The Future of SAF: Emily Sigman
March 6, 2019
In continuing our focus on agroforestry in this edition of The Forestry Source
, we are featuring Emily Sigman, a master’s student pursuing a joint degree in forestry and global affairs at Yale University. Sigman joined SAF in 2016 and is a member of Yale’s student chapter, in addition to cofounding the Yale Agroforestry Collaborative. In her own words, she shares what attracted her to agroforestry and how this type of forestry benefits communities.
"I took an unlikely path to forestry. As an undergraduate, I studied philosophy and international studies and planned to have a career in diplomacy. However, in 2011, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer shortly after graduating from college and was forced to put my plans on hold. After learning about the connections between diet and cancer, I decided to grow my own food. I came across agroforestry as a cultivation strategy and was drawn to the idea of producing a diversity and abundance of food in ways that could also be restorative for ecosystems. I spent five years promoting integrated food-forest landscapes in Boulder, Colorado, while cofounding and managing an urban permaculture farm and affordable-housing space lovingly called Picklebric. I thankfully recovered from cancer and was inspired by the role agroforestry played in my healing. I decided to study agroforestry at Yale, so I could become a better practitioner and advocate of these transformative land practices."