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School Mission

The Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies aspires to lead the world toward a sustainable future with cutting-edge research, teaching, and public engagement on society’s evolving and urgent environmental challenges.

Our mission is grounded in seven fundamental values:

Excellence We promote and engage in pathbreaking science, policy, and business models that build on a fundamental commitment to analytic rigor, data, intellectual integrity, and excellence.

Leadership We attract outstanding students nationally and internationally and offer a pioneering curriculum that defines the knowledge and skills needed to be a twenty-first-century environmental leader in a range of professions.

Sustainability We generate knowledge that will advance thinking and understanding across the various dimensions of sustainability.

Community We offer a community that finds strength in its collegiality, diversity, independence, and commitment to excellence and lifelong learning.

Diversity We celebrate our differences and identify pathways to a sustainable future that respects diverse values including equity, liberty, and civil discourse.

Collaboration We foster collaborative learning, professional skill development, and problem solving—and we strengthen our scholarship, teaching, policy work, and outreach through partnerships across the university and beyond.

Responsibility We encourage environmental stewardship and responsible behavior on campus and beyond.

In pursuit of our mission, we:

  • • Build on more than a century of work bringing science-based strategies, ethical considerations, and conservation practices to natural resource management.
  • • Approach problems on a systems basis and from interdisciplinary perspectives.
  • • Integrate theory and practice—and provide innovative solutions to society’s most pressing environmental problems.
  • • Address environmental challenges at multiple scales from local to global and multiple settings from urban to rural and from managed to wild—including working lands and landscapes.
  • • Draw on the depth of resources at Yale and the network of alumni that extends across the world.
  • • Create opportunities for research and policy application as well as professional development through a structure of faculty-led centers and programs.
  • • Provide a neutral forum to convene conversations on difficult issues that are critical to progress on sustainability.
  • • Bring special focus on the most significant threats to a sustainable future including climate change, the corresponding need for clean energy, and the increasing stresses on our natural resources.

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