Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment View this newsletter in your browser. October 2014
Research Highlights Research Highlights
People Spotlights People Spotlights
Program Updates Program Updates
In the News In the News

Calendar of Upcoming Events
"New Directions for U.S. Water Policy"
Speakers, including California Gov. Jerry Brown; Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook; Robert E. Rubin, Co-Chair of the Council on Foreign Relations; and Woods-affiliated researchers, will discuss how market forces, innovation and global warming affect water resources.
» Read more ...
"The Climate Conversation You Haven't Heard"

Lesley Stahl, correspondent for 60 Minutes, will moderate a discussion with speakers, including Woods Senior Fellow Chris Field (Biology, Environmental Earth System Science), on how we can alter and adapt to the trajectory of climate change.
» Read more ...
"Breaking Through to Global Sustainability"

The Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment is celebrating its first decade of pursuing breakthrough solutions. Join us for a 10th anniversary symposium reflecting on progress made and pathways forward to a sustainable future for people and planet.
» Read more ...

The Climate Conversation You Haven't Heard

Feeling overwhelmed by bleak climate change and drought headlines? Make three notes in your calendar. On Oct. 24, 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl will moderate the 2014 Roundtable at Stanford. Panelists, including Stanford Woods Institute Senior Fellow Chris Field (Biology, Environmental Earth System Science), will discuss climate adaptation success stories involving cutting-edge collaboration among policymakers, scientists, business leaders and others. Make another note for Oct. 20, when thought leaders and decision-makers, including California Gov. Jerry Brown, come together for "New Directions for U.S. Water Policy," a forum Woods will co-host with The Hamilton Project. Speaking of solutions, we hope you'll join us to celebrate a decade of them at our 10th anniversary symposium. "Breaking Through to Global Sustainability," will feature inspiring panel discussions on innovation, collaboration and the future of environmental solutions. Learn more and reserve your place.


Jeffrey R. Koseff
Perry L. McCarty Director


Barton H. Thompson, Jr.
Perry L. McCarty Director


Research Highlights

Causes of California Drought 'Very Likely' Linked to Climate Change

The atmospheric conditions associated with the unprecedented drought currently afflicting California are "very likely" linked to human-caused climate change, according to a new Stanford study. The research team led by Woods Senior Fellow Noah Diffenbaugh (Environmental Earth System Science) showed that a persistent high atmospheric pressure diverting storms away from the state was much more likely to form in the presence of modern greenhouse gas concentrations. The research is one of the most comprehensive studies to investigate the link between climate change and California's ongoing drought.

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New Research Links Malnutrition and Pollination

Researchers with the Natural Capital Project gave new urgency to efforts to stem the loss of pollinators such as bees. In a new study, they suggest the contribution of pollinators to human nutrition is potentially much higher than previously thought. The research is particularly important to individuals in Southeast Asia, India, central and southern Africa and Central America. People in these regions, areas of highest pollination dependence, are three times as likely to suffer micronutrient deficiencies.

Read more ...

For more research, see the Stanford Woods Institute quarterly Research Digest.
People Spotlights

Climate Scientist Makes CA Hall of Fame

California Gov. Jerry Brown honored pioneering climate scientist Stephen Schneider posthumously by inducting him into the California Hall of Fame on Oct. 1. Schneider, one of eight inductees this year, died in 2010. He was the Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies and a Woods senior fellow. Praising Schneider for being one of the earliest people to warn about climate change, Brown placed him "in the grand tradition of California scientists who have used their talents and training to tame society's greatest challenges." Schneider's widow, Woods Senior Fellow Terry Root (Biology, by courtesy), accepted the Spirit of California medal on Schneider's behalf.

Read more and watch video ...

Blowin' In the Wind: Dispatches From An Iowa Farm

Writing from his family's farm in east-central Iowa, Walter Falcon reflects on agricultural impacts such as extreme weather and market fluctuations. Falcon, the Helen Farnsworth Professor of International Agricultural Policy in Economics (emeritus), is former deputy director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment and is a Woods senior fellow (emeritus). He explains why growing soybeans, alfalfa and corn, and raising Angus cattle have been "anything but tranquil" recently.

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Linking Indigenous Culture and Environmental Protection

For a professional artist, sculptor and goldsmith, Art Sterritt has led a remarkably successful second life as an environmental conservationist. The 2014 Bright Award recipient, founding executive director of Coastal First Nations (CFN) in British Columbia, led the establishment of the 21-million-acre Great Bear Rainforest, home of the "spirit bear." The ecosystem accounts for a quarter of the world's remaining coastal temperate rainforests, and CFN has established services that allow member nations to create sustainable businesses within the territory. Sterritt discussed his work in a recent lecture and conversation led by New York Times environmental reporter Felicity Barringer.

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Western U.S. and Western Australia: Shared Water Challenges

With more than 9,000 miles separating them, California and Western Australia might not seem to have much in common. However, the two regions mirror each other when it comes to important freshwater and marine issues ranging from agricultural pressures on groundwater to ocean acidification. To find solutions, Stanford University (through the Stanford Woods Institute) and the University of Western Australia (UWA) are jointly promoting the development of collaborative research projects focused on finding solutions to major freshwater and marine sustainability challenges. As a first step in this new initiative, the creation of a joint funding initiative was recently announced to provide grants up to $25,000 per year for Stanford and UWA faculty and academic staff.

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DEADLINE REMINDER: Rising Environmental Leaders Program

Nov. 10 is the last day to apply for the Stanford Woods Institute's Rising Environmental Leaders Program, which helps participants connect research to action and build partnerships and leadership skills. The year-long program, which includes a one-week boot camp in Washington, D.C., features perspectives from government, NGOs, think tanks and business leaders. Graduate students and postdoctoral scholars from all seven of Stanford's schools are encouraged to apply.

Read more and apply ...

In the News
Selected media coverage of the Stanford Woods Institute and its
fellows, affiliated scholars and supported research

Source of the Sizzle: Climate Change Fueled Heat Waves

USA Today, Sept. 29
Quotes Senior Fellow Noah Diffenbaugh (Environmental Earth System Science) on study showing that atmospheric conditions associated with California drought are "very likely" linked to human-caused climate change

Lighting Cultural Fires

Boom: A Journal of California, Sept. 29
Discusses research by Woods-affiliated researchers Rebecca and Doug Bird, looking at the use of fire among California Indians and Aboriginal Australians

Painting the Lawn Green: Californians Find Novel Ways to Cope With Drought

Economist, Sept. 20
Quotes Woods Senior Fellow and Co-Director Buzz Thompson (Law) on water pricing

Sweeping New California Groundwater Pumping Rules Signed Into Law By Gov. Jerry Brown

San Jose Mercury News, Sept. 17
Quotes Leon Szeptycki, Woods professor of the practice and executive director of the Water in the West program, on California Gov. Jerry Brown's recent signing of a package of bills that will regulate groundwater pumping for the first time in state history

Study: Faulty Gas Wells, Not Fracking, Pollute Water

USA Today, Sept. 15
Discusses research led by Senior Fellow Robert Jackson (Environmental Earth System Science)

Climate Change Will Disrupt Half of North America's Bird Species, Study Says

The New York Times, Sept. 8
Quotes Senior Fellow Terry Root (Biology, by courtesy) on report that finds climate change will drive approximately 650 North American bird species to smaller spaces or new habitats over next 65 years

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