Through a highly consultative, multi-year process, the Change Leadership for Sustainability Program used systems design to develop a model of a “New Leader” and an associated curriculum and pedagogy to cultivate these change agents. The resulting core curriculum, published in September 2021, offers a set of perspectives, frameworks, tools, and pedagogical approach that prepares students to study and lead change effectively in any social-environmental system, with an explicit normative goal of intergenerational well-being.
Stanford and Princeton co-hosted an official side event at COP27 to present the 2022 Global Carbon Budget, outline approaches to impact at scale at the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability, and discuss the challenges and solutions for decarbonizing agriculture.
Tax rebates for installing residential solar power have done little to spur adoption in low-income communities in the United States, while a less common incentive seems to succeed, according to new research using AI and satellite images. (Source: Stanford News)
A new tool that pairs satellite imagery with AI has uncovered some of the strongest evidence yet of the extent to which electrification fuels economic growth. (Source: Stanford News)
International negotiators will meet in Egypt this Sunday for the latest U.N. climate change conference. Stanford experts in a range of fields discuss issues likely to be in the spotlight, including compensation to developing countries for climate change-related damages. (Source: Stanford News)
Climate change and decades of fire suppression have fueled increasingly destructive wildfires across the western U.S. and Canada. Stanford scholars and wildfire experts outline how a path forward requires responsive management, risk reduction, and Indigenous stewardship.
Based on new analyses of satellite data, scientists have found that hydrologic conditions that increase flash drought risk occur more often than current models predict. The research also shows that incorporating how plants change soil structures can improve Earth system models.
Years after Hurricane Katrina altered his life’s course, Elliott White Jr. set out to understand what drives coastal wetland loss as a way to help lessen harm from future climate impacts for vulnerable coastal communities. (Source: Stanford News)
Discarded, undegradable plastic trash is a global breeding ground for disease-carrying mosquitoes. (Source: Stanford Engineering)
Civil and environmental engineer Alexandria Boehm joins Stanford Engineering’s The Future of Everything podcast to discuss how a new form of epidemiology is using the tools of engineering to test wastewater to track COVID-19’s true spread. (Source: Stanford Engineering)
The health care sector accounts for almost 10% of U.S. emissions and is one of the country’s largest producers of waste. Stanford medical researchers discuss what can be done to make it more sustainable, while maintaining safety. (Source: Stanford News)
A scholar looks at how wind affects the sustainability and resiliency of buildings and cities, and how we can improve ventilation in homes and other structures. (Source: Stanford Engineering)
Pollution from wildfires is linked to lower test scores and possibly lower future earnings for kids growing up with more smoke days at school, a new study finds. Impacts of smoke exposure on earnings are disproportionately borne by economically disadvantaged communities of color.
Controlled burning has proven effective at reducing wildfire risks, but a lack of insurance has dissuaded private landowners from implementing the practice. Policy expert Michael Wara discusses soon-to-be-enacted legislation that would pay for fire damages to neighboring properties in California. (Source: Stanford News)
Stanford researchers have developed an AI model for predicting dangerous particle pollution to help track the American West’s rapidly worsening wildfire smoke. The detailed results show millions of Americans are routinely exposed to pollution at levels rarely seen just a decade ago.
The move to electric vehicles will result in large costs for generating, transmitting, and storing more power. Shifting current EV charging from home to work and night to day could cut costs and help the grid, according to a new Stanford study. (Source: Stanford News)
Hurricanes and severe storms exacerbate inequalities. Ahead of a Sept. 21 webinar on the subject, Stanford experts discussed how to ensure equity in planning and response for such extreme weather events, economic benefits of nature-based storm defenses, and related issues. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)
The model could help policymakers redesign cities for a lower-carbon world. (Source: Stanford HAI)
Panelists in the Advancing Technology for a Sustainable Planet workshop detailed AI’s energy and regulatory challenges. (Source: Stanford HAI)
Analysis reveals how restoring relatively narrow forest buffers could substantially improve regional water quality and carbon storage in Costa Rica and elsewhere. Such changes could have outsized benefits for vulnerable populations that rely on rivers for their water supply. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)
A study analyzes water transactions that leave water in the river, and shows how they could be scaled up to avert cuts for major water users while supporting imperiled ecosystems. (Source: Water in the West)
Key marine species can serve as bioindicators to measure how much plastic exists in different ocean regions. (Source: Stanford News)
A tiny new device allows scientists to directly observe and quantify how rocks change in the presence of acids, enabling more accurate assessments of sites for underground storage of carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and industrial waste.
The Stanford geographer and environmental scientist discusses the sand shortage crisis and what it means for the future of the environment. (Source: Stanford News)
Few regulations exist to protect laborers from increasingly frequent extreme heat events. Stanford experts explain extreme heat’s impacts on workplace risks, marginalized communities, and the economy. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)
The switch to a circular economy could protect the environment while helping companies generate more value. (Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business)
Most government policies for mitigating public health risks from wildfire smoke aim to educate citizens to protect themselves by staying indoors, closing windows, and using air filters. Stanford research shows why that approach fails for Americans across all income groups and points to solutions.
Stanford law Professor and environmental law expert Deborah Sivas explains the key points of the SCOTUS decision to reduce the regulatory power of the EPA and discusses the implications for climate change. (Source: Stanford Law School)
Faculty and scholars associated with the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability recommend these 26 books for your summer reading.
The award recognizes individuals who go above and beyond their role to create a more inclusive, just, and welcoming community at the Stanford School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences.
Children are more likely than adults to suffer health impacts due to environmental impacts. Kari Nadeau of Stanford’s Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy & Asthma Research discusses related risks, as well as what caregivers and health care workers can do about them.
In this episode of Stanford Engineering’s The Future of Everything, geophysicist Eric Dunham details how new types of data collection and faster computers are helping our knowledge of earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes – and how to prepare for them. (Source: Stanford Engineering)
More than any class before, the 2022 graduates of the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences are prepared to navigate uncertainties in the pursuit of a life that brings happiness and meaning, according to Dean Stephan Graham.
Stanford Earth’s Excellence in Teaching Award is presented annually to an instructor during the diploma ceremony on commencement weekend. The honoree is selected based on nominations from students, faculty, and alumni.
Researchers modeled how investing in environmental conservation and protection can help San Mateo County adapt to rising seas. The findings provide incentives for policymakers to prioritize nature-based approaches when planning for sea-level rise.
Underground disposal of wastewater from fossil fuel production in the nation’s largest oil field is causing long-dormant faults to slip in a way that could damage wells, according to new analyses of satellite and seismicity data.
Researchers have developed a system for monitoring COVID prevalence on campus and collaborated with public health officers on an epidemiology project serving a number of communities across California. (Source: Stanford News)
Environmental scientist Chris Field explains why taking on climate change will require that we continue to reduce emissions and adapt to the effects of increasing temperatures. (Source: Stanford Engineering)
Stanford researchers reveal a mechanism by which oxybenzone, a common sunscreen component, may damage reefs. The surprising findings could help guide the development and marketing of effective, coral-safe sunscreens.
Southeast Asia’s most productive agricultural region and home to 17 million people could be mostly underwater within a lifetime. Researchers recommend policy solutions including strict regulation of sediment mining, limits on groundwater pumping, and coordination among countries, development agencies and other private and civil society stakeholders. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)
More than half of the premature deaths associated with electricity use in most of California and the Northwest occur in other western states that supply electricity to the West Coast.
Planetary Postdoctoral Health Fellow Britt Wray discusses her recently published book about dealing with climate anxiety and her own path to finding purpose in a chaotic time. (Source: Stanford News)
A new certificate program provides a framework for Stanford Earth graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to learn new skills, gain practical experience, and produce portfolio pieces that will broaden their professional preparedness. The program will be carried into the new school focused on climate and sustainability.
California has rolled out plans to protect plant and animal life across 30 percent of the state’s most critical land and water by 2030. Biologists Elizabeth Hadly and Mary Ruckelshaus and environmental law expert Deborah Sivas discuss keys to its success, potential impacts, legal precedents, and more. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)
Stanford researchers worked with chili farmers in India for more than four years to develop a solar-powered technology to improve the quality, quantity, and profitability of dried agricultural produce. A new study addresses not only technical challenges, but also barriers to adoption. (Source: Precourt Institute for Energy)
Richard Nevle, deputy director of Stanford’s Earth Systems Program, discusses his new collection of essays about the Sierra Nevada mountain range, The Paradise Notebooks.
Analysis of data from 140 countries suggests many rich countries could use less energy per capita without compromising health, happiness or prosperity. Countries struggling with energy poverty may be able to maximize well-being with less energy than previously thought.
The world of climate promises and carbon offsets is “like the Wild West, where anything goes,” says Stefan Reichelstein. (Source: Insights by Stanford Business)
Using AI to analyze satellite images, researchers say it’s possible to spot illegal deforestation and forced labor in the Amazon rainforest. (Source: Stanford HAI)
Officials in Wyoming, a state containing almost all of two national parks, want sole authority to manage species like elk, wolves and grizzlies. Can state agencies ensure conservation when hunters pay the bills and ranchers determine wildlife policy? (Source: The Bill Lane Center for the American West)
Recent rapid growth in climate philanthropy risks redundancy, waste, and friendly fire, according to Laurence Tubiana of the European Climate Foundation and Christie Ulman of the California-based Sequoia Climate Fund. (Source: Stanford Social Innovation Review)
A new modeling approach combines machine learning and human insights to map the regions and ports most at risk for illicit practices, like forced labor or illegal catch, and identifies opportunities for mitigating such risks. (Source: Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions)
Analysis presents a first-of-its-kind framework to design the most efficient mix of urban buildings along with integrated systems to supply power and water services. The approach could significantly reduce costs and pollution compared to traditional systems. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)
With a growing fleet of electric vehicles on the road, power grid planners depend on accurate estimates of charging patterns to calculate demand. Researchers have created a new model framework for long-term planning that captures real drivers’ charging patterns and accounts for uncertainty. (Source: Precourt Institute for Energy)
A civil engineer is finding ways to model informal settlements in tropical regions, and using these models to help find universal solutions for extreme heat. (Source: Stanford Engineering)
Surveys of people exposed to wildfires and hurricanes show that negative experiences with these events are associated with elevated perceived risk for specific climate hazards and self-reported adaptation behaviors, as well as increased support for interventions. The findings could help shape public communications and policy.
Using autonomous drones and machine-learning models, geophysicist Dustin Schroeder and a multidisciplinary team are working to quickly and efficiently collect ice sheet data that can improve our understanding of melt rates. (Source: Stanford HAI)
A cellphone-sized device automatically adjusts a home's power use up or down to save the consumer money and increase the resiliency of the electric grid. (Source: SLAC)
Using the Santa Cruz Mountains as a natural laboratory, researchers have built a 3D tectonic model that clarifies the link between earthquakes and mountain building along the San Andreas fault for the first time. The findings may be used to improve seismic hazard maps of the Bay Area.
To keep tourism revenue flowing, a new method uses NASA satellite data and social media posts to show the benefits of investing in nature – and the roads to get to it. (Source: Natural Capital Project)
New research shows how AI can identify proposed hydropower plants that are likely to be particularly detrimental to the environment, and reveals the forgone environmental and energy benefits of uncoordinated dam planning in the Amazon basin. (Source: Natural Capital Project)
Nicole Ardoin and Mark Horowitz discuss exciting new programs and courses within the new school, which will focus on climate and sustainability.
Samuel Appenteng speaks to Grit & Growth about Joissam Ghana, a company that works with local communities to bring clean water to rural areas in West Africa. (Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business)
The unprecedented plunge in electricity use around the world at the beginning of the global pandemic was tied to shut-down policies and other factors. Surprisingly, the recovery to pre-COVID levels was quite fast and not linked to those same factors.
By focusing on the climate impact of methane over a 100-year timeframe, international climate negotiators have underestimated the importance of this short-lived greenhouse gas for achieving Paris climate agreement goals, a new Stanford University study finds.
Rapidly growing communities in the American West’s forests and shrublands are nestled in zones where local soil and plant traits amplify the effect of climate change on wildfire hazards and lead to bigger burns.
Phasing out animal agriculture represents “our best and most immediate chance to reverse the trajectory of climate change,” according to a new model developed by scientists from Stanford and the University of California, Berkeley.
By changing the genome of both commercial crops and soil bacteria, a bioengineer thinks it may be possible to help plants survive droughts by retaining more water during a dry spell, or growing deeper roots to reach soil that hasn’t dried out yet. (Source: Stanford Engineering Magazine)
Natural gas stoves release methane – a potent greenhouse gas – and other pollutants through leaks and incomplete combustion. Stanford researchers estimate that methane leaking from stoves inside U.S. homes has the same climate impact as about 500,000 gasoline-powered cars and the stoves can expose people to respiratory disease-triggering pollutants. VIDEO
Despite persistent efforts by the U.S. government to eradicate Indigenous farming and ranching practices, they are regaining currency in an American West stressed by drought, diminishing resources and climate change. (Source: Bill Lane Center for the American West)
The fourth annual Stanford Earth Photo Contest drew images of a dramatic sunset, a menacing shark, an intriguing frog, and a perennial favorite – the Milky Way. The winners were selected among 101 submissions.
Read an excerpt from Settling Climate Accounts on the emerging practice of Net Zero finance. The new book is an edited volume of essays by Stanford researchers that offers technical analysis wrapped in narrative accounts of climate action past, present, and future. (Source: Stanford Social Innovation Review)
Our list includes a mix of favorites, high-impact stories and some of our most read research coverage from a year of uncertainty, adaptation and discovery.
New research shows that physics measurements of just a small portion of reef can be used to assess the health of an entire reef system. The findings may help scientists grasp how these important ecosystems will respond to a changing climate.
A team of researchers argues that AI enables a form of congestion pricing that could reduce traffic jams and minimize wealth inequality through refunds.
In a series of recent papers, Stanford Graduate School of Business accounting professor emeritus Stefan Reichelstein and colleagues have argued that we should require corporations to disclose their CO2 emissions in their annual reports. (Source: Insights by Stanford Business)
With feet and legs like a peregrine falcon, engineers have created a robot that can perch and carry objects like a bird. Possible applications include search and rescue, wildfire monitoring and environmental research.
Decarbonizing global transportation requires building a huge quantity of batteries so fleets can convert to electric power. This will mean more mining to supply the lightweight metal lithium. So far, most lithium has come from Australia, South America, and China, but eyes are turning to deposits in the United States. (Source: Bill Lane Center for the American West)
Water resources could be pushed beyond recovery in a region that provides about a quarter of the U.S. food supply.
"Climate’s impact on health allows us to put our arms around a problem," says Michele Barry, director of the Center for Innovation in Global Health. "When you bring health into the equation, all of a sudden, people can focus on the impact – the very real impact – on their lives."
Key ideas and proposals from an agreement between the hydropower industry and environmental community, facilitated through a Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment Uncommon Dialogue, have been included in the $1 trillion infrastructure package adopted by the U.S. Senate. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)
Stanford experts discuss strengths and weaknesses of major pledges at the UN climate summit that target methane emissions and deforestation.
Much of the debate around climate change and climate policy centers on the price tag of doing something. But the costs of inaction, in terms of overall livelihoods and economic well being, are far greater, explains Stanford environmental economist Marshall Burke. (Source: Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health)
New data from the Center for Deliberative Democracy suggests that when given the opportunity to discuss climate change in a substantive way, the majority of Americans are open to taking proactive measures to address the global climate crisis. (Source: Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies)
Nations around the world are joining a pledge to curb emissions of methane, and the Biden administration is proposing stricter regulation of the potent greenhouse gas. Explore Stanford research about methane emissions and promising solutions.
International negotiators will meet in Scotland this Sunday for the latest UN Climate Change Conference. Stanford experts in a range of fields discuss their hopes for the talks as well as major themes likely to influence negotiations, keys to success and more.
Policy interventions to stop deforestation are most effective when enacted in a certain order, according to a new study. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)
A new analysis finds that selling off stocks in corporations that don’t meet your values has minimal impact on their behavior. (Source: Insights by Stanford Business)
A mathematical model of the body’s interacting physiological and biochemical processes shows that it may be more effective to replace red blood cell transfusion with transfusion of other fluids that are far less in demand.
Researchers found increased concentrations of air pollutants downwind from oil and gas wells in California, likely affecting millions of Californians who live near them.
Air pollution is known to harm children’s respiratory health, but its specific impacts on infection rates have remained unclear. A new analysis provides evidence of a link between the two in low-income settings, and indicates one industry may play an outsized role in the problem. (Source: Stanford News)
An oil spill from the FSO Safer could increase cardiovascular and respiratory hospitalizations and disrupt access to food and water for millions of people, researchers predict.
Environmental law expert Professor Deborah Sivas discusses the spill off the coast of Southern California and regulations surrounding off-shore oil drilling.
California should use its $260 billion annual spending and $1 trillion pension funds to advance its climate agenda through climate risk disclosure requirements, according to a Stanford-led group of advisors appointed by Gov. Newsom. Two advisors explain how more disclosure can do that.
Analyses lay out a blueprint for speeding development of methane removal technologies and modeling how the approach could improve human health and have an outsized effect on reducing future peak temperatures.
A survey of more than 350 firms finds that resilience is an important byproduct of sustainability. (Source: Insights by Stanford Business)
A deep learning approach to classifying buildings with wildfire damage may help responders focus their recovery efforts and offer more immediate information to displaced residents.
Humanity is likely to consume more fish and shellfish in the coming decades. Preparing for that future requires better data on the types of fish that people eat, sustainable expansion of aquaculture and improved understanding of the local context for the food on our plates.
Hunger, malnutrition and obesity affect billions of people. A first-of-its-kind comprehensive review of the so-called blue foods sector reveals challenges and opportunities for creating a healthier, more sustainable, equitable and resilient global food system.
Interviews with Northern California residents reveal that social norms and social support are essential for understanding protective health behaviors during wildfire smoke events – information that could be leveraged to improve public health outcomes.
Western states are once again in severe drought with water in short supply. And California’s fire season is starting earlier and causing more devastation. Buzz Thompson, one of the country’s leading water law experts, discusses California’s wildfires, drought, water and climate change.
Smoke from wildfires may have contributed to thousands of additional premature births in California between 2007 and 2012. The findings underscore the value of reducing the risk of big, extreme wildfires and suggest pregnant people should avoid very smoky air.
Several studies have found that the EPA underestimates the amount of methane leaking from U.S. oil and gas operations by as much as half. A new Stanford-led study shows how better data can lead to more accurate estimates and points to some of the causes of the EPA’s undercount.
Higher temperatures attributed to climate change caused payouts from the nation’s biggest farm support program to increase by $27 billion between 1991 and 2017, according to new estimates from Stanford researchers. Costs are likely to rise even further with the growing intensity and frequency of heat waves and other severe weather events.
The new school will include transitional academic divisions, university-wide cross-cutting themes organized into institutes and an accelerator focused on solutions.
Scientists Elizabeth Selig and Colette Wabnitz discuss their efforts to systematically map the patterns and drivers of marine resource conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa, and how the work may guide more just management and policy solutions. (Source: Center for Ocean Solutions)
California will prohibit the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035. But charging-station infrastructure takes time to develop. Already, some places are in danger of being left out, perpetuating historical disparities. (Source: Bill Lane Center for the American West)
Warnings of another severe wildfire season abound, as do efforts to reduce the risk of ignition. Yet few are taking precautions against the smoke. Stanford experts advise on contending with hazardous air quality.
An expert in energy resources engineering says “battery biopsies” are key to a tomorrow filled with electric vehicles. (Source: The Future of Everything)
Governments need to double down on investments and innovation in educating youth and communities about the environment if future generations are to be able to respond effectively and with appropriate urgency to the climate emergency, according to Stanford researchers. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)
Faculty at Stanford's School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences recommend these 29 books for your summer reading.
Recipients of the school’s annual Excellence in Teaching Awards are selected based on nominations from students, faculty, and alumni.
Graduates of the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences have the skills and knowledge to persevere in the face of new challenges and uncertainty, according to Dean Stephan Graham.
As the most-used building material on the planet and one of the world’s largest industrial contributors to global warming, concrete has long been a target for reinvention. Stanford scientists say replacing one of concrete’s main ingredients with volcanic rock could slash carbon emissions from manufacture of the material by nearly two-thirds.
In a Q&A, Stanford economists describe what the social cost of carbon is, how it is calculated and used in policymaking, and how it relates to environmental justice. (Source: Stanford News)
Disruptions from sea level rise and coastal flooding events have significant indirect impacts on urban traffic networks and road safety.
April 2021 saw a 20-year high in the number of people stopped at the U.S./Mexico border, and President Joe Biden recently raised the cap on annual refugee admissions. Stanford researchers discuss how climate change’s effect on migration will change, how we can prepare for the impacts and what kind of policies could help alleviate the issue.
Constanza Hasselmann was honored “for founding the Public Interest Technology Lab at Stanford, which hosts events and engages in advocacy to encourage thoughtful innovation with a focus on recruitment, racial justice and bridging disciplines.”
A wide range of organizations focused on areas as seemingly disparate as social justice, religion and the arts play important roles in helping people understand and act on environmental issues. Stanford environmental experts discuss their analysis of nearly 1,000 such organizations in the San Francisco Bay.
The Navajo Nation has the most capacity, but its troubled energy history and culture of livestock grazing make solar development fraught.
Women exposed to higher levels of nitrate in drinking water were more likely to deliver very early, according to a study of 1.4 million California births.
Stanford scientists simulated the local risk of damaging or nuisance-level shaking caused by hydraulic fracturing across the Eagle Ford shale formation in Texas. The results could inform a new approach to managing human-caused earthquakes.
In an address to Congress, President Joe Biden pitched a wide-ranging initiative called the American Jobs Plan. Stanford researchers discuss how and why climate change resilience is central to the initiative.
Analysis of sales data and flood risk data over two decades indicates that housing markets fail to fully account for information about flood risk. The findings suggest that policies to improve risk communication could influence market outcomes.
Efforts to prevent human exposure to asbestos may be mobilizing the cancer-causing mineral so that it can reach water supplies, based on new findings about how the fibers move through soil.
In a podcast series hosted by The Stanford Daily, Dean Stephan Graham discussed the new climate and sustainability school and other topics affecting the Stanford community.
Monitoring environmental compliance is a particular challenge for governments in poor countries. A new machine learning approach that uses satellite imagery to pinpoint highly polluting brick kilns in Bangladesh could provide a low-cost solution.
A collection of research and insights from Stanford experts who are revealing the stakes of emission cuts, enabling better carbon accounting, predicting the consequences of future emission pathways and mapping out viable solutions.
An engineer and clean-energy entrepreneur discusses the troubling socio-economic gap in access to sustainable energy and the things we can do now to narrow and, perhaps, close it.
New research shows climate change has wiped out seven years of improvements in agricultural productivity over the past 60 years.
Prolonged and potentially destabilizing water shortages will become commonplace in Jordan by 2100, new research finds, unless the nation implements comprehensive reform, from fixing leaky pipes to desalinating seawater. Jordan’s water crisis is emblematic of challenges looming around the world as a result of climate change and rapid population growth.
Stanford researchers weigh in on how the Biden administration can address environmental justice and social issues that have been generations in the making.
Twenty years ago, a Stanford-led analysis sparked controversy by highlighting fish farming’s damage to ocean fisheries. Now a follow-up study takes stock of the industry’s progress and points to opportunities for sustainable growth.
Stanford University experts are cautiously optimistic that the Biden administration can change the U.S. trajectory on nuclear waste, and they offer their thoughts on how it can be done.
Stanford University scholars discuss the Biden administration’s early actions on environmental issues in the Arctic and how the U.S. government can address threats to ecosystems, people and infrastructure in the fastest-warming place on Earth.
The Biden administration’s ambitious plans for environmental progress face complex obstacles. The findings, expertise and policy experience of Stanford researchers working across multiple fields could help contribute to sustainable, cost-effective solutions.
Naming priorities such as better land management, an evolved portfolio of 21st-century solutions and more funding for research and development, Stanford experts highlight areas central to success as the Biden-Harris administration aims its sights on safeguarding U.S. drinking water.
Dean Stephan Graham and Nicole Ardoin presented an update on the structure of the new school at the Faculty Senate meeting on March 11th. The plans include a Sustainability Accelerator that will translate policy and technology solutions.
A decade after a powerful earthquake and tsunami set off the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown in Japan, Stanford experts discuss revelations about radiation from the disaster, advances in earthquake science related to the event and how its devastating impact has influenced strategies for tsunami defense and local warning systems.
Among the dozens of countries that reduced their emissions 2016-2019, carbon dioxide emissions fell at roughly one tenth the rate needed worldwide to hold global warming well below 2°C relative to preindustrial levels, a new study finds.
A new study provides the first global accounting of fluctuations in lake and reservoir water levels. The research shows 57 percent of the variability occurs in dammed reservoirs and other bodies of water managed by people, highlighting the dominant role humans now play in Earth’s water cycle.
First of its kind study reveals evidence that early exposure to dirty air alters genes in a way that could lead to adult heart disease, among other ailments. The findings could change the way medical experts and parents think about the air children breathe and inform clinical interventions.
A new model of disease spread describes how competing economic and health incentives influence social contact – and vice versa. The result is a complex and dynamic epidemic trajectory.
A new research review finds the rate of plastic consumption in fish has doubled in the past decade and continues to increase. Fish higher up on the food chain are at the greatest risk.
Research based on the daily movements of people living in a contemporary hunter-gatherer society provides new evidence for links between the gendered division of labor in human societies over the past 2.5 million years and differences in the way men and women think about space.
A new study finds emissions from deforestation, conversion of wild landscapes to agriculture, and other changes in land use worldwide contributed 25 percent of all human-caused emissions between 2001 and 2017.
A promising lead halide perovskite is great at converting sunlight to electricity, but it breaks down at room temperature. Now scientists have discovered how to stabilize it with pressure from a diamond anvil cell.
A new study in Bangladesh finds that a relatively affordable remediation process can almost entirely remove lead left behind by unregulated battery recycling – and raises troubling questions about how to effectively eliminate the poison from children’s bodies.
Wildfire smoke will be one of the most widely felt health impacts of climate change throughout the country, but U.S. clean air regulations are not equipped to deal with it. Stanford experts discuss the causes and impacts of wildfire activity and its rapid acceleration in the American west.
Flooding has caused hundreds of billions of dollars in damage in the U.S. over the past three decades. Researchers found that 36 percent of the costs of flooding in the U.S. from 1988 to 2017 were a result of intensifying precipitation, consistent with predictions of global warming.
Finding and extracting deposits of cobalt, lithium, nickel and other materials used in batteries is expensive and environmentally fraught. Geoscientists are now using artificial intelligence to quickly identify new resources, get the most out of those we already know about and improve refining processes.
Looking back at what has been a turbulent year, the Stanford community has found new ways to come together to learn and to work, while also advancing research.
Carbon dioxide emissions from oil, gas and coal this year are predicted to reach approximately 34 billion tons, a 7 percent drop from fossil emission levels in 2019. Emissions from transport account for the largest share of the global decrease.
Our list includes a mix of favorites, high-impact stories and some of our most-read research coverage from a tumultuous year.
Stanford researchers can predict where and when uranium is released into aquifers and suggest an easy fix to keep this naturally occurring toxin from contaminating water sources.
A new wastewater testing approach capable of better detecting viral infection patterns in communities could prove a crucial step toward an informed public health response to diseases like COVID-19.
From Dec. 7-17, Stanford faculty, students and scholars presented their work at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU), along with fellow scientists and researchers from various disciplines in the Earth and planetary sciences.
Freshwater ecosystems across the world have experienced rapid species declines compared to ecosystems on land or in the ocean. New research shows that small, community-based reserves in Thailand’s Salween River Basin are serving as critical refuges for fish diversity.
Julia Novy-Hildesley moderated a discussion for women leaders on preparing for and overcoming adversity.
Stanford Earth’s 2020 photo contest drew 156 photographs from faculty, students, and staff. The images captured experiences coping with COVID-19, as well as close encounters with nature from activities before the pandemic.
Stanford epidemiologist Stephen Luby discusses surprising results of a recent study on Nipah virus, a disease with no vaccine and a mortality rate of up to 70 percent.
Drawing from studies on human behavior and responses to past epidemics and wildfire smoke, researchers outline recommendations for communicating correct mask use and suggest areas for further research.
A new multi-drone imaging system was put to the test in Antarctica. The task? Documenting a colony of roughly 1 million Adélie penguins.
A new study outlines how capturing and permanently storing carbon dioxide from power plants, oil refineries and other facilities could help California meet its climate goals.
A collection of research and insights from Stanford experts on where and how earthquakes happen, why prediction remains elusive, advances in detection and monitoring, links to human activities, how to prepare for "The Big One," and more.
Making high-quality care accessible to local and Indigenous communities was correlated with a 70 percent reduction of deforestation in an Indonesian national park. By offsetting healthcare costs, the community-designed program reduced incentives for illegal logging.
Tiny movements in Earth’s outermost layer may provide a Rosetta Stone for deciphering the physics and warning signs of big quakes. New algorithms that work a little like human vision are now detecting these long-hidden microquakes in the growing mountain of seismic data.
Extremely hot days may directly affect students’ capacity to learn and teachers’ capacity to teach, especially in schools without air conditioning, according to a new study. Worsening climate change is likely to deepen educational inequities.
A collection of research and insights from Stanford experts on wildfires' links to climate change, the health impacts of smoke, and promising strategies for preventing huge blazes and mitigating risks.
Dean Stephan Graham co-authored an op-ed with the deans of the School of Humanities and Sciences and the School of Engineering urging readers to "vote for the party and candidate of your choice, but by all means vote."
Engineers at Stanford have used X-ray CT scans, more common in hospital labs, to study how wood catches fire. They’ve now turned that knowledge into a computer simulation to predict where fires will strike and spread.
Though partisanship makes it difficult to enact policy to deal with climate change, research shows that experience with wildfires might diminish the partisan gap.
A warming climate and urbanization will likely lower rates of malaria, while increasing rates of other mosquito-borne diseases, such as dengue fever, in Sub-Saharan Africa. Public health strategies must adapt to avoid a public health crisis.
Unusual lightning strikes sparked the massive wildfires burning across California. Stanford climate and wildfire experts discuss extreme weather’s role in current and future wildfires, as well as ways to combat the trend toward bigger, more intense conflagrations.
California’s massive wildfires bring a host of health concerns for vulnerable populations, firefighters and others. Stanford researchers discuss related threats, preparedness and ongoing research.
When survival over generations is the end game, researchers say it makes sense to undervalue long shots that could be profitable and overestimate the likelihood of rare bad outcomes.
Researchers have modeled how coastal flooding will impact commutes in the Bay Area over the next 20 years. Regions with sparse road networks will have some of the worst commute delays, regardless of their distances from the coast.
Researchers hypothesize outcomes of the pandemic’s unprecedented socioeconomic disruption, and outline research priorities for advancing our understanding of humans’ impact on the environment.
Stanford scientists discuss obstacles for large-scale green initiatives and what it takes for sustainability efforts to deliver lasting benefits across borders, sectors and communities.
Researchers combined avalanche physics with ecosystem data to create a computational method for predicting extreme ecological events. The method may also have applications in economics and politics.
A new study reveals particles that were released from nuclear plants damaged in the devastating 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami contained small amounts of radioactive plutonium.
New research finds that air pollution from sources in the U.S. leads to 100,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. While about half of all air pollution-related deaths from fine particulate matter result from burning fossil fuels, the remaining are largely from animal agriculture, dust from construction and roads, and burning wood for heating and cooking.
Research shows how diversifying waste treatment could help alleviate a multitude of global challenges — from environmental sustainability to hunger.
Machine learning generates far more carbon emissions than most people realize. A Stanford team has developed a tool to measure the hidden cost.
A computer science PhD student describes how we might combine the flexibility of drones with the capacity of ground-based vehicles to make e-commerce more traffic-friendly.
A proposed change to federal regulations would give less consideration to the health benefits of air pollution rules. Mary Prunicki of Stanford’s Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research discusses likely outcomes for poor communities.
Faculty at Stanford's School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences recommend these 24 books for your summer reading.
The first-of-its-kind study reveals that subsidies for the planting of commercially valuable tree plantations in Chile resulted in the loss of biologically valuable natural forests and little, if any, additional carbon sequestration.
Engineers have devised a model to describe how, in the process of establishing wind farms, interactions between developers and landowners affect energy production costs.
Graduates of the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences have the knowledge and skills to create an environmentally just and sustainable world for everyone, according to Dean Stephan Graham.
In a Q&A, environmental law Professor Deborah Sivas discusses a recent executive order that empowers federal agencies to override legal requirements for environmental reviews and community feedback related to major infrastructure projects.
New research shows living near oil and gas development in California is a risk factor for preterm birth, the leading cause of infant death in the United States. About 2.1 million Californians live within one mile of an active oil or gas well.
Gross Domestic Product, the standard metric for measuring national economies, doesn’t account for the valuable services provided by nature. A new approach could help fill the gap.
New research shows composting human waste produces an effective fertilizer for agriculture while increasing safety, sustainability and jobs, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and waste-borne illnesses.
A new tool combines publicly accessible satellite imagery with AI to track poverty across African villages over time.
Researchers have developed a deep-learning model that maps fuel moisture levels in fine detail across 12 western states, opening a door for better fire predictions.
Global carbon dioxide emissions are down dramatically in the wake of COVID-19. A new study pinpoints where energy demand has dropped the most, estimates the impact on annual emissions and points the way to a less polluted future.
COVID-19 and other looming threats could make it much harder for people to access food. David Lobell, director of Stanford’s Center on Food Security and the Environment, outlines likely scenarios and possible solutions.
As climate change and population growth make drinking water costlier, here are six strategies to quench the state’s thirst without busting its budget.
Careful engineering of low, plant-covered hills along shorelines can mitigate tsunami risks with less disruption of coastal life and lower costs compared to seawalls.
A Stanford education scholar discusses how young people are affected by the politicization of climate change – and what science teachers can do to help bridge the divide.
Stanford Earth Dean Steve Graham joined one of the thousands of rallies held in celebration of the first Earth Day. Now he discusses the event and his own expanding thinking about the planet and its history.
Experts from the Stanford-based Natural Capital Project explain the value of wild bees in our agricultural systems, especially in light of the increased risk murder hornets pose to domesticated honey bees.
Viruses that jump from animals to people, like the one responsible for COVID-19, will likely become more common as people continue to transform natural habitats into agricultural land, a new study suggests.
Much remains unknown about how the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads through the environment. Environmental engineers describe potential transmission pathways and their implications.
Emerging infectious diseases have become more likely – and more likely to be consequential – partly as a result of how people move around the planet and relate to the natural world.
Using artificial intelligence, a Stanford-led research team has slashed battery testing times – a key barrier to longer-lasting, faster-charging batteries for electric vehicles – by nearly fifteenfold.
Ahmi Dhuna, a coterminal master's student in Sustainability Science and Practice (SUST), helped organize a satellite Democratic Party caucus so constituents can be counted in the voting process.
In regions that lack the resources to treat the contaminated water, it can lead to disease, cancer and even death.
Despite having proven effective at reducing wildfire risks, prescribed burns have been stymied by perceived and real risks, regulations and resource shortages. A new analysis highlights ways of overcoming those barriers, offering solutions for wildfire-ravaged landscapes.
By reviewing the psychology behind climate change rejection, a Stanford researcher suggests four approaches that can sway climate deniers and help overcome obstacles to implementing solutions.