Op-Ed: A Call to Arms at Yale F&ES


To the Yale F&ES Community,

With all due respect, if you think that the current Occupy Wall Street movement has nothing to do with you, you must have been asleep in all of your classes.

Just as a reminder, here is the Mission of the School (quoted directly from the F&ES website): 

The Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies prepares new leadership and creates new knowledge to sustain and restore the long-term health of the biosphere and the well-being of its people.

We recognize that environmental challenges are increasingly international and seek to build a truly global school of the environment.

We believe that the human enterprise can and must be conducted in harmony with the environment, using natural resources in ways that sustain both resources and ourselves.

We believe that solving environmental problems must incorporate human values and motivations and a deep respect for both human and natural communities.

We seek to integrate concern for Earth’s ecosystems with equal concern for social equity.

We believe that a school of the environment must also be a school of sustainable development.

We find strength in our collegiality, diversity, independence, and commitment to excellence.

We educate women and men to guide human activity at the local, national, and global levels with a comprehensive understanding of the environmental, economic, and social effects of their choices.

We create new knowledge in the science of sustainability and new methods of applying that knowledge to the challenge of environmental management, the restoration of degraded environments, and the pursuit of sustainable development.

We collaborate with all sectors of society to achieve fair and effective solutions to environmental problems.

For over one hundred years, first as a pioneering school of forestry, Yale has marshaled the expertise of diverse disciplines in the service of responsible stewardship of the environment. As the world’s population grows and development accelerates, conserving the beauty, diversity, and integrity of the natural world becomes at once more important and more challenging.

We reaffirm our belief that such conservation is a practical and moral imperative.

This is what you signed up for. This is the dialogue you are a part of whether you want to be or not. The Occupy Wall Street conversation has been added to your class reading list.

As members of an elite, privileged institution, you have been afforded the gifts of credibility and voice. Therefore, no matter what you are studying or what you believe about the Occupation, it is your responsibility to express your opinion in the forums available to you.

Please start talking.



Molly Greene

Yale F&ES Class of 2013

Austin Lord

Austin Lord is a graduate student at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, focusing in Political Ecology and Environmental Anthropology with an area concentration in Himalayan Studies. His ongoing research concerns processes of social and spatial change in areas affected by hydropower development in Nepal, with a particular focus on changing livelihoods and shifting patterns of migration and mobility. Austin spent over six months conducting fieldwork within Nepal during 2012 and 2013, focusing specifically on the upper watersheds of the Trishuli and Tamakoshi rivers, and he plans to return to Nepal in 2014-2015 to continue and expand this work. Prior to attending Yale, Austin studied Hydrology at Portland State University and received an A.B. in Economics and Studio Art from Dartmouth College. A broader collection of his photographic work (from Nepal and elsewhere) can be found at www.austinlord.com.

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