June-July 2009             

FINDING SOLUTIONS

Water Banking Workshop

On May 22, the Woods Institute sponsored a workshop on the economic and policy implications of water banking--a conservation strategy involving the voluntary purchase and sale of water supplies.

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Meg Caldwell Testifies at Congressional Hearing to Create a National Ocean Policy

On June 18, Senior Lecturer Meg Caldwell testified at a hearing of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife in Washington, D.C., on H.R. 21, a bill to establish a national ocean policy that will protect, maintain and restore the health of marine ecosystems in the United States.

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Center for Ocean Solutions Leads Panel at D.C. Ocean Symposium

On June 11, the Center for Ocean Solutions hosted a panel on marine spatial planning at Capitol Hill Ocean Week, an annual symposium for Congressional staff and other ocean policy makers in Washington, D.C. Senior Lecturer Meg Caldwell, executive director of the Center for Ocean Solutions, moderated the panel.

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RESEARCH

Over-Use of Fertilizers May Be Driving Cholera Pandemic

Cholera affects hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. A team of Stanford researchers is investigating a hypothesis that the use of chemical fertilizers might be exacerbating cholera outbreaks in Bangladesh. If the hypothesis turns out to be true, it could lead to changes in how chemical fertilizers are used, the researchers said. Their work is supported by a Woods Institute Environmental Venture Projects grant.

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Balancing Act: Sustainably Feeding the Crops that Feed the World

Synthetic fertilizers have dramatically increased food production worldwide. But the unintended costs to the environment and human health have led some policymakers to call for general reductions in the use of nitrogen-based fertilizers. In a report published in the June 19 issue of the journal Science, senior fellows Peter Vitousek, Rosamond Naylor and Pamela Matson warn against a "one-size-fits-all" approach to managing fertilizer use.

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Relocating Species in the Face of Climate Change

Climate change threatens hundreds of thousands of species with extinction. Now Woods Institute scientists, along with a multidisciplinary research team, are proposing when and how to save some of these vulnerable species by moving them to suitable new habitats.

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PEOPLE

Buzz Thompson Issues Opinion in Federal Water-Rights Case

Woods Institute Co-Director Barton ("Buzz") Thompson rejected Wyoming's bid to dismiss a lawsuit in which it is accused, by Montana, of taking too much water from rivers shared by the two states. In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court appointed Thompson, a Stanford law professor, as special master to oversee the case.

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IN THE NEWS

Climate Change Threatens to Knock Crop Yields

Rapid rises in temperatures worldwide may overwhelm farmers by 2050, according to a study co-authored by Marshall Burke and David Lobell of the Woods Institute's Program on Food Security and the Environment.

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NOAA Chief Praises Natural Capital Project

At the June 2 Capitol Hill Ocean Week Symposium, Jane Lubchenco, chief of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and former Woods Institute Advisory Council member, praised the work of the Natural Capital Project, a partnership of the Woods Institute, The Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund.

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David Victor Comments on Re-Engineering the Earth

As the threat of global warming grows more urgent, a few scientists are considering radical—and possibly extremely dangerous—schemes for reengineering the climate by brute force. Senior Fellow David Victor and other experts weigh in.

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SAVE THE DATES

October 7: Environmental Venture Projects Forum

The Woods Institute will host the first Environmental Venture Projects Forum on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 1:00-6:00 p.m., at the Arrillaga Alumni Center. Stanford faculty will update recent 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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October 21: Woods Institute Fifth Anniversary Symposium

A symposium commemorating the fifth anniversary of the Woods Institute will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2:00-5:30 p.m., at the Hewlett Building, Room 200. The symposium will showcase the research of Woods faculty and feature a panel on how Stanford can address emerging environmental challenges. A reception will follow. Stay tuned for more details.

 


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