetime member of the United States Council on Foreign Relations.

Leiserowitz is one of the world’s foremost voices in climate change communications, gathering information on the public perception of climate change and environmental beliefs, attitudes, and behavior at multiple scales. In 2021, he was ranked as the second most influential climate scientist in the world by Reuters. 

Direct Link

Mark Bradford

Professor, Soils and Ecosystem Ecology

Anthony Leiserowitz

Senior Research Scientist, Lecturer, and Director of the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication (YPCCC)

Karen C. Seto

Frederick C. Hixon Professor of Geography and Urbanization Science, Director of the Hixon Center for Urban Sustainability

YSE-Trained Scientists Win EPA Green Chemistry Challenge Award

Air Company, a carbon utilization startup whose scientific leadership team has done pioneering research at the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering (CGCGE) at Yale, received the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Chemistry Challenge Award for Climate Change. The team was recognized for the development a  groundbreaking technology that transforms carbon dioxide captured from industrial plants and hydrogen from water into sustainable aviation fuel, ethanol, and methanol.

The company projects that its Airmade technology, if scaled, could avoid 10.8% of global carbon dioxide emissions, which is the equivalent of more than 4.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually. Its sustainable aviation fuel life cycle CO2 emissions are over 90% lower than traditional jet fuel.

The Air Company team includes co-founders Gregory Constantine and Stafford Sheehan ’13 MS, PhD ’16; Mahlet Garedew; Chi Chen PhD ’16; Pat Ward, and Paul Anastas, director of CGCGE and Teresa and H. John Heinz III Chair in Chemistry for the Environment, who serves as the company’s science advisor. Sheehan and Garedew were both postdoctoral associates at CGCGE. They were honored during an awards ceremony held on October 23, 2023, at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.

"Yale must be proud of producing people like Drs. Sheehan, Chi Chen, and Mahlet Garedew, who have shown you can go from invention to impact so quickly with solutions to such major problems," Anastas said. "I’m just happy to be part of this team with people who have dedicated their brilliance to making the world better through green chemistry."

Direct Link

winners of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Chemistry Challenge Award

From left: Pat Ward, Paul Anastas, Gregory Constantine, Mahlet Garedew, and Stafford Sheehan of Air Company are honored with EPA's Green Chemistry Challenge Award at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., on October 23, 2023. Credit: Eric Vance/US Environmental Protection Agency

Paul Anastas

Teresa and H. John Heinz III Professor in the Practice of Chemistry for the Environment

Social Media

Media Inquiries and Communications Contacts

Paige SteinExecutive Director of Strategic Communications, paige.stein@yale.edu



Fran Silverman
Associate Director of Communications

Bree Shirvell
Assistant Editor

Faculty Directory



Angela Chen-Wolf
Director of Design

Joe Dwyer
Multimedia Specialist

Branding Resources


Web Operations

Matthew Garrett
Director of Web Operations

Mike Slattery
Associate Director of Web Operations

Contact Web Support

Satellite image of the New Haven area

Stay YSE Current

Subscribe to YSE 3 for bi-weekly news and research updates.

Subscribe to “YSE 3”