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Youth Environmental Alliance in Higher Education (YEAH!) Network


Vanderbilt University is a founding member of the Youth Environmental Alliance in Higher Education (YEAH!), a NSF-supported network of colleges and universities across the country, with international partners, formed to educate and inspire the next generation of sustainability leaders in science and policy. YEAH-network partners teach interdisciplinary science and policy courses, using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as platforms for discovery and learning. The network operates primarily in a virtual environment, collaborating in both small and larger teams across institutions, cultures, and continents to develop learning curricula and share best practices. Courses are taught at individual institutions but also synchronously in shared environments between institutions, so that students from network institutions form close connections, collaborate on meaningful projects, and develop professionally.

The YEAH network focuses on three primary areas:

  • Student learning Fellowships
  • The annual Youth Global Conference
  • Participation at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

To learn more about the work of the YEAH Network, see below:

YEAH Student Fellows

Graduate and undergraduate students apply to participate in the YEAH network as a YEAH Fellow. YEAH Fellows work together in teams across institutions to engage in professional development activities, undertake projects consistent with the learning objectives of the Fellow, and engage with the YEAH PI-s and other student Fellows. Stipends are typically available to support participation for both summer and semester fellows. To learn more about applying to become a YEAH Fellow, click here.

YEAH Global Youth Conference

The YEAH Global Youth Conference occurs annually in April and provides an opportunity for undergraduates and graduates to present their sustainability related work at a professional conference. The Conference is entirely student led and student run. Students must submit abstracts, a student-abstract review team is assembled to select panelists, and students' moderate the panels. The 2021 Conference occurred in April with over 200 attendees from nearly every continent. To learn more about the YEAH Global Conferences, click here.


The international climate change negotiations, conducted annually since 1994 under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, provides the real world venue for students to participate at the nexus of policy and science in action. Nearly 200 UNFCCC member nations come together annually to make progress on climate change. The YEAH Network takes students to attend these negotiations which are hotbeds of discovery of learning. Students observe nation-state negotiations in real time, attend and even present their views and work at press conferences and on discussion panels on the international stage, attend academic, technical and other presentations, and quickly develop a deepened sense of global connectedness. For more information, click here.