Our Students

Students in the ESP program are dedicated to making a difference in the world.

IMG_5283_editThe program attracts students with diverse educational and cultural backgrounds, varying levels of professional experience, and a range of professional interests. Students with both science and non-science training can excel in the program. The current class represents thirteen countries. What brings them together is a desire to gain the knowledge and skills to turn their passion for the environment into real change. Over the year that they study and learn as a cohort, students form strong bonds that serve them throughout their careers. Here are some things to know about our students in academic year 2016 – 2017.

  • The average age was 25. One fifth of students was over the age of 29.
  • The female to male ratio was 55% to 45%.
  • Undergraduate majors ranged from Architecture to Zoology.
  • Students came from 13 countries on five continents.
  • More than half of all students received fellowships. The average award was nearly $16,000.

Neerada Poduval

“I am keenly aware of the issues faced on the ground and the importance of political will and buy-in from the private sector to effectively develop and implement policies. … and I know from personal experience that there is immense potential to effect positive change in this field.”

Savannah Miller

Savannah Miller has witnessed the impact of climate change on three different continents. Prior to attending Columbia, Savannah completed fieldwork in Antarctica and sub-Saharan Africa. Last year, she attended the climate negotiations at COP21, in Paris, France, as a student delegate.

Shira Yashphe

“Reading of species after species declared extinct, like the west African black rhinoceros, made me realize that if I ever want to take part in wildlife conservation efforts, the time to take action and to take part in conservation efforts is now.”

Arina Larasati Susijo

Arina Larasati Susijo has a passion for science, and was drawn to the MPA-ESP program to take advantage of learning the science behind the environmental policy issues facing her native Indonesia and the Southeast Asian region.