Field Notes: Sustainability, corporations, and the common good

Chaitrali Ketkale, a graduate student in sustainability science at the School of Earth & Sustainability, has been spending the summer on a fellowship from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), one of the world’s largest environmental advocacy groups.    Ketkale is working in the New York office of Cushman & Wakefield, a global, multibillion-dollar commercial real estate firm. She is set to graduate at the end of the year with a master of science degree in sustainability science, which is designed to create interdisciplinary problem-solvers and prepare students for sustainability-focused positions in industry, government or nonprofits. We asked Ketkale how she has worked toward this fellowship over her academic career.  How did you arrive at corporate social responsibility as a track for your studies and career?  A combination of several factors came together to push me here — primarily my education and family. My father leads sustainability initiatives at Toyota India, which gave me a ringside view to how companies are trying to make a positive change and reduce their carbon footprints. Also, in my undergrad studies in biotechnology, I choose to focus on...
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Transforming agriculture — and poverty — in Africa

Alumna receives prestigious honor for sustainable, science-based leadership  Agnes Matilda Kalibata, who earned a Ph.D. in entomology at UMass Amherst in 2005, has been selected to receive the 2019 National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Public Welfare Medal.    Kalibata was chosen for the award based on her work to drive Africa’s agricultural transformation through modern science and effective policy, helping to lift more than a million Rwandans out of poverty and scaling impacts for millions more African farmers.  Since 2014, Kalibata has been president of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), an African-led organization founded by former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan that works with public and private partners to promote rapid, inclusive, sustainable agricultural growth and food security.  As president of AGRA, Kalibata leads a staff of more than 200 across 11 priority countries—one of the largest pools of agricultural scientists and specialists in Africa—and works with global, regional, and national partners to drive a portfolio of investments worth more than $500 million.   “Under her leadership, a remarkable agricultural...
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UMass Amherst Ecologists Find Wild Bush Dog, a Native of South American Forests, in Remote Central Costa Rica

UMass Amherst Ecologists Find Wild Bush Dog, a Native of South American Forests, in Remote Central Costa Rica

UMass Amherst Ecologists Find Wild Bush Dog, a Native of South American Forests, in Remote Central Costa Rica Trail cam documents unexpected, most northerly sighting of pack-hunting canids May 23, 2019 Contact: Todd Fuller 413/545-4723   AMHERST, Mass. – Wildlife ecologists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who are studying different conservation practices in the forests of Costa Rica recently made a startling discovery on a wildlife camera trap – wild bush dogs documented farther north than ever before and at the highest elevation. Doctoral student Carolina Saenz-Bolaños is in Costa Rica comparing land use, management techniques, their effects on species presence and abundance, and human attitudes in four different areas in the rugged Talamanca Mountains: a national park, an adjacent forest reserve, an indigenous territory and nearby unprotected areas. She and her advisor, professor of environmental conservation Todd Fuller at UMass Amherst, with others, report in an article today in Tropical Conservation Science the new, repeated sightings of bush dogs (Speothos venaticus) on trailcams well outside the limit of their...
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