Sara Santiago

Sara Santiago


Sara is pursuing a Master of Forestry degree at Yale’s School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. She aims to combine social and ecological perspectives for an interdisciplinary approach to her studies and research at F&ES and career afterward. She is most interested in the intersection of agricultural development and forest conservation in Latin America, and asking ‘what’s next’ for degraded land, whether that means secondary forest regeneration, active restoration, or alternative forms of sustainable agriculture. Her Master’s research occupies this space. Of Puerto Rican descent, Sara has been focused on forest and agriculture recovery in Cuba and Puerto Rico after Hurricanes Irma and Maria swept across the islands in 2017, with a particular interest in the resiliency of agroecology farming in Cuba. Before starting her studies, Sara worked for the International Institute of Tropical Forestry at the U.S. Forest Service in San Juan, Puerto Rico, focusing on conservation education. Previous to that, she managed the forestry program at a San Francisco-based non-profit, guiding corporations and NGOs in engaging stakeholders on forest conservation policies in pulp & paper and palm oil supply chains. She also has research experience in Honduras and Bolivia, where she focused on the ways in which indigenous communities interact with forests, rivers, and natural resources through a political ecology lens. Sara partook in these research projects while earning a B.A. from the Ohio State University in Geography and International Studies. Sara is currently serving as president of the Yale Chapter of the International Society of Tropical Foresters, is an intern at the Environmental Leadership & Training Initiative at Yale, and is a member of the International Forestry Students’ Association.

Fellow at a Glance

Fellowship Year:
Academic Background:
Yale University, MF
Current Position:
Masters candidate
International Conservation & Development
Sustainable Agriculture and Food Policy

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