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Atayac

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  1. Like most here I'm trying to decide between two great programs. I was accepted to UC Berkeley's Environmental Science, Policy, and Management PhD program with full funding + stipend, as well as Yale's Masters of Environmental Management program with partial funding covering approximately half of my costs. I have several scholarships lined up which could theoretically (if awarded) cover the rest of the costs should I choose Yale-- it would just mean more leg work on my part. I would ultimately like to start an environmental consulting firm to assist Tribes with the development of resource management plans and environmental policies, and feel getting my PhD will help secure funding to accomplish that goal. Berkeley is one of the top ranked universities for environmental science and I feel I could learn a lot from the professor I would be working with. On the other hand, I have been told by numerous people that by going to Yale I will have access to their alumni which could open doors and provide opportunities that would otherwise be hard to come by. It also seems like Yale has closer ties to Washington than Berkeley, and while I don't necessarily want to work in DC, I think it would be beneficial to have connections there for what I want to do. I have visited both schools and both have positives and negatives that about equal out regarding the overall atmosphere and "fit". I am leaning toward Berkeley simply because they offered me more funding, and it's a great program. However, I am worried that if it doesn't provide me the opportunity to network with the right people that I won't have another opportunity, i.e. by earning another degree, and I will stuck there for at least 5 years. Whereas, at Yale I would spend two years getting my masters then if I wanted a change I could always re-apply to Berkeley for my PhD. Anyone have strong opinions or advice on either school and/or program? This forum is aptly named; it's down to the wire and I'm soliciting any and all input I can find. Thanks in advance for your help!
  2. Hi! Thanks for joining the discussion. Your focus on climate mitigation and social equity sounds really interesting and I can understand your concern with Evans having a stronger focus on environmental economics (for example) than social equity. I should note that haven't visited the program which means I'm basing my understanding of the program solely on the website. But I also had a difficult time finding faculty at Evans that seemed focused on my interest area (tribal natural resource governance). Whereas, at Berkeley the professor I would be working with wrote a book on Indigenous water resource issues. So I agree that you will find a closer faculty interest and support for some of the more progressive ideas you're working on at Berkeley. Plus Goldman looks like a really great program-- I nearly applied there too, but decided on the ESPM PhD instead. That said, and I'm sure you've thought of this as well, where you choose to go to school also depends on where you're interested in establishing a network and potentially working in the future. Does Evans present some important networks for you? Are you interested in working in the Pacific Northwest? Looks like you have applied to a number of places across the U.S. so maybe you're still thinking of where you want to end up. It is hard to be sure at this stage. Somethings I'm asking myself are what credentials (for lack of a better) are going to help me in the future? I don't want to live or work in New York, but I envision working with folks from DC often, and I feel like having a reputable school like Columbia on my resume might open more doors than UW in those circles. The same would be true of Yale and Duke, which you've applied to. BTW, did you apply to the Yale FES MEM? I applied there and can't stand the wait since I have heard from everywhere else. Anyhow, I think Evans has fallen to the bottom of my list, but I haven't completely taken it off the table. If you think of some great reasons to attend I would love to hear about it. I'm currently looking at deferring Berkeley a year to complete an MPA at Columbia.
  3. That makes sense. I visited SIPA this past weekend and the faculty are amazing. I sat in on an energy policy class that had a guest lecturer, Jeff Kupfer, who was DOE Chief of Staff under George W. Really amazing experience as there were only ~20 students in the class and it was organized in a round table fashion where we directed the discussion along with the faculty who asked some really pointed questions that cut to the heart of issues. I was really impressed. Plus the proximity of the school to DC and the international connections with the UN make SIPA a serious contender for me. Not to mention they offered more financial support than UW. Don't know much about the other programs your applying to, but can say Columbia convinced me. Good luck!
  4. I'm no authority on the issue so please take this with a grain of salt, but if you weren't invited to the visit day your chances are probably thin. I met someone who was at the visit day but was still wait-listed.
  5. I applied, went to the visit day, and was notified via email that I was officially admitted on February 9th. I know of some folks who went to visit day but still haven't been notified of admission, so I'm not sure where things stand. Best of luck to you none the less!
  6. Hello all! I saw a few others recently admitted to the UW Evans MPA program for Fall 2018, and thought I'd start a discussion thread to meet each other and discuss various aspects of the school and thoughts on the decision-making process. Where else have you applied/been admitted? Are you leaning one way or another about Evans? What do you want to specialize in/what's your interest area? Any other background info you want to share. I'd love to get to know one another a little better as I myself am struggling with making a decision. A bit about me: I also applied and have been accepted to Berkeley's Environmental, Science, Policy and Management PhD program, and Columbia University's SIPA MPA in Environmental Science program (I cast a wide net). As is kinda obvious from the other programs I applied to I'm interested in environmental policy, which was my big draw to Evans, as well as the concurrent degree option (I also applied to the UW FES MS program and think I got in- haven't heard officially, but was invited to a "prospective student visit day"). I grew up in the Seattle area but currently live in Utah. I'd be happy to talk about Seattle and PNW in general if folks have any questions on that as well. Anyway, hope some other recently admitted folks find this and want to connect! Looking forward to talking to y'all!
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