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Program News

Welcome Back to New Haven!  The Environmental Studies Program would like to coordially invite you (Majors, Non-Majors, Prospective Majors, Faculty, Families and Friends) to join us for our welcome back picnic dinner and soccer game taking place on Tuesday, September 10th at 5:00 in the Kroon Hall Courtyard.  We all look forward to hearing about your summer adventures, as well as your plans for the coming year!  Our menu will feature sustainable fare - be there!  In the event of rain, we will relocate to Kroon Hall, G-01.

DUS Office Hours | Amity Doolittle's fall term office hours will be Tuesdays from 11:00 - 4:00, or alternate times arranged by email.  During schedule signing week (9/9 - 9/11), she will be availalbe from 11:00 - 4:00 Monday and Tuesday, and from 9:30 - 11:00 on Wednesday.

Summer Environmental Fellowship Reports Due Sept. 13  All students who received a Summer Environmental Fellowship must submit their 3-5 page report by email to sara.smileysmith@yale.edu by Friday, Sept. 13.  Please send photos as well!

Fall Course Highlights

Field Science: Environment & Sustainability (EVST 234L), Kealoha Freidenburg, Tuesday 1:00 - 2:15, Kroon 319; Thursday 1:00 - 5:00, ESC 210 or Field Trip  Much of the Earth’s surface shows legible effects of human influences.  The influences we cannot readily see are even more pervasive.  The main goals of this field-based course are to explore and understand ecosystems and their underlying processes, to investigate the ways in which human activities have shaped ecosystems, and to understand how these influences can inform strategies to reshape human influences in the future.  We will use local field sites ranging from undeveloped landscapes to urban environments as the backdrop for a consideration of major environmental challenges and the science that may be used to address them. Weekly field trips and one weekend field trip.

Coastal Environments in a Changing World (EVST 244), Mary Beth Decker, Friday 8:25 - 12:20, OML 201 or Field Trip  Coastal areas provide a variety of ecosystem services, such as food, storm protection, nutrient recycling, energy and recreation.  However, coastal ecosystems are severely stressed as a result of development, increased resource use, pollution, extreme natural events, climate change and the spread of invasive species.  The main goal of this course is to examine human and natural impacts on coastal marine ecosystems.  Parallel objectives are to foster an understanding of the methods coastal scientists use to address environmental issues.  We will also examine the challenges associated with managing and conserving coastal environments. 

American Indian Religion & Ecology (EVST 280), John Grim and Mary Evelyn Tucker, Tuesday and Thursday 2:30 - 3:45, PR77 A002  Study of the religious beliefs of diverse Native American peoples from a history-of-religions perspective. Oral-narrative and textual forms in which these beliefs have been recorded. Focus on myths, symbols, and rituals, and their relationships with native homelands, geography, and biodiversity. The significance of traditional environmental knowledge.

Environmental Anthropology (EVST 345), Michael Dove, Thursday 1:30 - 3:20, Kroon 321  This upper-division seminar explores the history of the anthropological study of the environment.  It is organized around a number of key, persisting themes in the field including the Nature-Culture Dichotomy, Ecology and Social Organization, Methodological Debates, the Politics of the Environment, and Knowing the Environment.  Each theme will be examined through writings that are theoretically important, but also readable, interesting and relevant.  

Urbanization, Food Systems & Environment (EVST 349), Karen Seto, Thursday 9:25 - 11:15, PR77 A001  Trends in urbanization that affect the production and demand for food in the twenty-first century. Implications for natural resources such as agricultural and pasture lands. The simultaneous demographic, economic, and biophysical processes of urbanization; the life cycle of food, from production, processing, and distribution to demand, consumption, and waste. **Application Required, See Syllabus via YBB.yale.edu for details**

Habitation & Name or Writing theWorld (FES 750 - Open to undergraduates), Verlyn Klinkenborg, Tuesday 3:00 - 5:30, Kroon G-01  This is a practical writing course meant to develop your skills as a writer. But its real subject is perception and the writer’s authority—the relationship between what you notice in the world around you and what, culturally speaking, you are allowed to notice. What you write during the term is driven entirely by your own interest and attention. How you write is the question at hand. We explore the overlapping habitats of language—present and past—and the natural environment. And, to a lesser extent, we explore the character of persuasion in environmental themes. Every member of the class writes every week, and we all read what everyone writes every week. It makes no difference whether you are a would-be journalist, scientist, environmental advocate, or policy maker. The goal is to rework your writing and sharpen your perceptions, both sensory and intellectual.

Biome Evolution (EEB 730 - Open to Undergraduates), Michael Donoghue, Contact Instructor for Course Meeting Details  Phylogenetic analyses – in combination with data on climate and other environmental variables – are yielding new insights into the assembly of biomes through time.  The aim of this course is to critically evaluate this literature in the hopes of extracting generalities and framing new research directions.  The focus will be on plants, but other groups of organisms will gladly be considered.  The course will be conducted as a graduate student seminar, featuring weekly discussions led by participating students.   


Campus Events

Tuesday, September 3rd

  • Yale Himalaya Initiative Welcome Reception | 6:00 - 9:00 | Luce Hall

Thursday, September 5th

  • Lia Yahaya: Oil Sector Reform in Nigeria | 5:00 | Kroon Hall, Room 319 | Summary: Conversation with World Fellow and Team Leader of the Facility for Oil Sector Transparency and Reform in Nigeria

Future Events: Mark  Your Calendars!

  • International Food Sovereignty Conference | Sept. 14 -15 | Details: www.yale.edu/agrarianstudies/foodsovereignty
  • Africa's Green Future: Nurturing the Vision of Wangari Maathai | Sept. 19 - 20 | Register: http://africasgreenfuture.eventbrite.com
  • Yale Food Systems Symposium | Oct. 18 - 19 | yalefoodsymposium.org


GreenSkills Internships for Fall 2013  The Urban Resources Initiative’s GreenSkills program is hiring Planting Crew Trainers to teach teams of New Haven high school students and/or adults with barriers to employment how to plant large trees.  Never planted a tree before?  That’s ok!  Paid training is provided.  It’s a great opportunity to get outside, learn about New Haven, and impact the city in a positive way.  See below for job descriptions.

Planting Crew Trainer ($14.00/hour- Level 5 Wage)
Lead a crew of adults with barriers to employment in tree planting and stewardship.  You will work alongside an experienced URI staff member.  Job duties include but are not limited to the following:

  • Teaching your six-person planting crew about urban ecology, tree planting, and stewardship;
  • Leading mini-classes in the field about various environmental topics;
  • Instilling and modeling a positive attitude and work ethic in your crew;
  • Driving large trucks with trees and navigating throughout the City of New Haven to multiple planting sites;
  • Assisting the bobcat operator in tree loading to prepare for next planting day.

Logistics Coordinator (office position) ($15.00/hour)
The qualified applicant will have strong Excel skills, excellent communication skills, and superb organizational skills. GIS experience is preferred, but not required. Attention to detail is mandatory. The Logistics Coordinator will maintain planting data in excel, schedule tree plantings, create weekly planting maps and planting lists, notify tree requesters of planting dates, and report planting locations to Call Before You Dig.

To apply, please send your resume to the GreenSkills Manager, Margaret Carmalt, at margaret.carmaltATyale.edu. For questions, she can be reached at 203-432-6189.