Research & Impact
Learned in the classroom, practiced in the field, impacting our world.
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Our faculty, students, and alumni are conducting innovative research that is changing how we understand and approach the environment, conservation, and sustainability. We’re turning wood into biodegradable plastics, re-imagining the urban tree lifecycle, and engineering plants to fight climate change — creating critical knowledge and new perspectives to solve environmental challenges across multiple disciplines and scales.
Pictured above: a still image from an interactive 3D model of a single fir needle as captured through high-resolution X-ray micro-computed tomography (microCT) by Craig Brodersen, professor of plant physiological ecology. To explore the models, visit the Brodersen Lab's 3D data portal.
Yale School of the Environment faculty are a diverse group of field-defining scholars who continue to break new ground in the areas of biodiversity, climate change, energy, policy, business, industrial ecology and green chemistry, urban systems, and environmental justice, among other disciplines.
Scientists understand that fear of predation affects animal behavior within landscapes. Now, YSE researchers are using a similar hypothesis — which they are calling “social-ecological landscapes of fear” — to explore the need for conservationists to address negative human histories in their research.
The world’s wildlife populations have declined by almost 70% in the last 50 years as their habitats have been cleared by humans and polluted. Yet, animals play a crucial role in reforestation, a new study published in The Royal Society journal Philosophical Transactions has found.
Yale doctoral students Kristy Ferraro and Diego Ellis Soto developed a "roadmap" to quantify how the movement of animals of all shapes and sizes contribute to and remove nutrients within and across ecosystems. This work earned them the 2022 Sidnie Manton Award from the British Ecological Society.
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Impact through Centers, Programs, and Initiatives
Students, faculty, and staff come together within more than 20 YSE-affiliated centers and programs, which provide collaborative research opportunities, relevant professional experience, and engaging conferences and outreach programs.
YPCCC is a leader in climate change communication, tracking Americans’ perception of climate change at all scales and building public and political will for climate action.
In critical natural landscapes rich in biodiversity, ELTI empowers local leaders to design and implement land use practices and initiatives that protect tropical forests and the livelihoods of local landowners and their communities.
The Forests Dialogue provides a platform for ongoing, multi-stakeholder conversations focused on collaborative solutions to challenges in achieving sustainable forest management and forest conservation.
Finding solutions to climate change through advances in natural carbon sequestration.
Leading the way in an emerging field, the Center for Industrial Ecology focuses research, teaching, and outreach on how resources are converted to products, the pollution that comes from these processes, and opportunities to reduce resource use and pollution.
Stay Informed on YSE Research
We highlight three news and research stories about the work we’re doing at the Yale School of the Environment to achieve sustainability — for ourselves and future generations.