Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment View this newsletter in your browser. December 2014 - January 2015
Program Updates Program Updates
Research Highlights Research Highlights
People Spotlights People
Education Education
In the News In the News
DC Ofiice Update D.C. Office Update

Calendar of Upcoming Events
"Economic Analysis of the 2014 Drought for California Agriculture: A Post-Assessment Using Remote Sensing"
Josue Medellin-Azuara, Senior Researcher for the Center for Watershed Sciences at the University of California, Davis
» Read more ...
"Earth Matters / Continuing Studies Panel: A Matter of Degrees"
Senior Fellow Noah Diffenbaugh (Environmental Earth System Science) and his Ph.D. students will discuss their recent findings and how they relate to water resources, agriculture, human health and poverty vulnerability
» Read more ...
Environmental Forum
"Impact to Ground Water from Well Completion and Stimulation Practices in the Pavillion, Wyoming Well Field"
Dominic DiGiulio, Physical Science Research Associate in Stanford's School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences
» Read more ...
"The Natural Capital Symposium"
Members of the ecosystem services community from around the globe exchange ideas, research and practical experiences in bringing natural capital information into high-leverage decision contexts
» Read more ...

Environmental Insurance

Billions of dollars in federal infrastructure funding will come with a new insurance policy of sorts. A recently released executive order requires federal agencies to vet spending on new buildings, roads and other infrastructure according to criteria that ensure the projects hold up better to rising seas and stronger storms. The order directs agencies to use data and methods based on the "best-available, actionable climate science." Stanford researchers are working on related adaptation issues ranging from quantifying coral's role in protecting coastlines to assessing climate change's impact on transportation infrastructure. Read on to learn more about other environmental solutions for a changing world.


Jeffrey R. Koseff
Perry L. McCarty Director


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


Research Highlights

Chinese Aquaculture Could Tip Balance of World Fish Supplies

China's booming aquaculture industry relies increasingly on fishmeal made from wild-caught fish, risking depletion of wild fish stocks and straining fragile ocean ecosystems, according to a study, co-authored by William Wrigley Senior Fellow Rosamond Naylor (Environmental Earth System Science), that offers a more sustainable alternative.

Photo credit: Max Troell

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Staying Healthy at the Beach

Affordable, easy-to-implement predictive systems could give beachgoers a better chance to avoid waterborne ailments such as gastroenteritis, respiratory illness, skin rashes and ear, nose and throat infections, according to an analysis by researchers including Senior Fellow Alexandria Boehm (Civil and Environmental Engineering).

Photo credit: James Alamillo

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New Technique Confirms Wheat's Vulnerability to Rising Temperatures

Researchers, including Senior Fellow David Lobell (Environmental Earth System Science), have developed a more powerful and accurate way to predict wheat yields affected by future climate change.

Read more ...

For more research, see the Stanford Woods Institute quarterly Research Digest.
Program Updates

20 Researchers Selected as 2015 Leopold Leadership Fellows

Researchers doing innovative work in a wide range of disciplines, including ecology, marine science, engineering, geography, genomics and Native American studies, were recently awarded fellowships with the Leopold Leadership Program. They join a network of 195 past fellows who are engaged in broad-based efforts to solve society's most pressing sustainability challenges.

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Seeding Student-Run Environmental Initiatives

Woods' Mel Lane Student Grants Program recently awarded grants to Stanford student projects that hold the promise of reducing food waste, recycling clothing, and mapping environmental risks and resources in a low-income community, among other bold objectives.

Photo credit: Engineers for a Sustainable World

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Stanford Water Researcher Advises Drought-Stricken Megacity

Metropolitan São Paulo, Brazil is home to about 20 million people and a drought that has water supplies at dangerously low levels. Woods Senior Research Scientist Newsha Ajami, director of urban water policy in the Water in the West program, recently met with officials there.

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Excellence in Environmental Education

Senior Fellow Terry Root (Biology, by courtesy) and undergraduate students in a unique environmental action class that Root teaches recently won Stanford's Introductory Seminar Excellence Award. The award recognizes a student or project group that demonstrates exceptional engagement, skill and achievement.

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Water Security in Jordan: A Key to the Future of the Middle East

Jordan, long a stabilizing force in a conflict-ridden region, is extremely vulnerable to water challenges ranging from a long-term drought to transboundary competition for shared freshwater resources. In a blog post for the Brookings Institution, Senior Fellow Steven Gorelick (Environmental Earth System Science) describes the Jordan Water Project, a program of Woods' Global Freshwater Initiative, which is examining Jordan's water challenges to provide sound analysis and evaluation of practical solutions to improve water security in the country.

Read more ...

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

Most Americans Support Government Action on Climate Change, Poll Finds 

The New York Times, Jan. 30
Features Woods-affiliated Professor in Humanities and Sciences Jon Krosnick as director of poll that found an overwhelming majority of the American public, including nearly half of Republicans, support government action to curb global warming

Watch Jumbo Squid Speak by 'Flashing' Each Other

National Geographic, Jan. 21
Describes findings of study co-authored by Woods-affiliated Professor of Biology William Gilly that involved mounting cameras on giant Humboldt squids to observe their communication behaviors

Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction, Broad Study Says  

The New York Times, Jan. 15
Senior Fellow Steve Palumbi (Biology) discusses how limiting the industrialization of the oceans to some regions could allow threatened species to recover in other ones

Bill Gates Raises A Glass To (And Of) Water Made From Poop

NPR, Jan. 10
Senior Fellow Dick Luthy (Engineering) discusses how the Janicki Omniprocessor, a new machine that can quickly turn human waste into clean drinking water, is a good start for what needs to be done in the future as fresh water and energy becomes scarce

Drought, Heat and Ice: 2015 Could Be Tipping Point on Climate

NBC News, Jan. 2
Senior Fellow Chris Field (Humanities and Sciences) states that 2015 will be the year for climate solutions, and will include many local, state, national, and international discussions about climate change

These Two States Had the Same Basic Information About Fracking. They Made Very Different Decisions

Washington Post, Dec. 22, 2014
Senior Fellow Rob Jackson (Environmental Earth System Science) discusses factors that may have influenced regulatory decisions on fracking

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