Fellows

Background on the Program

TFD Fellows work with The Forests Dialogue (TFD) Steering Committee member and Dialogue Participant organizations to develop solutions and conduct research on pressing issues in the forest sector. Masters students from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies who are accepted into the program conduct 10-12 week fellowships from May-August, giving them the chance to integrate themselves into the life of their partner organization and to form part of TFD’s initiatives. The 2015 TFD Fellows and organizations are:

Shaadee Ahmadnia 
Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture & Natural Resource Management (WOCAN)
Nepal

Shaadee Ahmadnia bio photoShaadee is currently pursuing her Masters of Environmental Management at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Prior to graduate school, she studied the tropical ecologies of Brazil, Malaysia, Thailand, Ecuador, and Vietnam. She received her B.A. double majoring in Environmental Biology and International Studies at the University of La Verne, in Southern California. Her work with the Associacão Mico-Leão-Dourado (The Golden Lion Tamarin Association) and her accompanying thesis, “Animal Dispersion and Man-Made Corridors in the Coastal Forests of the São João River Basin, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil” underlie her desire to work in stakeholder engagement and address the social as well as biological factors that influence the efficacy of conservation efforts. Currently at Yale, she works with the Governance, Environment, and Markets Initiative (GEM). She will spend her summer in Thailand and Nepal working with Women Organized for Change in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management (WOCAN). During her time at the organization, Shaadee will work closely with WOCAN’s marketing team to develop materials and strategies to promote corporate investment into the W+ Standard, which is made up of units that reflect social and economic empowerment for women.  You can find Shaadee on Twitter, where she tweets as @ShaadeeAhmadnia

Apurva Mathur 
Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture & Natural Resource Management (WOCAN)
Thailand

Apurva Mathur is a Master of Environmental Management candidate interested in sustainable livelihoods and social entrepreneurship. Prior to her studies at Yale School of Environment and Forestry, she was a consultant in the sustainability and climate change team of PricewaterhouseCoopers Pvt Ltd,India. Her work primarily focused on sustainability strategy and reporting. Apurva’s role as a consultant motivated her to get associated with projects that have the potential to create a tangible impact on local communities and the environment. She will be working with WOCAN (Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture & Natural Resource Management) as a intern during summer 2015 to develop the business plan for their standard W plus which is aimed at generating quantifiable impact on the social and economic empowerment of women.

Apurva doubled majored in Zoology and Botany from St.Xavier’s College in Mumbai, India and has a MBA (Business Sustainability) degree from TERI University located in New Delhi, India.

Marco Pau 
Association for the Preservation of the Upper Itajaí Valley (Apremavi)
Brazil

Marco is a student at the Yale School of Management majoring in Business Administration and Management. Having grown up in Sardinia, Italy, he graduated Summa Cum Laude in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Cagliari. He worked in the energy sector at Alstom Power Switzerland as Research and Development Engineer, before moving to Brussels, where he pursued a Ph.D in Applied Science at the Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics. After graduating with high honors, he carried out extensive research on transonic flows applied to aeronautics and propulsion systems and he authored journals publications in the domain of gas turbine engines and transonic flows. He also gathered experience in management at Westinghouse Electric Company prior to attending Yale. Marco is also interested in European Affairs, and he has been playing an active role at the Think Tank European Horizons and at the European Student Conference at Yale. He fluently speaks Italian, English, French and Spanish. 

Sarah Tolbert
Forest Peoples Programme
Democratic Republic of the Congo

Sarah Tolbert is a second year dual degree MEM and M.A. in global affairs student. She worked for 2 years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin organizing farmer’s co-operatives and promoting sustainable agriculture practices. Wanting to use her new skills in French and managing projects overseas, she stayed in Benin to work with the non-profit Songhai and the Government of Benin’s rural agriculture extension agency. She was in charge of creating a micro-lending program for women farmers and worked closely with women farming groups to install easy to use irrigation systems. Upon returning to the states, Sarah took her field-work experience and explored agriculture and international development from a different angle, working with the International Food Policy Research Institute. For her MEM, she researched the impacts of protected areas on local livelihoods with the International Gorilla Conservation Programme in Rwanda and Uganda. As a TFD Fellow, she is working with different stakeholders who each have their own idea of what is best for both conservation and people in the Kahuzi-Biega landscapes. She will also be exploring how the recent community forest law supports indigenous peoples and ways the policy can be improved to incorporate indigenous knowledge. At Yale, Sarah focuses her studies on ways to better incorporate conservation practices into international food policy and development programs, particularly in the Congo Basin.

Tyler Gibson
The Forests Dialogue
​New Haven, CT

Tyler is a rising first year Masters of Environmental Management student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Prior to joining Yale and TFD, Tyler spent two years working at blue moon fund, an endowed philanthropic foundation in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he worked on both bmf’s climate change and conservation grant-making programs in geographies ranging from Peru to China. During his time at bmf, Tyler developed an interest in innovative business and financial models that can be used for sustainable development in the developing world, particularly those that simultaneously improve livelihoods and environmental outcomes, and he hopes to further explore these issues at Yale. Previously, Tyler was a research assistant at the Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum, where he examined the challenges posed by the water-energy nexus in China. Originally from Houston, Texas, Tyler has a BA in International Politics and Economics from Middlebury College in Vermont. Tyler speaks Chinese and Spanish and is an avid traveler, soccer fan, and music enthusiast. You can find him on Twitter at @TylerGibson.