Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment


Coral-Safe Sunscreen »

North America - 2017

Coral reefs are enormously important for biodiversity, CO2 absorption, fisheries, and protection of coastlines from storm surges. Although corals are animals, they host photosynthetic algae in an essential symbiotic relationship. Corals face many threats, including rising seawater temperatures and pollution; exposure to sunscreens may be another. 

Using Large Marine Protected Areas to Recover Highly Productive Marine Ecosystems and the Services They Provide: the Case of the Adriatic Sea »

Africa, Europe - 2015

Fishing practices that use gear that is dragged on the seafloor, such as bottom trawling, destroy and degrade marine habitats on continental shelves, the most productive areas of the global ocean. However, there has been little assessment of the outcomes of trawling restrictions, impeding progress towards solutions. This project will...

Groundwater discharge of wastewater contaminants across the land-sea interface: Law, policy, and science research aimed to improve coastal management  »

North America - 2008

Many coastal communities use on-site systems (“septic systems”) for treatment of wastewater. Effluent from septic systems is discharged to the coastal aquifer, where it can raise nutrient and pathogen levels in the groundwater. Discharge of septic-impacted groundwater to the coastal ocean is a threat to human and ecosystem health....

Understanding the effects of fishing on coral reef ecosystems: An interdisciplinary approach  »

Pacific Ocean - 2008

Coral reefs are highly diverse and valuable marine ecosystems that are increasingly threatened by overexploitation. This project unites the expertise of anthropologists, biogeochemists, and ecologists to improve our understanding of how fishing affects the ecology of coral reefs. We will measure the direct and indirect ecological impacts of fishing...

Social and environmental transformation in Chile's aquaculture industry, 1950-2000 »

South America - 2008

Recognizing that it is difficult to ameliorate environmental problems without understanding their connections to associated social changes, we aim to research the complex feedback loops that connect environmental and social change in the salmon-farming industry of southern Chile. We propose to map and analyze the social transformations brought about by...

Fertilizer use and the epidemiology and evolution of cholera in Bangladesh »

Asia - 2007

This proposal examines another possible consequence of fertilzer-dependent intensive agriculture, the worsening of infectious disease epidemics by microbes that live in the same aquatic habitats that also harbor algae and other components of this complex ecosystem. One such infectious agent is Vibrio cholerae, the cause of asiatic cholera, a devastating...

Pattern and process of coral-reef adaptation: Remote sensing, environmental genetics, and a laboratory model system for testing climate-change effects on coral »

Pacific Ocean - 2006

It is currently impossible to predict the environmental impacts of climate change on reef corals because the ability of corals and symbiotic species (symbionts) is virtually unknown. This research will generate data that will allow researchers to develop a powerful understanding of coral-symbiont responses to environmental change, allowing us to...

Land use practices, subterranean groundwater pollution, and coral reef sustainability »

North America - 2005

We propose to apply an innovative, interdisciplinary approach that combines remote sensing, GIS, geochemical, hydrological and biological techniques, to explore the effect of different land-use practices on non-point source pollutants associated with submarine groundwater discharge into the coastal environment, and their effect on coral reef health and sustainability. A...

Mineral dust components in aerosols and their effect on ocean productivity »

Africa - 2005

Researchers are determining the impact that aerosol dust particles have on marine productivity and ecosystem structure and are using the Gulf of Aqaba as a representative study area. The Sahara and adjacent deserts are a major source of aerosols and mineral dust to the atmosphere and contribute to the aerosol...