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Mel Lane Student Grants Program

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Applications are currently closed.


 The Mel Lane Student Grants program offers grants for Stanford student-driven-and-managed environmental projects that make a measurable impact on sustainability issues through direct activities or applied research.  Preference is given to projects that focus on environmental sustainability within one of the following topic areas: climate, ecosystem services and conservation, environmental health, environmental justice and equity, food security, freshwater, oceans, and sustainable development generally. We will also consider other areas within climate and sustainability. 

Projects should involve a group of Stanford students. As a program oriented to supporting impactful projects, your project should also engage people. This may mean a communication plan and outreach component, including to the Stanford community.  However, projects need not be confined to Stanford. Ideal are projects sponsored by ASSU student groups, which ease the financial transfer. Please note that this program does not fund thesis or dissertation research, unless very applied, for example, to support management decision making. This program is intended to support applied and impactful efforts, which may include education. We prioritize novel and burgeoning projects in search for funding to jump start their actions and activities, although we sometimes fund projects in consecutive years if growth and increased scope is clearly articulated. Typical awards range from $500 to $1,500+.

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: 5pm PST on Friday, December 1, 2023

Check out this Woods Spotlight that showcases a Mel Lane funded project from 2023!

About Mel Lane
Mel Lane was co-owner and publisher of Lane Publishing Co. and Sunset Magazine and Books. A tireless advocate for the environment, and a passionate enthusiast of Stanford, he died at home in Atherton, Calif., on July 28, 2007. He was 85.  

A university trustee from 1981 to 1991, Lane led numerous development efforts at Stanford, including establishment of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, where he was a founding member of the Advisory Council. 

In 1965, he was appointed by Gov. Edmund G. Brown to be the first chairman of the newly created San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. The San Francisco Bay Plan developed by the commission still governs protection of the bay and development of its shoreline. 

In 1972, Lane was appointed by Gov. Ronald Reagan as the first chairman of the California Coastal Commission. The commission's plan for the coast remains the primary constitution for conservation and development of the 1,100-mile California coastline. 

Lane served on the board of directors of the World Wildlife Fund, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and The Nature Conservancy-California, and was a founding director of the Peninsula Open Space Trust. 

"Mel was a wise counselor and trustee and a devoted champion of the university," recalls Stanford President John Hennessy. "But Mel's contributions extended well beyond Stanford. His early dedication to the California environment, his efforts to protect San Francisco Bay, and his chairmanship of the Coastal Commission are evidence of remarkable vision and humanity." 

Contact Information

Jen Chiu
Program Associate
jchiu24@stanford.edu