Six Stanford Woods Institute researchers and four fellows with the Woods-based Leopold Leadership Program will take part in the world's largest general scientific conference, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting, Feb. 14-18 in Boston. They will provide scientific updates on topics ranging from extreme weather and climate change to ocean predator tracking and food security. 

The AAAS meeting is expected to draw as many as 10,000 attendees from 60 countries. This year’s conference theme, “The Beauty and the Benefits of Science,” focuses on research that illuminates fundamental truths about the natural world, yet may also point to practical applications. Stanford Woods Institute Senior Fellows Barbara Block, Paul Ehrlich and Chris Field will discuss their work on sustainable solutions to pressing environmental challenges.

Paul Ehrlich, the Bing Professor of Population Studies at Stanford, will discuss “Feeding All While Avoiding a Collapse of Civilization: Science’s Greatest Challenge,” as part of a symposium called “Global Food Security in Relation to Climate, Population, Technology and Earth Changes,” 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 15.

Chris Field, the Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies at Stanford, will talk about “Weather Extremes: Coping With the Changing Risks,” as part of a symposium called “Media: Communicating Science, Uncertainty and Impact,” 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 16.

Barbara Block, the Charles and Elizabeth Prothro Professor in Marine Sciences at Stanford, will talk about “Building a Wired Ocean With Electronic Tagged Animals and Mobile Gliders,” as part of a symposium entitled “Networks of Discovery: Delivering Unsurpassed Insight into Changing Global Ecosystems,” 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 17.

Stanford Woods Institute-affiliated postdoctoral scholars Lisa Mandle, Spencer Wood and Robert Griffin also will give presentations at the AAAS meeting. Spencer Wood will discuss “Social Media as Data on the Recreational Value of Coastal Areas” as part of a symposium called “A New Social (Media) Contract for Science,” 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 15. Robert Griffin will talk about “Modeling What Matters: Quantifying Trade-Offs for Energy, Transportation and Fishing” as part of a symposium called “Electric Oceans: Finding the Space for Marine Renewable Energy in Crowded Waters,” 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 15. Lisa Mandle will give a talk titled “Redeeming Sins of Omission: Accounting for People in Mitigation” as part of a symposium called “From Promise to Proof: How Ecosystem Service Science Is Transforming Real Decisions,” 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 16. Mandle, Wood and Griffin are all staff members at the Natural Capital Project.

Leopold Leadership Program fellows Dawn J. Wright, Jessica Hellmann and Leah Gerber will take part in a symposium, “The Beauty and Benefits of Escaping the Ivory Tower,” organized by Stanford Woods Institute Senior Fellow Elizabeth Hadly. During the symposium, 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 16, Wright will discuss "Story Mapping" the Geographical and Knowledge Networks of Science.” Gerber will speak about “Overcoming Institutional Barriers to Science Communication,” and Hellmann will cover “Strategies for Engaging Outside the Ivory Tower and How To Find the Time To Do It.

For updates on these presentations, visit, follow us on Twitter, and like us on Facebook. You can also follow these and other presentations at the AAAS Twitter site and AAAS Facebook page, or by downloading recordings of sessions on the AAAS Annual Meeting website.


Media Contact

Rob Jordan, communications, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, 650.721.1881,