February 2009             


Global Water Workshop

In January, the Woods Institute hosted a two-day workshop on the impact of global change on water resource vulnerability. The goal is to develop a strategic research collaboration, based at Stanford but involving experts from a variety of institutions, to explore drivers of water-supply vulnerability throughout the world and to use the resulting models and analysis to evaluate solution strategies.

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New Software Tracks Harmful Waste Matter from Coastal Fish Farms

Marine aquaculture can have nasty side effects, especially when fish pens are set near sensitive coastal environments. Farmed fish consume massive amounts of commercial feed and excrete large amounts of waste, some of which drifts off in the currents. Now, new software developed by Stanford engineers Jeff Koseff (Woods Institute Co-Director) and Oliver Fringer reveals that pollutants from fish pens travels farther, and in higher concentrations, than had been generally assumed.

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Natural Capital Project Featured in "Frontiers in Ecology & the Environment"

In February, Senior Fellow Gretchen Daily and colleagues at the Natural Capital Project co-authored several articles for a special ecosystems-services edition of the journal, “Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.” The Natural Capital Project is a collaboration of the Woods Institute, The Nature Conservancy, and the World Wildlife Fund.

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Biofuels Boom Could Fuel Rainforest Destruction

Farmers across the tropics might raze forests to plant biofuel crops, according to new research by Holly Gibbs, a postdoctoral researcher at the Woods Institute. “If we run our cars on biofuels produced in the tropics, chances will be good that we are effectively burning rainforests in our gas tanks,” she warns.

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E-IPER Receives Major Gift from Dan and Rae Emmett

IPER has been renamed the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER or Emmett IPER) in honor of a $10 million gift from environmental advocates Dan (Stanford ’61) and Rae Emmett. Senior Fellow Peter Vitousek is the faculty director of E-IPER.

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Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowships Program Funding Opportunity

The Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowships (SIGF) Program awards three-year fellowships to outstanding doctoral students engaged in interdisciplinary research on the environment and other areas. SIGF is a competitive, university-wide program administered by the Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education. Applications are due on March 20.

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Woods Environmental Undergraduate Research Program (Deadline: March 6)

Stanford faculty are invited to submit applications for the summer term Environmental Undergraduate Research Program (Woods-EURP), which offers internship opportunities for Stanford undergraduates to work on research projects with environmental faculty and research staff. Deadline for application is March 6.

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Mel Lane Student Program Grants

(Deadline: March 6)

In honor of environmental leader Mel Lane, the Woods Institute has established the Mel Lane Student Program Grants, providing funding to Stanford students for group projects on the environment. Deadline for application is March 6.

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Natural Capital Project: Putting a Price on Nature

On Feb. 2, QUEST, a science program produced by KQED-FM (NPR, San Francisco), broadcast a special feature on the work of the Natural Capital Project.

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Climate Could Cross Critical Threshold by 2100, Expert Warns

Without decisive action by governments, corporations, and individuals, global warming in the 21st century is likely to accelerate at a much faster pace and cause more environmental damage than predicted, warns Senior Fellow Chris Field.

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Media Often Fail in Global Warming Coverage, Says Climate Researcher

"Business managers of media organizations: You are screwing up your responsibility by firing science and environment reporters, who are frankly the only ones competent to do this," says Senior Fellow Stephen Schneider.

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Global Warming Endangers California Birds, Study Says

Senior Fellow Terry Root comments on a new study showing that more than a third of native California bird species could vanish from much of their current range by the end of the century because of global warming.

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Google Earth Fills Its Watery Gaps

Senior Fellow Barbara Block discusses Google’s unveiling of new software to explore the ocean.

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Environmental Forum/Infectious Diseases & the Environment Series

Lectures will take place on Thursdays, 3:30-5:00 pm, in the Y2E2 Building, Room 299. Wine and cheese reception to follow.

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For the complete Infectious Diseases & the Environment Speaker Series [pdf] …

Energy Seminar

This weekly lecture series is held on Wednesdays, 4:15-5:15 pm, in Building 420, Room 40.

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Sustainable Built Environment Seminar

A seminar on the sustainable built environment will be held on Thursday, Feb. 26, 12:00-1:00 pm, in the Y2E2 Building, Room 300. Lunch is provided.

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Food for Thought Conference on April 11

The Woods Institute is co-sponsoring Food for Thought, an interdisciplinary conference on Saturday, April 11, focusing on critical issues in food and agriculture worldwide, with speakers from NGOs, government agencies, and international institutions. Organized by the Stanford Association for International Development, the free, daylong event is open to students, faculty, staff, and the Stanford community.

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