Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

Ecosystem Services and Conservation

Research Area block

The true worth of our natural world is still being discovered.

The Stanford Woods Institute is helping quantify how land and water meet society’s needs and predicting benefits from investments in nature. To that end, Stanford researchers are integrating scientific and economic understanding of natural assets. They are delivering that knowledge, developing clear, credible and practical software-based tools and showing marine and land-use managers around the world how to use them. This enables decision-makers not only to maximize the societal value of land and water, but also to evaluate and assess potential decisions on conservation, human development and natural resources investment. This approach holds the promise of transforming how governments and businesses factor the values of nature into policy and decision-making.

Research Centers and Programs

Natural Capital Project »

The Natural Capital Project melds world-class research on environmental economics with influential conservation programs. The center’s Integrated Valuation of Environmental Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) software suite enables decision-makers to quantify nature’s values, assess tradeoffs associated with alternative land- and water-use choices and integrate conservation and human development into land- and...

Osa & Golfito Initiative (INOGO) »

The Osa & Golfito Initiative (INOGO) is facilitating the development of a strategy for sustainable human development and environmental stewardship in Costa Rica’s Osa and Golfito region. INOGO works hand in hand with Costa Ricans in local communities, government, the private sector and NGOs. The goal is to generate a...

Water in the West »

The western United States needs water systems that are sustainable from economic, ecological, political, institutional, equitable, scientific and legal points of view. The American West is an arid region to begin with explosive growth and increased drought are creating a water crisis. Research can help solve this crisis, but research...

Environmental Venture Projects

Controlling Wildlife Disease »

North America - 2018

Canine distemper virus (CDV) is distributed globally and causes fatal disease in domestic and wild carnivore species. There is no cure, and the mortality rate is 50 percent in adult dogs and 80 percent in pups.

Natural Flood Mitigation »

Asia - 2017

Deforestation and unplanned development increase the risk of flood damage to lives and property, particularly in dense urban and coastal areas. Decision-makers around the world want to incorporate into planning information about the conditions in which natural ecosystems and land management can help mitigate flood risks.

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Realizing Environmental Innovation Program

Bird-Safe Wind Turbines »

No Continent - 2017

Despite the potential contribution of wind energy to emissions reductions, wind turbines have significant ecological impacts through the killing of birds and bats that collide with spinning blades.

Open Space Management Model »

North America - 2017

There are more than 1,100 land trusts across the United States, which collectively, have conserved more than 56 million acres of land—about double the amount of public land in national parks in the lower 48 states. Often these dynamic conservation areas are overseen by a relatively small staff who may...

View More Realizing Environmental Innovation Program Projects For This Research Area

News & Press Releases


Teaching Biology in the Bush »

August 13, 2018

Stanford graduate students learn to mentor undergraduates through hands-on training in remote African ecosystems.

By Taylor Kubota, Stanford News Service

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Media Coverage

Renewable alternatives are the future of energy in Minnesota »

August 9, 2018

Mark Jacobson is mentioned

By Linda Larson, SC Times

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Published Work
Mapping Ecosystem Services »

March 30, 2017 -

Ecosystem Services »

March 19, 2016 -

Ecosystems of California »

February 25, 2016 -

Ecosystems of California »

January 19, 2016 -

Nature as Capital »

June 16, 2015 -

Achieving the triple bottom line in the face of inherent trade-offs among social equity, economic return, and conservation »

March 28, 2013 - Mary Ruckelshaus, Benjamin S. Halpern, Carissa J. Klein, Christopher J. Brown, Maria Beger, Hedley S. Grantham, Sangeeta Mangubhai, Vivitskaia J. Tulloch, Matt Watts, Crow White, Hugh P. Possingham

Climate Change and Wild Species »

February 21, 2013 -

Understanding the Impacts of Land-Use Policies on a Threatened Species: Is There a Future for the Bornean Orangutan? »

November 7, 2012 - Lisa Curran, Serge A. Wich, David Gaveau, Nicola Abram, Marc Ancrenaz, Alessandro Baccini, Stephen Brend, Roberto A. Delgado, Andi Erman, Gabriella M. Fredriksson, Benoit Goossens, Simon J. Husson, Isabelle Lackman, Andrew J Marshall

Intensive Agriculture Erodes Diversity at Large Scales »

September 1, 2012 - Gretchen Daily, Paul Ehrlich, Jai Ranganathan, Daniel S. Karp, Andrew J. Rominger , Jim Zook

Impacts of Climate Change on Biodiversity, Ecosystems, and Ecosystem Services: Technical Input to the 2013 National Climate Assessment »

July 1, 2012 - Mary Ruckelshaus, Michelle D. Staudinger, Nancy B. Grimm, Amanda Staudt, Shawn L. Carter, F. Stuart Chapin III, Peter Kareiva, Bruce A. Stein

Dam Choices: Analyses for Multiple Needs »

March 28, 2012 - Peter Kareiva

Water Funds and payments for Ecosystems Services: Practice Learns from Theory and Theory can Learn from Practice »

February 28, 2012 - Gretchen Daily, Rebecca Goldman-Benner, Silvia Benitez, Timothy Boucher, Alejandro Calvache, Peter Kareiva, Timm Kroeger, Aurelio Ramon

A Green Vision for Sumatra: Using Ecosystem Services Information to Make Recommendations for Sustainable Lane Use Planning at the Province and District Level »

February 1, 2012 - Nirmal Bhagabati, , Thomas Barano, Marc Conte, Driss Ennaanay, Oki Hadian, Emily McKenzie, Nasser Olwero, Amy Rosenthal, Suparmoko, Aurelie Shapiro, Heather Tallis, and Stacie Wolny

Hybridization Among Dominant Tree Species Correlates Positively with Understory Plant Diversity »

September 29, 2011 - Rodolfo Dirzo, Rachel Adams, Shaunna Goldberry, Thomas Whitman, Matthew Zinkgraf

Integrated Soil–Crop System Management for Food Security »

March 28, 2011 - Peter Vitousek, Pamela Matson, Fu-Suo Zhanga, Volker Römhelde, Shan-Chao Yue, Peng Hou, Qing-Feng Meng, Jin-Shun Bai, Kenneth G. Cassman, Zhen-Ling Cui, Xin-Ping Chen

Significant Acidification in Major Chinese Croplands »

February 19, 2010 - Peter Vitousek, F. S. Zhang, K. W. T. Goulding, P. Christie, W. F. Zhang, W. X. Han, J. L. Shen, Y. Zhang, X. J. Liu, J. H. Guo

Innovate or watch them die »

September 15, 2007 - Peter Aldous, Bob Holmes

Research Brief
Solutions Summary
Removal of carbon and nutrients from domestic wastewater using a low investment, integrated treatment concept »

May 21, 2010 - Sunny Aiyuka, Joyce Amoakoa, Lutgarde Raskinb, Adrianus van Haandelc

Historical Perspective »

November 15, 2007 - Hon. John A. Fraser

U.S. Agricultural Policy and The 2007 Farm Bill »

April 1, 2007 - Barton "Buzz" Thompson, Kaush Arha, Tim Josling, Daniel A. Sumner

Annual Reports
Fact Sheet