When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in 2020, Stanford’s environmental researchers got immediately to work on new testing methods using wastewater, understanding mask-wearing behavior, analyzing the impact of lockdowns on carbon emissions, and using the impacts of the shelter-in-place orders as a way of understanding Earth’s processes.
The pandemic, which is believed to have been started by a disease spillover from wildlife to human, has brought full attention to the links between public health and the environment. Stanford researchers focused on these connections have studied how functioning and reliable rural healthcare can decrease deforestation. They’re also focused on changes in mosquito-borne diseases as climate change modifies which species, which each carry different human impacting diseases, thrive in different temperatures. These findings and more studies, experiments, and innovations are detailed in the Stanford Environmental Research 2020 Year In Review, which also includes new projects funded through our Environmental Venture Project and Realizing Environmental Innovation Program grant programs.