May 2009             


Woods Institute Awards New Round of Environmental Venture Projects

The Woods Institute has awarded four new Environmental Venture Projects grants for interdisciplinary research aimed at finding practical solutions promoting global sustainability. Four Stanford faculty teams will receive a total of $791,692 over the next two years to tackle environmental challenges, from the desert grasslands of Australia to the mountain meadows of California.

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Tanzanian President Visits Woods Institute for Update on Water-Sanitation Project

On May 18, Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete visited the Woods Institute for an update on a Stanford-led project to improve the quality of drinking water in that East African country. President Kikwete accepted an invitation for his administration to participate in a Woods-sponsored dialogue on water and health issues to be held in Tanzania on July 2-3.

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Scientists Urge World Leaders to Respond to Pacific Ocean Threats

More than 400 scientists have signed a consensus statement on the major threats facing the Pacific Ocean, including overfishing, pollution, habitat destruction and climate change. "This is first time the scientific community has come together in a single voice to express urgency over the environmental crisis facing the Pacific Ocean," Woods Senior Lecturer Meg Caldwell told the World Ocean Conference in Indonesia on May 13. Caldwell is executive director of the Center for Ocean Solutions, which drafted the consensus statement.

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Stanford Magazine Launches SAGE, an Online Eco-Advice Column

Stanford students answer your sustainability questions online at SAGE, Sound Advice for Green Earth. SAGE is a joint project of the School of Earth Sciences, the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in the Environment and Resources (E-IPER) and the Woods Institute.

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Some Heat-Tolerant Corals May Resist Climate Change

More than half of the world's coral reefs could disappear in the next 50 years, in large part because of higher ocean temperatures caused by climate change. But Stanford scientists have found evidence that some coral reefs are adapting and may actually survive global warming. The research is supported by a Woods Institute Environmental Venture Projects grant.

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Bioelectricity Promises More 'Miles Per Acre' Than Ethanol

Biofuels such as ethanol offer an alternative to petroleum for powering our cars, but growing crops to produce them can compete with food crops for farmland and aggravate the climate change problem. How can we maximize our "miles per acre" from biomass? The best bet is to convert the biomass to electricity rather than ethanol, according to a study co-authored by Woods Institute researchers Chris Field and David Lobell.

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Unintended Consequences of the Meat Industry

Worldwide consumption of pork, beef and other livestock could double by 2020. A team of Stanford researchers received a Woods Institute Environmental Venture Projects (EVP) grant to quantitatively evaluate the environmental impact of global meat consumption and find real-world solutions.

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Native Faces, Facing Future

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs profiles efforts by the Woods Institute's First Nations' Futures Program to strengthen the relationship between Native Hawaiians and the indigenous Maori of New Zealand.

Click here to access a pdf of the article, which begins on page 5…



Delta Fix a Must, Speaker Warns

Someone must decide how to fix the San Francisco Bay Delta, a decision that will likely involve trade-offs, Senior Fellow Stephen Monismith told alumni and community leaders in Stockton, Calif. A holistic approach is needed to restore the Delta, he said.

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Stanford Revives an Agrarian Tradition: Walking the Farm

Senior Fellow David M. Kennedy, director of Stanford's Bill Lane Center for the American West, and graduate student Jon Christensen lead Stanford undergraduates on a 23.5-mile environmental walk around the perimeter of the 8,200-acre campus.

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Stanford@SEA to Set Sail across the Pacific

Senior Fellows Barbara Block and Rob Dunbar and 22 Stanford undergraduates have embarked on a sailing trip from Tahiti to Hawaii. The voyage is part of a unique program called Stanford@SEA, which allows undergrads to get first-hand experience in marine biology, oceanography and nautical science.

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SAVE THE DATE: October 7
Environmental Venture Projects Symposium

The Woods Institute will host the first Environmental Venture Projects Symposium on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 1:00-6:00 p.m., at the Arrillaga Alumni Center. EVP grants provide seed funding for research leading to sustainable solutions to global environmental challenges. Five Stanford faculty will update their projects, and a panel will discuss recruiting and working in interdisciplinary teams. The event will include time for faculty to pitch their research ideas to colleagues, followed by a networking reception and poster session.

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Sustainable Built Environment

Stanford's Greg Walton and Banny Banerjee on "Creating More Sustainable Decisions and Behaviors through New Processes and Focused Interventions," Thursday, June 4, 12:00-1:00 p.m., in the Y2E2 Building, Room 300. Lunch is provided.

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Energy Seminar

Bob Shaw, President, Aretê Corporation, on "The Carbon Problem: What Can We Do About It," Wednesday, June 3, 4:15-5:15 p.m,, in Building 420, Room 40.

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