Sunday, July 17, 2005

Importance of a Sensei

For a while now I have been hearing about the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

However, as many graduate students have told me, the importance lies not in the school but on who your advisor is. Yes, the importance of the age old concept of a "sensei". The master of whom I shall be apprentice to. The wizard of which I will be mickey mouse... O_O"

Honestly, today is the first time I looked into the program at Yale and damn I am really impressed by the following three faculty.

Prof William R. Burch, Jr
Professor of Natural Resource Management, and Social and POlicy Studies.
His work on wildland recreation behavior was among the earliest, and it has expanded to include parks, biosphere reserves, and ecotourist regions in rural and urban areas in Asia, South America, and Europe, as well as in North America.
He conducted some of the original work on community/social forestry systems, which continues with work in Nepal, Thailand, China, and inner cities of the United States. Community forestry strategies for urban neighborhoods have been applied since 1989.
Another area of research and application has been in developing a unified ecosystem management approach that fully includes human behavioral variables.

--> He does qualify some of my interests. Ecotourism, community forestry (but less indigenous knowledge) and a holistic management system that includes humans on top of biophysical concerns. He does work in Asia which is important.

Prof Carol Carpenter
Lecturer in Natural Resource Social Science and Anthropology.
Dr. Carpenter’s teaching and research interests focus on theories of social ecology, social aspects of sustainable development and conservation, and gender in agrarian and ecological systems. She spent four years in Indonesia engaged in household and community-level research on rituals and social networks. Her current interests involve the invisibility of women’s economic activities in agrarian households and the implications of this invisibility for sustainable development.
--> All that "social ecology" thing... I'm not sure what it means. Is that what budak was dissing? I like the sustainable development in community level. There's this woman gender ecofeminism thing which I am not part of but should be? It does involve sustainabel development and it may not be my interest but i recognize its importance. It's calling out to my weak feminist instincts. Satisfied the asia criteria as well. Erm... Poorest of my 3 choices.

Prof Michael R. Dove
Professor of Social Ecology
Professor Dove’s research focuses on the links between the resource-use systems of local communities and wider societies, between urban and rural, rich and poor, and less- and more-developed countries, with a special focus on the environmental relations of local communities. He spent two years in a tribal longhouse in Borneo studying swidden agriculture...
Recent collaborative research, funded by the MacArthur Foundation, examines the relationship between biodiversity and society in Southeast Asia. Other research and teaching interests include: human use of tropical forests and grasslands; the global circulation of environmental concepts; political dimensions of natural disaster and resource degradation; indigenous environmental knowledge; contemporary and historical environmental relations in South and Southeast Asia; the study of developmental and environmental institutions, discourses, and movements; and the sociology of resource-related sciences.

--> Again that social ecology thing. O_O" I would normally have thought it a good thing. Am i confusing it with social evolution? whatever. This is one of the strongest contenders - Dove or Burch. He has my favourite indigenous knowledge, rich-poor relationships, focus on asia, political ecology, study of NGO and global institutions, local communities... only problem is he doesn't do ecotourism and he's more on agrarian stuff (which is fine...) but... hmm who sounds stronger? Dove sounds a lot like Dr Carl actually O_O"

Indigenous work vs ecotourism. ARGH! WHICH DO I CHOOSE?

[update: reading through that again, im leaning towards ecotourism but im still torn. both dove and burch can do indigenous ecotourism. sianz.]

[update 2: refer to this phd student page where the main advisors seem to be Burch, Dove and this guy Kellert. Dove has a lot of students under him. And one of them is ecotourism. Sigh. dunno lah sianz. Besides, what the f am i going to be doing my phd on? lol ubin? haha yeah right. how badly do i want to do this? it's gotta mean a lot of time spent in some ulu asian country. sigh. i don't think im at that level yet.]

[update 3: getting quite depressed. sigh. don't think im ready to look at PHD. maybe just do masters first? sianz. did u know NUS has an env mgmt course? and theres always Schmacher college in Devon, UK. Or Yale straight away? There are scholarships for SEA students... but most of the PHD students listed are americans from the east coast, one california, one pakistani, 3 latinas. THATS IT!? grrr]

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