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A Synergistic Approach to Ocean Conservation

As the visiting McCluskey Fellow in Conservation at the Yale School of the Environment, Alex Muñoz will spend the next year developing a roadmap to accelerate the pace of ocean conservation and Yale’s first-ever course fully focused on ocean conservation.

YSE News

portrait of Graeme Berlyn in 2023

In Memoriam: Graeme Berlyn, E. H. Harriman Professor of Forest Management and Physiology of Trees

Graeme P. Berlyn, a world-renowned expert on the anatomy and physiology of plants and trees, died Feb. 16 in Hamden at the age of 90. Berlyn, whose breadth of research included wood anatomy, plant embryology, tissue culture, biotechnology, and the morphology and physiology of trees and forests in relation to environmental stress, taught at YSE for more than 60 years.


Three Cairns Scholars

Meet a Three Cairns Scholar: Christian Dadzie

Christian Dadzie, shares his journey from petroleum engineering in Ghana's oil and gas industry to pursuing a Master of Environmental Management degree at Yale. 


Roads To Removal

Research scientist Sara Kuebbing discusses pathways for removal of more than 1 billion tonnes of CO2 annually by 2050 through sustainable forest management strategies outlined in a new DOE report.


YSE Alumni at COP28

Alumni participating in COP28 discuss how YSE's interdisciplinary approach to research and education has helped them advance climate solutions and achieve their career goals.

On the Record

You never know which argument is going to be the one that wins people over.  Sometimes it’s biodiversity, sometimes it’s the economic argument. It’s usually a combination of several, but it has to be an organic decision, you can’t force people into it.”

Alex Muñoz  Dorothy S. McCluskey Visiting Fellow in Conservation

News in Brief

Jaye Wilson Honored with Rising Black Scientist Award

Through her research, YSE student and National Science Foundation graduate research fellow Jaye Wilson aims to improve recycling systems to increase yield for high-value products and help industries develop more sustainable business practices. She shared her scientific goals and how her family, community, and STEM experiences sparked her interest in the field in the essay “Resilient wings, tangible impact: My journey from chrysalis to change-maker in STEM,” which earned her a Rising Black Scientists Award.

“The RBSA is a deeply personal achievement that represents a collective aim for a future where diversity in thought and background is not just recognized but celebrated as the bedrock of academic and societal advancement,” Wilson said. “For me, it is a beacon of encouragement to continue being a restorative force in my field, fostering creativity and innovative thinking.”

The award, first established in 2020 and given by Cell Press, Cell Signaling Technology (CST), and the Elsevier Foundation, provides funds to support professional development for talented and motivated Black Scientists. Winners have their essays published in iScience and receive $10,000 to support their research as well as a $500 travel grant.

“Through their stories and accomplishments, this year’s winners of the Rising Black Scientists Awards are examples of excellence to us all,” said John Pham, editor-in-chief of Cell. “My colleagues and I at Cell Press are inspired by them, and we are proud to be sharing their stories.”

Wilson and her fellow honorees, Kevin Brown Jr. of California State University San Marcos; Senegal Mabry of Cornell University; and Akorfa Dagadu of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, were chosen from more than 350 applicants from across the life, health, physical, and earth, environmental, and data sciences.

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Jaye Wilson

Saving Tropical Forests

About 60% of the world’s tropical forests, which store 25% of the world’s total carbon, are degrading, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society. Less than half remain at high integrity. At the 30th annual International Society of Tropical Foresters conference held at YSE’s Kroon Hall February 2-3, conservationists examined the drivers of deforestation, how carbon and diversity markets can sustain them, and progress in protecting them.

At the first day of the conference, which convened academics, practitioners, policy makers and community leaders from around the world, Marthe Tollenaar, ESG director at SAIL Ventures, a boutique investment firm based in The Hauge and Sao Paulo, noted how &Green Fund is helping to create returns on biodiversity credits, which she said are as attractive as conventional investments. Currently, she said, companies fund credits through their foundations instead of integrating them into their balance sheets and anticipating a return on investment.

While deforestation has slowed in the Amazon under President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s presidency, Ane Alencar, science director for IPAM, a research based environmental NGO in Brazil, said that more than half of deforestation occurred on public lands in 2021-2022 where forest clearance went unpunished. She said that land tenure, not agriculture is the biggest driver of clearing forests. In Indonesia, which has the largest expanse of rainforests in Asia, a drop in palm oil prices may have been a larger factor in slowing deforestation than government regulation, increased land security, sustainability efforts, and corporate commitments to conservation, said Kimberley Carlson, a land systems scientist and associate professor at New York University.

The Yale chapter of ISTF was established in 1992 and is housed at The Forest School at YSE. The annual conference is the longest running student-led conference at Yale.

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ISTF 2024 Conference

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