March 2009             


Water in the West Workshop II

On March 11, researchers, policymakers, business leaders, and NGOs attended the second Water in the West workshop sponsored by the Woods Institute and Stanford's Bill Lane Center for the West. The discussion focused on finding practical ways to meet the growing demand for freshwater throughout the western United States.

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Climate & Conservation Workshop

On Feb. 23-24, the Woods Institute and The Nature Conservancy held a workshop on finding new approaches to conservation in the context of climate change. This exploratory workshop brought together a small group of leading legal scholars, practitioners, and scientists in the conservation field.

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EPA Hearing: Federal Waiver on Regulating Auto Exhaust in California

On March 5, Senior Fellow Mark Z. Jacobson testified in Washington, D.C., at an Environmental Protection Agency hearing to reconsider California's application for a waiver that would allow the state to regulate greenhouse gases from motor vehicles.

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U.S. House Subcommittee Hearing: Managing Our Ocean Resources

On March 3, Woods Co-Director Barton ("Buzz") Thompson testified in Washington, D.C., at a hearing of the House Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans, and Wildlife on protecting species and marine resources.

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U.S. Senate Hearing: Update on Global Warming Science

On Feb. 25, Senior Fellow Chris Field, director of the Carnegie Institution Department of Global Ecology, testified in Washington, D.C., at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on the latest scientific research on global warming.

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Biocomposites: Building a Sustainable Future

Stanford researchers have developed a synthetic wood substitute that may one day save trees, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and shrink landfills. The faux lumber is made from a new, biodegradable plastic for eco-friendly building materials and disposable water bottles. The research was made possible by a 2004 Woods Institute Environmental Venture Projects grant.

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Solving the Arsenic Crisis in Asia

More than 140 million people in southern Asia drink groundwater contaminated with arsenic, resulting in thousands of cancer deaths each year. In 2004, Senior Fellow Scott Fendorf and his Stanford colleagues received a Woods Institute Environmental Venture Projects grant to address the crisis. Their work, which is centered in Cambodia, has resulted in new insights about the cause of the poisoning and how to prevent it.

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Children, Sanitation, and Health

Each year, diarrhea kills more than one million children under age 5. The problem is particularly severe in sub-Saharan Africa, where millions lack access to clean drinking water and basic sanitation. Woods Fellow Jenna Davis and Stanford colleague Ali Boehm are looking for low-cost ways to improve sanitation and reduce diarrhea-related deaths in Tanzania. Their work is supported by a Woods Institute Environmental Venture Projects grant.

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Seven New Species of Coral Discovered

Senior Fellow Rob Dunbar and colleagues from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Hawaii have identified seven new species of bamboo coral in the deep waters of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

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Woods Institute Names 19 Leopold Leadership Fellows

Nineteen environmental researchers from across North America have been awarded Leopold Leadership Fellowships for 2009. Based at the Woods Institute, the Leopold Leadership Program annually selects as many as 20 mid-career academic environmental scientists as fellows.

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Redesigning the Bay

San Francisco Bay could rise up to five feet by the end of the century, according to some climate change forecasts. Senior Fellow Steve Monismith comments in this segment of QUEST on KQED-FM (NPR San Francisco).

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Why 2007 I.P.C.C. Report Lacked 'Embers'

Senior Fellow Stephen Schneider says that he and other authors of a major 2007 U.N. climate report should have pushed harder to include a controversial diagram of future climate risks.

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Costs to Keep U.S. Carbon Storage from Coal Elusive

Senior Fellow Sally Benson, director of Stanford's Global Climate and Energy Project, discusses U.S. policy options for reducing carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.

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Earth Video Live: Darwin's Volcano

In this Discovery Channel video, Senior Fellow Steve Palumbi explains how coral atolls form in the Pacific Ocean.

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The Geoengineering Option: A Last Resort Against Global Warming?

Global warming is accelerating, and although engineering the climate strikes most people as a bad idea, it is time to take it seriously, writes Senior Fellow David Victor, director of Stanford's Program on Energy and Sustainable Development.

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Food for Thought Conference April 11

The Woods Institute is co-sponsoring the Food for Thought Conference on Saturday, April 11, focusing on global food and agricultural issues. Events will be held at Annenberg Auditorium and Dohrmann Grove. Organized by the Stanford Association for International Development, the daylong event starts at 10:00 a.m. and is free and open to the public.

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Earth Day Founder Denis Hayes to Speak at Sustainability Festival April 14

Denis Hayes (Stanford '69), founder of Earth Day, will address the Sustainability at Stanford Festival on Tuesday, April 14, 12:00-1:00 p.m., at Meyer Lawn between the Stanford Bookstore and the Barnum Center. The outdoor event is free and open to the public.

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Carl Safina of the Blue Ocean Institute to Speak at Kresge Auditorium April 23

Author Carl Safina, president of the Blue Ocean Institute, will discuss “History and Destiny in a Changing Ocean: What it Means for You,” on Thursday, April 23, 6:00-7:30 p.m., at Kresge Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

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Energy Seminar

A weekly lecture series held on Wednesdays, 4:15-5:15 p.m., in Building 420, Room 40.

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Environmental Forum/Infectious Diseases & the Environment Series

Most lectures take place on Thursdays, 3:30-5:00 p.m., in the Y2E2 Building, Room 299, followed by a wine and cheese reception. Please check the agenda for alternate locations and times.

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Sustainable Built Environment Seminar

Hour-long seminars on sustainable building practices are held on Thursdays at noon in the Y2E2 Building, Room 300. Lunch is provided.

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