Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment View this newsletter in your browser. June 2015
Program Updates Program Updates
Research Highlights Research Highlights
People Spotlights People
In the News In the News

Calendar of Upcoming Events
Washington D.C. Expert Discussion
"Integrating Natural Capital into Decisions"
Leading academics and practitioners in the field of ecosystem services as well as experts from the public and nonprofit sectors address core sustainability challenges of the 21st century.
» Read more ...
"Master of Liberal Arts 2015 Expedition to Costa Rica"
Woods Senior Fellow William Durham (Anthropology) leads tour of Costa Rica
» Read more ...


The Big Idea

Ideas don't change the world. People, working together across boundaries to develop, test and implement ideas, change the world. The Stanford Woods Institute supports and jumpstarts that collaborative process through our Environmental Venture Projects (EVP) seed funding program and our recently launched Realizing Environmental Innovation Program (REIP). Both were designed to catalyze interdisciplinary research with the potential for dramatic solutions. Through EVP, and now REIP, Woods has awarded more than $10 million to date in grants to 67 research teams working in more than 27 countries. These projects have garnered nearly $42 million in follow-on funding for collaborative research among experts from every school at Stanford. Read on for more about these unique programs, this year's grant recipients, and other Woods news.


Jeffrey R. Koseff
Perry L. McCarty Director


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


Program Updates

Environmental Venture Projects Grants Awarded

Cleaner water, more sustainable fisheries and better understanding of climate's health impacts – these are some of the potential solutions embodied by the Environmental Venture Projects (EVP) announced recently by the Stanford Woods Institute. The annual grants are awarded for early-stage research aimed at finding practical solutions to major environmental and sustainability challenges.

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Realizing Environmental Innovation Program Grants Awarded

The newly launched Realizing Environmental Innovation Program (REIP) provides up to $200,000 to interdisciplinary Stanford research projects that are already developed to the point of identifying potential solutions (e.g., a novel technology or viable policy prescription). REIP aims to help project team validate solution concepts and engage external stakeholders to implement the approach.

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Lessons in Groundwater Management

As the first state in the country to pass a comprehensive set of groundwater regulations, Arizona provides an informative example of managing increasing water demands and diminishing groundwater resources. Janny Choy, a research analyst with Water in the West, outlines seven lessons from the Grand Canyon State.

Photo credit: Arizona Department of Water Resources

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Toward More Sustainable Palm Oil

The Stanford Global Development and Poverty Initiative recently awarded a $400,000 grant to an interdisciplinary team exploring ways to create sustainable palm oil supply chains that can promote value creation and economic growth. The team includes Woods Senior Fellows Rosamond Naylor (Earth System Science), Walter Falcon (FSI), Eric Lambin (Earth System Science) and Erica Plambeck (Business), as well as Woods Consulting Professor Jim Leape (Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences).

Photo credit: Ryan Woo/CIFOR

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

The Sixth Mass Extinction is Here

There is no longer any doubt: we are entering a mass extinction that threatens humanity's existence. That is the bad news at the center of a study by a group of scientists including Senior Fellow Paul Ehrlich (Biology). Ehrlich and his co-authors call for fast action to conserve threatened species, populations and habitat, but warn that the window of opportunity is rapidly closing.

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Drought Increases Spread of HIV in Africa

When the rains fail in sub-Saharan Africa, some farmers try to make up for lost income through sex work. This, in turn, can increase local HIV infection rates by more than 10 percent, according to a study co-authored by Marshall Burke, a Center on Food Security and the Environment affiliate.

Photo credit: Jon Rawlinson/flickr

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People Spotlights

Lobell Named William Wrigley Senior Fellow

David Lobell (Earth System Science) was named the William Wrigley Senior Fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. Lobell, the deputy director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment, focuses his research on identifying opportunities to raise crop yields in major agricultural regions, with a particular emphasis on adaptation to climate change.

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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 Drought And Our Food System

The Kojo Nnamdi Show, May 27
Senior Fellow Noah Diffenbaugh (Earth System Science) discusses the California drought, climate change and impacts on agriculture.

Big Animals are Going the Way of the Mammoth

San Jose Mercury News, May 24
Senior Fellow Rodolfo Dirzo (Biology), a co-author of the study, states that humans will feel social and health consequences as well, in the form of higher wildfire risks and increased rodent-borne disease.

Revealed: The Ocean's Tiniest Life at the Bottom of the Food Chain 

NPR, May 22
Senior Fellow Steve Palumbi (Biology) discusses the importance of the trillions of microorganisms in the ocean such as plankton, bacteria, krill, viruses, protists and archaea are critical to life on earth.

Stanford Researchers Rethink Sanitation System for Urban Slums 

Xinhua News, May 13
Features dry toilet and related service system developed by researchers affiliated with Woods' Water, Health & Development Program.

California Drought Threatens Even Oldest Water Rights

May 13, Marketplace
Woods Co-Director and Senior Fellow Buzz Thompson (Law) states that the drought now threatens even the most senior water rights holders.

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