Paul Sabin is a professor and the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of History at Yale University. Sabin teaches and writes about environmental and energy history and U.S. political and legal history. He coordinates the Yale Environmental History working group and the Yale Environmental Humanities Program.

Sabin’s most recent book, The Bet: Paul Ehrlich, Julian Simon, and Our Gamble Over Earth’s Future (Yale University Press, 2013), tells the story of the rise of the environmental movement and the backlash against it by examining American debates over population growth and resource scarcity since the 1960s.  His first book, Crude Politics: The California Oil Market, 1900-1940 (University of California Press, 2005), explores how politics and law shaped a growing dependence on petroleum in California and the nation.  Sabin’s current research examines the evolution and impact of environmental regulation and the public interest law movement in the United States since the 1960s.

Sabin received his Ph.D. in 2000 from the University of California, Berkeley, and then spent a year as the Newcomen Post-Doctoral Fellow in business history at the Harvard Business School.  He also served for nine years as the founding executive director of the non-profit Environmental Leadership Program, which has trained and supported a collaborative network of more than 1,000 talented public leaders from higher education, government, businesses, and non-profit organizations.


Latest Updates

Successful Launch of Graduate Certificate in the Environmental Humanities

This year, Yale Environmental Humanities successfully launched its new graduate certificate program. More than twenty graduate students are participating in the inaugural yearlong workshop, “Topics in the Environmental Humanities,” drawing from a broad range of disciplines, including history, literature, anthropology, music, public health, environmental studies, etc. Some of the students shared their research at our fall graduate symposium.

Yale Environmental Humanities completes yearlong “Energy and the Humanities” thematic program

During the 2018-2019 academic year, I worked with colleagues to host a yearlong conversation on the thematic intersection of energy and the humanities. The program included roundtables and workshops featuring Yale faculty and student work, visiting speakers, two new undergraduate courses, and three conferences.

Read more about it here: https://environmentalhumanities.yale.edu/news/energy-and-humanities-report-2018-2019-programming

GRE dropped as graduate admissions requirement in Yale History

The Yale History Department successfully voted to eliminate the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) from its application requirements in April 2019. As Director of Graduate Studies, I facilitated this conversation with the goal of further opening our graduate program to a broader range of applicants and removing the GRE’s costly burden and often inequitable results.