Jason Yongwoo Lee
Jason Yongwoo Lee
Professional with 5 years’ experience in quantitative and qualitative analysis. Pursuing master’s degree to address water resource planning, common pool resources, decision-making under uncertainty, and water rights policy in the U.S. West.
What is your previous work experience?
I was lucky to write for the local paper, the Independent Weekly, right out of undergrad. I feel like I spent the next four years of my life thinking about the things I saw, heard, and thought and wrote about here in the Triangle. After I left, I worked in marketing and sales for a tech startup, then I taught SAT prep for the Princeton Review. For the past one and a half years though I’ve been in D.C., working for a semi-famous indie bookstore called Politics & Prose, as a bookseller and as a finance associate.
Why did you choose the Nicholas School?
The Nicholas School stood out for its forward-thinking spirit. There was an obvious excitement to explore innovative and interdisciplinary solutions. Plus I was ecstatic about getting back to Durham!
Do you have any areas of interest or special focus you will undertake during your time at the Nicholas School?
I'm interested in why people make the environmental decisions that they do. What are the institutions or incentives at play, and how could we make them better? For instance, could we use behavioral/experimental economics like healthcare has? Or have institutional designs that leverage local social or cultural practices? In my ideal future, everyone will be an environmentalist even if they don't know it.
What are you looking forward to as a new Nicholas School student?
I'm most excited about hearing what my classmates have to say about environmental problems and solutions, and why they ended up at the Nicholas School. My undergrad majors were English literature and Economics, and with my winding journey here I'm arriving with certain perspectives that are only a slice of the full set of perspectives. That's the beauty and challenge of environmental problems, that they're so complex and broadly relevant that we need talented people from all over.
What are you doing this summer before you arrive at the Nicholas School?
Living as ideal a normal life as possible. Doing my 9-5 routine, reading books, board game nights with friends, playing violin, photography, going to museums and concerts… All the things that will get squeezed to the margins for the next 2 years.
Leadership: Duke University Graduate & Professional Student Council – Nicholas School Representative, Physical and Mental Health Task Force Member, Duke University Council for the Arts Graduate Student Representative
Rutgers University, Dec 2014
Bachelor of Arts, May 2011
Student Researcher, Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment, Durham, NC
Project Innovator, Duke Interdisciplinary Social Innovators, Keep Durham Beautiful Anti-Littering Initiative, Durham, NC
Finance Associate / Bookseller, Politics & Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC
Research Assistant, Rutgers University Dept. of Human Ecology, New Brunswick, NJ
Freelance Writer, The Independent Weekly, Durham, NC
Award ● Norman L. Christensen, Jr. Fellow
Hometown ● Belle Mead, New Jersey
Undergraduate Institute ● Duke University