School of forestry and environmental studies

School Notes: School of the Environment
September/October 2021

Ingrid C. “Indy” Burke |

Professor named to White House post

Eli Fenichel, the Knobloch Family Professor of Natural Resource Economics at YSE, has joined the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and will serve as assistant director for natural resource economics and accounting. The Office of Science and Technology Policy is part of the president’s executive office, advising the president on the scientific, engineering, and technological aspects of the economy, national security, homeland security, health, foreign relations, and the environment. Fenichel, who is on leave from Yale for the duration of the appointment, is an expert on natural capital, focusing his research on the interactions between ecological and human systems to develop economic theory related to environmental management. More specifically, his work focuses on how people can and do allocate natural resources and consider natural resource risks through time.

Experts in wildlife and environmental policy join YSE faculty

This fall, two new faculty members are joining YSE in two newly created faculty positions. 

Nyeema Harris, who researches mechanisms promoting and threatening wildlife species persistence, will be the new associate professor of wildlife and land conservation. Harris’s research explores carnivore behavior and movement, ecology, and conservation in urban systems and national parks at a global scale, with ongoing projects throughout the Americas and Africa, specifically. Her work focuses on the myriad of nature’s antagonisms including parasitism, competition, human-wildlife conflict, and predation. 

Luke Sanford, whose research examines environmental stewardship from a political science perspective, has been named the assistant professor of environmental policy and governance. He has created methods for integrating data sources, such as satellite imagery, into causal inference frameworks in his study of environmental politics. Using advances in machine learning and computer vision, Sanford extracts information on what is happening on the surface of Earth to analyze how elections affect deforestation and whether obtaining formal property rights changes how owners use their land. 

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