The Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the National University of Singapore have a little more in common than a typical Yalie might think.
Environment School Dean Gustave Speth has been named a Lee Kuan Yew Distinguished Fellow for 2005 by NUS and will travel to Singapore today and present lectures at the university, Nanyang Technical University and the Singapore Environment Council over the next 10 days. Speth’s selection marks the latest connection between the two schools, in addition to various faculty exchanges,
The fellowship program is named after the former prime minister of Singapore and is offered to internationally acclaimed scholars. This year’s program will feature Speth’s lecture “The Severity of Climate Risks, the Business Community, and the Coming Technical Revolution,” which will address the need for an urgent response to global climate change and how businesses can adapt to meet environmental issues.
He will also address the gravity of major global environmental concerns, what approaches have been taken to alleviate these problems and their rate of success. The lectures mostly stem from Speth’s recent book “Red Sky at Morning” and will be free and open to the general public.
“I hope to learn a lot and advance our partnership with the National University of Singapore,” Speth said.
NUS and FES have been working toward a partnership since July 2001. A memorandum of understanding was signed into effect in 2001 to “promote closer cooperation in teaching and research in the field of environmental management and to establish an international partnership toward that objective.”
Speth’s fellowship is hoped to advance the partnership between the two universities, FES Director of Communications David DeFusco said.
“This exchange is more based on that [FES] already has a partnership with the School of Design and Environment at NUS, which has an outstanding degree program in environmental management,” DeFusco said.
Another example of the growing partnership between FES and NUS is Lye Lin Heng’s appointment as a visiting associate professor at Yale. Heng will be at the University for three weeks teaching a new two-credit course at FES entitled “Comparative Environmental Law.” She was also a visiting professor last spring. Additionally, Marian Chertow, an assistant professor with the environmental school’s Industrial Environmental Management Program, has spent a term in Singapore at NUS.
University officials said they are proud of these continued efforts at building a relationship with NUS.
“[The fellowship] is certainly appropriate in Dean Speth’s case, as he has done some pioneering work in the environmental area,” President Richard Levin said after dining with the president of NUS on Tuesday evening during his trip to South Asia.