Yale Climate Change and Communication Program Finds 70% of American Registered Voters are Worried About Climate Change

This April, the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, in partnership with the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, released a report on American registered voters and their views on climate change. As can be seen in the graph above, seven out of ten registered voters are worried about global warming. For more statistics and information, read the report here.

Presidential Update on Yale’s Academic Priorities

President Peter Salovey has delivered an update on Yale’s academic priorities.

Increased access to and affordability of a Yale education, construction of new landmark facilities for science and the humanities, and expanded opportunities for multidisciplinary teaching and scholarship are among the initiatives President Peter Salovey cited in his update on the university’s academic priorities on May 9.

In a letter to the Yale community, Salovey said that in investing in faculty excellence and recommitting to the university’s educational programming, “[our] goal is to make Yale stronger and build on existing strengths.

Each element of our strategy also responds directly to a specific domestic or global challenge; it is our responsibility and the heart of our mission to improve the world today and for future generations.” (Read the complete update here.)

The president outlined the following goals and achievements.

Amplifying academic excellence, diversity, and multidisciplinarity

a rigorous yale college curriculum

  • New majors were created in multidisciplinary neuroscience, statistics and data science, urban studies, and computer science and economics.
  • Less-commonly-taught languages courses, including ones on indigenous languages, were offered for the first time.
  • The YData course was offered for first time.
  • The Program on Ethnicity, Race, and Migration was reconfigured.

increasing affordability and access to yale college

  • The first-year class was the most socioeconomically diverse in Yale history.
  • Yale spent more than $160 million this year in undergraduate financial aid.
  • The First-Year Scholars at Yale and Online Experiences for Yale programs were expanded.

supporting graduate students across all schools of yale

  • The Emerging Scholars Initiative supported 45 incoming Ph.D. students and 30 who are currently matriculated, plus 16 post-baccalaureate research education fellowships for recent graduates.
  • Students in science and engineering received expanded University Fellowship support for 12 months and $4,000 above annual stipend.
  • Several schools created initiatives to reduce graduate student debt.

embracing emerging opportunities in teaching and learning

  • The Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning was formally dedicated and now provides resources for all the schools across campus.
  • The graduate schools and Faculty of Arts and Sciences recruited “exceptional faculty members” to come to Yale.

A new innovation corridor

Students table at a Tsai CITY event on campus.Students table at a Tsai CITY event on campus.Saying that “[thinking] innovatively is an important component of educational excellence for students of all levels — and not only in the sciences,” Salovey wrote about Yale’s new innovation corridor, which includes the Yale Center for Engineering Innovation and Design, the Greenberg Engineering Teaching Concourse, and the Tsai Center for Innovative Thinking at Yale (Tsai CITY).

Although it is the newest program and awaiting construction of its own facility, Tsai CITY has already begun programming, said Salovey, adding: “Although it will certainly help students create new ventures and become entrepreneurs, it has a broader mandate. Tsai CITY provides students with the knowledge and experience to create and change public policy in their communities, to bring creativity and multidisciplinary approaches to their future careers, and to serve others.”

New landmark facilities for the sciences and humanities

When you walk around campus, you will see physical changes that reflect bold investments in the sciences and humanities,” wrote Salovey, pointing to three current projects:

  • The new science building on Prospect Street, a seven-story, state-of-the-art structure that will host courses in diverse disciplines. “Students will be taking classes in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and sciences next to labs housing pioneering research,” said Salovey.
  • Transformation of 320 York St. as hub for humanities, a project that is “well underway,” noted Salovey. “It was planned with student and faculty input and will be home to many humanities departments and have space for graduate students to work and to meet with undergraduates during their teaching terms. It will also include a 90-seat state-of-the-art film screening room that will help students to connect to other people and cultures through film.
  • The leasing of biotech space at 100 College St., “an ideal location that bridges the university’s medical and central campuses,” said Salovey, adding, “This action is part of our strategy in the sciences. In this new space, undergraduate, graduate, and professional students will have opportunities to conduct research with faculty leaders at the intersection of multiple disciplines.”

The new science building under construction on Prospect Street.The new science building under construction on Prospect Street.

Upcoming opportunities for multidisciplinary scholarship and research

The newly created Tobin Center for Economic Policy will “teach students to think critically and to apply rigorous analysis to domestic policy issues,” said the president. The center has begun programming while it awaits construction of its headquarters.

In addition, the transformation of the Jackson Institute into the Jackson School of Global Affairs will “strengthen the university’s role in educating global citizens and leaders,” said Salovey. “Students will have new opportunities to work with distinguished faculty members and leading practitioners from government, military, industry, and other sectors.”

Six F&ES Students Selected as 2019 Sabin International Fellows

Pictured from left to right: Paul Hatanga ’20 M.E.M. (Uganda), Lysa Uwizeyimana ’20 M.E.M. (Rwanda), Daniela Hoyos Gaviria ’20 M.E.M. (Colombia), Shrabya Timsina ’20 M.F.S. (Nepal), James Ndung’u ’20 M.E.M. (Kenya), and Sandra Chiri Vargas ’20 M.E.M. (Peru).

The Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES) has selected six 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 2019 Sabin Fellows are Sandra Chiri Vargas ’20 M.E.M. (Peru), Daniela Hoyos Gaviria ’20 M.E.M. (Colombia), Paul Hatanga ’20 M.E.M. (Uganda), James Ndung’u ’20 M.E.M. (Kenya), Shrabya Timsina ’20 M.F.S. (Nepal), and Lysa Uwizeyimana ’20 M.E.M. (Rwanda).

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, 60 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.

About the 2019 Sabin Fellows:

Sandra Chiri Vargas enrolled at F&ES after serving with the Peru Ministry of Environment’s National Program for Forest Conservation, where she worked directly with indigenous communities to help conserve their rainforests and promote sustainable development. She has seen firsthand the challenges that can undermine the Ministry’s efforts to conserve its mega-diverse ecosystems, including budget limitations, unclear forest land tenure, and weak surveillance and control of illegal activities. But she also believes these challenges can be overcome through strategic decision-making and innovative proposals. She came to Yale to strengthen her own skills and knowledge in order to become a leader in addressing these challenges. She aims to work in the government sphere, where she hopes to broaden the scope of Peru’s institutions and help promote intervention strategies that target regional objectives while still addressing local concerns.

Daniela Hoyos Gaviria aims to become a facilitator between the private and public sector in order to promote sustainable practices in Colombia. While Colombia has been rated the second-most biodiverse country in the world — and boasts the most amphibian species — a booming middle class and inefficient waste practices pose a threat to this irreplaceable landscape, she says. She wants to provide the kind of leadership needed to promote more sustainable business practices. Her goal is to foster partnerships with the private sector and promote new regulations and incentives to better involve this sector in environmental protection — such as innovative systems to reduce waste, taxes that encourage more efficient resource use, and improved circular economy systems, and innovation.

Shrabya Timsina is a life-long scholar of traditions, history, and biology whose curiosities have converged on his ancestral region of Karnali. Before F&ES, he familiarized himself with international organizations and local cultural institutions active in Nepal through work and study. At F&ES, his research has focused on understanding the distribution of Karnali’s flora that are associated with rich healing traditions. After graduation, he hopes to promote the establishment of community- and small-holder controlled agrarian and forest infrastructure to achieve self-reliance, cultural revitalization and ecosystem-protection in Nepal.

Paul Hatanga ’20 M.E.M. was a project coordinator for the Uganda Biodiversity Trust Fund of the Wildlife Conservation Society, which presented him with the Tellus Leadership Award that provided initial funding for him to attend F&ES. His passion for wildlife conservation stirred him to work on projects to save Chimpanzees in Uganda, an experience he extremely treasures. His study interests lie at the intersection of conservation and economic development, areas of concern as much of the African continent seeks to improve its infrastructure. This semester, Hatanga was part of an independent study focused on the environmental impact of China’s Belt and Road initiative on East Africa, and he will continue his own research this summer on the socio-ecological effects of road construction in Uganda’s Key Biodiversity Areas. He believes his findings will be valuable for governmental organizations and NGOs in Uganda, where Hatanga hopes to return upon graduation to continue his work and be with his family.

James Ndung’u ’20 M.E.M. was a research consultant for Grassroot Organizations Operation Together in Sisterhood (GROOTS) in Kenya, a nationwide movement of women-led community-based organizations that address poverty, food security, energy, and climate change adaptation. Kenya has experienced tremendous growth in infrastructure, health and industrialization, but many rural areas remain without adequate and affordable access to energy, water and food. Ndung’u hopes to work with those rural areas on the environment and development upon graduation, supporting policies that promote sustainable development and proper environmental resource management. He’ll take his next step toward that goal this summer, conducting an energy access assessment in Kiambu County, hosted by GROOTS Kenya and the County Government of Kiambu.

Lysa Uwizeyimana ’20 M.E.M. specializes in climate change mitigation and adaptation with a focus on developing countries, skills she honed as an environmental engineer and consultant for an environmental consulting firm in Rwanda. One of her major projects was helping draft the strategic environmental assessment of the mining industry in Rwanda with the goal of formulating recommendations for the country’s Ministry of Environment. Uwizeyimana enrolled at F&ES to study climate change science and solutions and expects to intern this summer at a U.S.-based organization working to assist businesses to set science-based targets and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. This year, she joined The Forests Dialogue at Yale where she is organizing a dialogue around the restoration of a degraded landscape in Mangai, DRC. Upon graduation, she expects to return to Kigali to work for a multilateral organization or for an East Africa-based environmental and social consulting firm.

Migration: A Case for Stay and Build

Migrants flee war, persecution, poverty and natural disasters while many others simply seek economic opportunity. The growing numbers challenge the open-door policies of host nations, fueling resentment and populism that targets migration. “And while there is a basic humanitarian obligation to absorb people in dire straits it is only realistic to recognize that no country – no matter how liberal and democratic – can or will accept an endless stream of people without conditions,” explains author Chandran Nair. “‘Brain drain’ and ‘brawn drain,’ taking able-bodied and educated people and under-employing them in developed ones, is clearly harmful to developing countries.” Nair makes a case for the world’s advanced economies to tackle the root causes of migration flows, especially their roles own in military interventions that have displaced millions. Likewise, Nair urges individuals to reconsider migration as the sole way to improve their lives. Instead, many more citizens could stay to build homelands and control destinies on their own terms. – YaleGlobal

The Sustainable State

A review by Susan Froetschel

The world risks catastrophe by failing to practice sustainability. Only determined governments can come to the rescue, contends Chandran Nair in The Sustainable State.

Sustainability goes beyond the environmental consciousness and boasting common among businesses and even youth. Sustainable living requires sacrifice and revisions of society’s definitions for prosperity and even freedom. The world cannot afford China, India and other developing nations to pursue the West’s ruinous development path. Instead, emerging economies must devise systems that ensure survival and emphasize collective welfare over individual rights.

https://yaleglobal.yale.edu/sustainable-state

Dangerous Alliances on Migration

European nations that once promoted human rights are slinking away from these obligations and forming agreements with some third parties that have terrible records on human rights. “The European Union’s migration control policy relies on fortification and deterrence, contributing to massive human rights violations beyond its borders,” explains Lena Riemer, a 2018-2019 Fox International Fellow based at Yale’s MacMillan Center. “Creation of migrant slave markets in Northern Africa, life-threatening attempts to cross border fences into Spanish territory as well as more than 2,000 reported deaths in the Mediterranean this year alone can be traced back in part to the EU’s externalization of migration policy, in force since 2010 and becoming more extreme in 2015.” Opposition to migration is fueling populist demands for tough border policies regardless of horrific conditions, desperation and increasing deaths. Still, the numbers of migrants fleeing war, persecution and climate disasters are climbing worldwide, reports the United Nations. Riemer urges humane border control with comprehensive policies that address the root causes. – YaleGlobal