Four students from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES) have been named recipients of Switzer Environmental Fellowships, a prestigious program that supports future environmental leaders.
’17 M.E.M./M.B.A., Jasmine Hyman
, a doctoral student, Sumit Kadakia
’16 M.F./M.B.A., and Ariana Spawn
’16 M.E.M. are among 22 students
to receive the honor.
The environmental fellowship program is a core program of the Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation
, a nonprofit organization that invests in individuals and organizations that drive positive environmental change across a range of disciplines. Fellows are selected from universities across New England and California.
Recipients receive a $15,000 award for academic study and leadership training. The Yale scholars also join a network of more than 560 Fellows located across the U.S. and the world.
is a dual degree candidate at F&ES and the Yale School of Management. A born-and-raised Appalachian, his ancestral roots reach back to the late 18th century in the remote coal mining mountains of eastern Kentucky. Prior to attending Yale, Nathan was deeply involved in several initiatives focused on transitioning Appalachia toward a more ecologically and economically sustainable future, including reforestation of lands disfigured by mountaintop removal mining, development of local food systems, and community-scale renewable energy. As a graduate student, he is exploring pathways to expand these efforts to a more impactful scale by leveraging diverse capital structures through philanthropy, private equity, and debt, as well as through innovative land ownership and management structures. His work will continue to be focused on the coalfields of Appalachia, with an interest in collaborative projects involving similar post-extraction regions around the world. He holds a self-designed B.A. in Sustainable Agricultural & Industrial Management from Berea College and is a 2010-2011 Watson Fellow.
, who is completing her Ph.D. at F&ES, seeks to identify design principles for global climate finance models that promote equitable development and social justice. She serves as an Economic Affairs Officer at the United Nations Department of Economics and Social Affairs, where she is assisting in the preparations for the third international Finance for Development Conference, which will set the agenda for aid targets and clarify the architecture for north-south financial flows for the next fifteen years. Her work is directly linked to her core research questions: How does the global sustainable development agenda translate to the environmental, social, and economic realities of the world’s poor? And how can climate-compatible development funds be more effectively channeled towards the end user? Prior to coming to Yale, she was the director of Programs and Partnerships at the Gold Standard Foundation, a certification schema for greenhouse gas emission-reduction projects under the Kyoto Protocol’s offset scheme and for the voluntary carbon offset markets in the U.S. and Australia. She earned a B.A in Urban Studies at Columbia University in 2001.
, a dual degree candidate at F&ES and the Yale School of Management, is an environmental entrepreneur dedicated to increasing the availability of funding for sustainable energy, agriculture and forestry projects. His studies include understanding the fundamentals of forest ecosystem function and conservation finance. Previously, he worked at the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) where he led early stage investing in clean energy projects. Prior to MassCEC, he managed fundraising efforts and new project development for Emergent Ventures, a carbon finance firm based outside of New Delhi. He began his career as a Business Analyst at McKinsey & Co in Chicago where he worked with financial service companies and directed internal carbon abatement efforts for North America. A native of North Carolina, he holds a B.S. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
is an M.E.M. candidate interested in strengthening science-based and participatory management of coastal and ocean environments. Through her graduate work, she is studying how the U.S. policy process functions at local, regional, and national levels in order to better understand the challenges and opportunities in marine policy and management. This summer, Ariana is interning with the National Ocean Council at the White House Council on Environmental Quality. She also works with the Environmental Performance Index team at Yale and serves as program assistant for the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies. Before coming to Yale, she was a research associate with the Environmental Law Institute in New Orleans, La., and Washington, D.C., focusing primarily on Deepwater Horizon
oil spill recovery in the Gulf of Mexico. She has a B.S. in biology from Brown University.