December 7, 2016

Current Students

Joshua Kesling, Western Resource Fellow | Josh is a Master of Environmental Management candidate at Yale School of the Environment, broadly studying conservation ecology, riverine ecosystems, and recreation management. Within the discipline, he examines how human-nature interactions like recreation uses and wildlife conflicts drive freshwater resource use changes. Josh understands the important role freshwater-based recreation and tourism play in fueling local and regional economies and natural identities, but he contends that unsustainable patterns of resource usage imperil sensitive species and ecosystems. He grew up in Ohio, where the shallowest of the Great Lakes resides and the world’s largest walleye fishery persists. Some of the most formative years in Josh’s life occurred when he moved to Northern Utah. He began to consider the nexus of contentious environmental water transactions, explosive recreational industries, and mountain dweller ways of life. In his freetime, Josh loves to explore harbors, hike seashores, climb mountains in search of alpine wetlands, and write poetry.  See what Josh has been up to.   |   |  Blog

Aya Ochiai, Western Resource Fellow | Aya Ochiai is a student in Yale college majoring in mechanical engineering and environmental studies, concentrating in energy and its human and environmental impacts. She grew up in the Skagit Valley (i.e. not Seattle) of Washington State, between the beautiful Puget Sound and the North Cascade Mountains. She is passionate about industrial and nuclear history especially in the American West, as well as the importance of local, place-based knowledge systems. In her free time, Aya enjoys playing ukulele, dancing, and woodworking/metalworking. You can reach Aya at  See what Aya has been up to.   |  Blog

Ingrid Thyr, Western Resource Fellow | Ingrid is a Master of Environmental Management candidate specializing in ecosystem management and conservation. Before coming to Yale School of the Environment, she lived in Montana and Minnesota and worked in outdoor education and cross-country ski raced professionally. She completed her B.A. in environmental studies and mathematics from Williams College. She is excited to combine her passions for data, people, and the outdoors to better understand how to contribute to sustainable and equitable communities and ecosystems.  See what Ingrid has been up to.   |  Blog

Alex Wells, Research Assistant and Western Resource Fellow | Alex is a Masters of Environmental Management candidate at Yale School of the Environment, specializing in ecosystem management and conservation. Having grown up in the Roaring Fork Valley of western Colorado, his passions and priorities are centered on the Mountain West and how its ecological systems can be adapted to the climate crisis in a way that helps both ecosystems and people. Alex holds a B.A. in Conservation Biology from Middlebury College and spent the four years prior to Yale coordinating wildlife-focused citizen science projects in Vermont and Colorado. In his freetime, Alex enjoys playing guitar and running up, down, and around mountains.  See what Alex has been up to.  |  Blog

Alaina Geibig, Research Assistant and WCC Coordinator | Alaina is a Master of Environmental Management candidate interested in joint land and water management in the working landscapes of the Rocky Mountains. Prior to attending Yale School of the Environment, Alaina explored the intersection of food cultivation and conservation through a variety of AmeriCorps positions in rural Colorado. These experiences were pivotal in identifying Alaina’s deep-seated value for authentic, place-based knowledge systems harbored by farmers and ranchers. Her education supports that it has always been about relationships; she holds a B.A. in psychology from the University of Puget Sound. In her free time, you can find Alaina (and her dog) playing outside on skis, bikes, or foot.  See what Alaina has been up to.  |  Blog

Aidan Lyde, Research Assistant and WCC Coordinator | Aidan is a Master of Environmental Management candidate at Yale School of the Environment focusing on water resources management and environmental policy analysis. Prior to YSE, Aidan worked for organizations including the U.S. Department of the Interior, Colorado General Assembly, and Colorado State University Extension. His interests include watershed stressors, policy, and water augmentation in the Colorado River Basin, wildfire risk mitigation planning in wildfire-vulnerable communities in Colorado, ways to effectively communicate environmental problems and sustainable solutions to the public, and environmental youth activism. Originally from Colorado, Aidan holds a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies from Colorado State University. In his free time, Aidan enjoys the outdoors through hiking, skiing, camping, and photography.  See what Aidan has been up to.  |  Blog

Madeline Gupta – Communications and Website Coordinator | Madeline Gupta is a student in Yale College studying computing science and ethnicity, race, and migration. She manages the website, graphics, and communications for UHPSI. Before working for UHPSI, she programmed for Kode with Klossy, an organization that teaches young gender minorities in computer science to code, and Indigenizing the News, a newsletter focused on elevating Native American issues and educating non-Native allies. Madeline is a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and is interested in Indigenous advocacy, specifically in STEM and the environment. You can reach Madeline at, or on Linkedin.