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

Calendar of Upcoming Events
Environmental Forum
"Unending Cycles of Crisis and Growth in Humanity's Pursuit to Feed Civilization"
Ruth DeFries, the Denning Family Professor of Sustainable Development in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology at Columbia University, will discuss how humans' manipulation of nature has led to our species living mostly in cities and subsisting on food produced by a minority in distant locations.
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"Connecting the Dots: The Food, Energy, Water, and Climate Nexus"
Stanford experts from a range of disciplines discuss the interconnections and interactions among humanity's needs for and use of food, energy and water and their effect on climate and conflict.
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"Celebrating Sustainability"
Annual Earth Day celebration that brings together students, staff and faculty from across campus to educate, inspire and empower the community to engage with sustainability at Stanford.
» Read more ...


All About No Waste

Who said environment and sustainability issues had to be humorless? To promote Stanford's involvement in RecycleMania, a national competition among universities to reduce waste and increase recycling and composting, the university's Office of Sustainability took a creative tack: a musical parody. At the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, we are excited about using innovative approaches to reach a wide range of audiences, including environmental leaders of the future. To do this, we are bringing Stanford postdoctoral scholars and graduate students to Washington, D.C., providing seed funding for promising student-run environmental initiatives and inspiring budding eco-tourism entrepreneurs. Read on for more about these programs and other unique Woods-affiliated initiatives and research.


Jeffrey R. Koseff
Perry L. McCarty Director


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


Program Updates

Meet the Next Class of Environmental Leaders

The Rising Environmental Leaders Program, which helps postdoctoral scholars and graduate students build leadership and communications skills, selected a diverse and interdisciplinary 2015 cohort.

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Seeding Student-Run Environmental Initiatives 

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, recently received grants from the Mel Lane Student Grants Program.

Photo credit: Engineers for a Sustainable World

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Inspiring an Ecotourism Economy

As part of its larger mission to help generate a process for sustainable development in a biodiverse region of Costa Rica, the Osa & Golfito Initiative started a youth leadership and education program aimed at helping young adults find work and take pride in the local ecotourism industry.

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Research Highlights

Connecting Drought to Warming Temperatures 

California's more frequent drought years are primarily the result of record high temperatures driven by climate change, according to a study led by Woods Senior Fellow Noah Diffenbaugh (Environmental Earth System Science).

Photo credit: Florence Low

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Climate Change Could Expand U.S. Crop Potential

While current climate change is expanding the amount of land suitable for harvesting two crops per growing season, future climate change impacts on yields could negate any gains, according to research co-authored by Woods Senior Fellow David Lobell (Environmental Earth System Science).

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Funding Water Projects in Times of Financial Uncertainty

California can effectively and efficiently overhaul water infrastructure and innovation funding with a relatively small per-usage fee, according to an analysis by Stanford's Water in the West Program.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

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Study: Industrial Revolution of the Ocean Threatens Wildlife

Patterns of human activity that led to the collapse of land species are now occurring in the sea, according to a broad study co-authored by Woods Senior Fellow Steve Palumbi (Biology).

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

Woods Fellow to Receive Volunteer Service Prize

Woods Senior Fellow Elizabeth Hadly (Biology) will receive the 2015 Miriam Aaron Roland Volunteer Service Prize for integrating research, teaching and outreach, and for her commitment to communicating science in ways that educate and inspire people to act.

Photo credit: Katie Clease

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Honors for Water Research

A global analysis of urban surface water supply vulnerability by Woods Senior Fellow Steven Gorelick (Environmental Earth System Science) and Woods-affiliated postdoctoral scholar Julie Padowski (Global Freshwater Initiative) was named Best Article of 2014 by the journal Environmental Research Letters. Among the articles featured in the journal's "Highlights of 2014" collection: a paper on the climate-influenced risks of a global crop yield slowdown co-authored by Woods Senior Fellow David Lobell (Environmental Earth System Science) and a paper on urban agriculture's growing importance co-authored by Senior Fellow Eric Lambin (Environmental Earth System Science).

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AAAS: Woods-Affiliated Researchers Address World's Largest Scientific Meeting

Stanford Woods Institute researchers provided updates and insights on topics ranging from sustainable ocean management and carbon dioxide sequestration to global food security and cartoons as scientific communication at the recent American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in San Jose.

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Stanford Renames Earth Sciences School

To better reflect the breadth of its research and teaching, Stanford's Earth Sciences school changed its name to the Stanford School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences

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

California's Terrifying Forecast: In The Future, It Could Face Droughts Nearly Every Year 

Washington Post, March 2
Discusses study led by Senior Fellow Noah Diffenbaugh (Environmental Earth System Science) that finds that drought conditions may be the new normal for California

Climate Change Will Hit America in the Breadbasket, Scientists Say

NBC News, Feb. 24
Senior Fellow Paul Ehrlich (Biology) notes that little has been done to counter negative trends in food security, even though they've been known about for decades

West Coast Scientists Fishing For Solutions To Bluefin Tuna Overfishing

CBS, Feb. 23
Senior Fellow, by courtesy, Barbara Block (Biology) discusses her research on bluefin tuna, and how aquaculture may serve as a solution to overfishing

Climate Is Big Issue for Hispanics, and Personal 

New York Times, Feb. 9
Cites a poll by Woods-affiliated Professor in Humanities & Social Sciences and Professor of Communication & Political Science Jon Krosnick, the New York Times, and Resources for the Future, which found that Hispanics are more likely than non-Hispanic whites to view global warming as a problem that affects them personally

Counting gallons: How Much Water Do You Use?

NPR Marketplace, Feb. 5
Senior Research Scientist Newsha Ajami (Water in the West) discusses how water in the United States is underpriced

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