Stanford Food Project

DiscoSoup at Stanford is an extension of an already existing movement to reduce food waste - reducing resource management inefficiencies and improving food security. DiscoSoup’s approach combines social impact and live music and has proven appealing to a wide range of groups. DiscoSoup has been recognized by several prominent organizations such as the UN, Slow Food, FAO, etc. The events themselves are fun, lively, and represent an inclusive community effort to cook and distribute a meal out of otherwise would-be wasted (unmarketable and/or rejected because of surplus or shape), but perfectly edible produce recovered from farms and markets. DiscoSoup Stanford will bring together undergraduate and graduate students, as well as interested employees and professors to realize the existence of food waste/loss and to cook, converse, and collaborate, while enjoying the event of music and working to feed hungry people in the community surrounding Stanford. While organizations already exist that bring food waste to food banks and shelters, DiscoSoup frames reducing food waste in a positive light, and in doing so, both educates and involves the community in a tangible way. 

Mitigating Western Bluebird Decline at the Dish
Students for a Sustainable Stanford Biodiversity Group

This project aims to protect the Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) from habitat loss, both from interspecial competition and human encroachment, and simultaneously to educate the community about native species decline. Through this project, Students for a Sustainable Stanford (SSS) Biodiversity Group will install bluebird boxes at the Dish trail on Stanford campus to mitigate loss of nesting sites. By collaborating with SEEDS, the Stanford Birdwatching Club, and Professor Terry Root and her Biology of Birds class in the winter, we will involve both Stanford students and East Palo Alto high school students in the construction, installation and appreciation of the effects of the bluebird boxes. This approach will allow us to disseminate a culture of promoting native species conservation in the Stanford community and beyond.

Promoting Reuse and Recycling of Consumer Apparel
Independent Graduate Students

This projects aims to encourage more people to reuse/recycle their used clothes instead of throwing them in the trash and to study ways to motivate people to turn in their used clothes for reuse or recycling. The project specifically focuses on the situation in Japan, contrasting it with the U.S., because Japan is such an extreme case in which so little is being reused/recycled now. We will set up a collection program both in Japan and the U.S. and test various methods and messaging. The objective is to determine the most effective ways to encourage people to bring in their used apparel for reuse and recycling.  This project will aid people in saving used apparel, keeping good clothes from going to the trash bin, while providing valuable information for implementing actual collection programs. Beyond Japan, the team hopes to learn better ways for changing people’s behaviors that is applicable in other regions, including motivating people who are currently not reusing/recycling in the U.S.

Remote Monitoring System for Micro-Hydro Plants, Indonesia, Year 2
Engineers for a Sustainable World

For the second year of this project, a group of five undergraduates and two graduate students will continue to advance the design of a remote monitoring system for micro-hydro plants for an Indonesian nonprofit IBEKA (People Centered Business and Economic Initiative). IBEKA seeks to bring about rural development in Indonesia in a sustainable way by providing villages with the technical and administrative expertise to implement small-scale community-owned renewable energy projects. To that end, we are working with IBEKA to design an inexpensive remote monitoring system with four main components: a sensor board placed at the generator that records desired micro-hydropower plant data (e.g. voltage, current, frequency, power output); a transmitter that puts that data into an SMS to be sent hourly; a receiver in the headquarters that receives the SMS, extracts the data and uploads it to an online database; and a web interface that allows users to visualize or download the data. The design of this system is modular as once the system is working for micro-hydro plants, IBEKA intends to extend it to monitoring wind and solar photovoltaic installations. The team intends to design a system that only requires a change to the sensor board and modifications to the transmitter to send data more frequently in order to accomodate the much smaller time scale fluctuations of wind and solar data.

Socio-Environmental Risks and Resources in East Palo Alto 
Independent Graduate Students

Youth United for Community Action (YUCA), a socio-environmental organization based in East Palo Alto (EPA), is particularly concerned with a number of traditionally-conceived environmental issues in their area: water shortages, poor water quality, flooding, lack of shade trees and green space, limited access to fresh food, persistent chemical and auditory pollution. Beyond these traditional environmental concerns, YUCA is also concerned with issues such as the availability and security of employment and affordable housing and the accessibility of public transportation. This collaboration between Stanford and YUCA will combine the skills and expertise of a group of anthropology and education PhD students in survey design, mapping and data analysis and presentation with YUCA’s knowledge and expertise of EPA to produce a spatialized set of environmental risks and resources in EPA as perceived by EPA residents.  The objectives are: 1) To further capacitate YUCA administration and membership and participating Stanford undergraduates to conduct GIS-related projects; 2) to produce with and disseminate among the Stanford community data that expand on existing pedagogical efforts engaging socio-environmental issues in EPA; 3) to provide YUCA administration and membership with data which will enhance and inform their existing engagement with the multiple forms of municipal government (including GIS training).


The Teaching Ocean
Kaipo Lucas, Peter Montgomery, Alexzandra Scully

This project will create a 15-minute documentary film highlighting the traditional beliefs and current conservation efforts surrounding Southern Humpback whales in the Kindgom of Tonga, where the whales visit every July to breed and calve their young. Through extensive interviews with marine biologists, conservationists, local Tongan fisherman, members of the Tongan monarchy and others, this project will seek to understand the influence a western tourist-model may have on marine environment and cultural preservation. Goals include  determining the effects a steady increase in tourism may have on Southern Humpbacks, the promotion or dilution of local Tongan culture and related ecotourism best practices.

Remote Monitoring System for Micro-Hydropower Plants in Indonesia
Tha Zin, Manni Cavalli-Sforza, Christopher Ling, Meredith Marks, Keenan Molner, Michelle Valentine; Stanford Engineers for a Sustainable World, Institute for Business and Economy, WellDone

This project seeks to design and develop a remote monitoring system for micro-hydropower sites to be used by the Indonesian non-profit Institute for Business and Economy (IBEKA), an award-winning organization focused on enabling sustainable rural development. The goal is to help enhance the feasibility of small-scale clean power generation by ensuring the long-term sustainability of micro-hydro projects in a developing country. Project participants will design an affordable and easily maintained micro-controller complemented by a user-friendly application that will store and analyze power generation data for use by IBEKA. Our aim is to provide IBEKA beneficiaries, where community owned micro-hydro system technology exists, the ability to monitor and improve the electrification systems. 

Solar Irrigation in India for Small Share Farmers
Engineers for a Sustainable World

For the third consecutive year, in collaboration with Wells for India (a U.K.-based charity), and Sahyog Sansthan (a local NGO), Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW)-Stanford will design a solar irrigation system that will be suitable for poor smallholder farmers in the region. ESW’s Solar Irrigation Team will work in conjunction with Claro Ventures to design an integrated solar solution for smallholder farmers that will provide a reliable energy source for irrigation and domestic activities. The multi-use capacity of this solar design will not only provide labor and water savings during irrigation, but also encapsulate an entrepreneurial opportunity that will minimize agricultural risk and increase household food security.

Technical design and community development aspects of the project will be tackled in the Design for a Sustainable World (CEE177/277S&X) class, a student run, two-quarter design course operated by ESW. Its purpose is to introduce students in a structured fashion to the intricacies of international development work, design thinking and impact engineering through interdisciplinary design projects. Students will be selected for the new cohort in mid-November, and they will enroll in a one-credit class, Winter 2014. This course will help prepare the students to understand international development, and to develop the project plan for Spring 2014. During Spring 2014, the students will complete the project plan.

Sustainable Engineering Workshop Series
Engineers for a Sustainable World

The Local Initiatives Team is a newly developed team in Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW), currently in its second year. The team’s goal is to focus on sustainability initiatives in the Bay Area. The team is planning to continue carrying out an outreach program at Granada High School (GHS) in Livermore, Calif. Alongside GHS, the team plans to expand its outreach program to other communities including an after-school program located on the Stanford campus and the Opportunity Center in Palo Alto. The goal of the outreach program is to develop a series of workshops on relevant topics in sustainable engineering. This grant will help fund the more developed prototype course series for the group, which will include workshops on water quality, solar energy, wind energy, and green building. In the future, as the team continues to expand its capacity and develop newer courses, it will apply for other grants.

Tropical Kenari Nuts for a Sustainable Future
Independent team of students

A collaborative project between Stanford students and the village of Masihulan on the island of Seram in eastern Indonesia to design a human-powered (i.e., non-electric) nut cracker and organize a community co-operative to manage its utilization and maintenance. Kenari nuts come from various species of the tropical kenari tree (Canarium spp.), which grow in wild or human managed forests in the Philippines, Indonesia, New Guinea and Melanesia. The most common species in Seram is Canarium indicum, which is spread naturally by forest birds and opportunistically planted by people in abandoned gardens and villages. The fruits of the tree comprise an important food source for many birds and animals, including the endangered Seram cockatoo, whereas the tree itself provides a nesting site and is believed by local communities to help clean local streams and springs. The kernel of the fruit is protected by a hard nut casing to prevent its consumption by birds. During the kenari tree's fruiting season, which lasts about two months and begins at different times throughout the year at different locations on the island depending on elevation and rainfall, women and children gather fallen nuts and partially consumed fruits, then crack the nuts using rocks, hammers, and/or machetes to obtain the delicious and nutritious kernel, which is high in fats and proteins. These kernels are consumed domestically and sold to local markets.

Low-cost technology development using 3-D printing: Designing a water disinfection device for slums in Dhaka, Bangladesh
Stanford University Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW)

To further refine an in-line, automatic chlorination technology, which disinfects water from common hand pumps, this team is moving toward larger-scale field testing and manufacturing. Beyond the technology development goals, the team hopes to share its experience with other members of the Stanford community. In 2011, this project was part of Stanford Engineers for a Sustainable World’s (ESW) two-quarter course, introducing students to design challenges in the developing world. One of the team’s key tools in the design process has been a Makerbot 3D printer. Thus, the team’s key objectives include introducing students in ESW to 3D printing as a tool for low-cost, rapid prototyping. To that end, the team will purchase materials and equipment necessary to further develop the prototype at Stanford for field testing and manufacturing. Additionally, it will introduce 3D printing to Stanford students involved in developing-world design and to engage a wider community in one example of the innovative design projects underway at Stanford, through a Dhaka team blog.



Bay Area Tropical Forest Network (BATFN)
Kelly McManus

The Bay Area Tropical Forest Network (BATFN) provides an exciting forum for students, researchers, faculty, activists, and professionals interested in issues related to tropical forests to interact, learn from one another, spark new research efforts, and form collaborations. BATFN provides a forum for students interested in tropical forest issues to meet leaders in this field and be exposed to current research issues. Through these activities, BATFN improves the research being conducted at Stanford as well as enables its broader use and application.


Ocean Treasure Film Festival
Coastal Society – Stanford Chapter

The Ocean Treasures Film Festival is intended to educate students about the problems facing our oceans and the solutions, while fostering an intimate understanding of their relationship to the marine world and their role in these solutions. This team proposes holding four events with the last one followed by a panel discussion of experts. The goal is to reach out to the film community across campus and engage both faculty and students in this event. They also propose to hold a film competition, encouraging members of the community to produce short films about what the ocean means to them. 


Renewable Energy Design for Indonesia (REDI) Project
Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW)

Design for a Sustainable World is a student run two‐quarter design course (CEE 177/277 S & X) operated by Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW‐Stanford).  Its purpose is to introduce students in a structured fashion to the intricacies of international development work, design thinking and impact engineering through interdisciplinary design projects. The course this year will consist of four combined undergraduate, graduate and professional student teams from diverse backgrounds working on development projects in India, Indonesia, Kenya and Jordan in partnership with international NGOs. This grant will support two student to travel to Indonesia over spring break to gather engineering data for a 200kW micro-hydropower scheme that the twelve person team will conduct a feasibility study for in collaboration with an Indonesian NGO and a socially conscious startup company in the Bay Area. 


San Francisco Bay Offshore Wind Resource Assessment and Educational Engagement
Stanford Solar and Wind Energy Project (SWEP)

The primary goal of the project is to conduct a wind resource assessment of the Berkeley Marina at the Berkeley Yacht Club site while providing hands-on educational opportunities for the Stanford community interested in energy and sustainability. The project team also hopes to present its analysis to the City of Berkeley and / or San Francisco and help inform decision-makers of the offshore wind electricity potential in the Bay Area. This project will build off the preliminary analysis in SWEP’s previous efforts in 2009, utilizing real‐world measurement data to better inform the offshore potential in the Berkeley Marina area.



Bay Area Tropical Forest Network (BATFN)
Robert Heilmayr and Kim Carlson

The student organized network hosts a series of talks and events around the bay area which create an exciting forum for students, researchers, faculty, activists, and professionals interested in issues related to tropical forests to interact, learn from one another, spark new research efforts, and form collaborations.

Ecology in Our Own Backyard
Stanford Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity, and Sustainability (SEEDS)

The Stanford Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity, and Sustainability (SEEDS) will host the Third annual BioBlitz, which surveys plant and animal life in Stanford’s Lake Lagunita. This program is establishing a long-term record of the plant and animal life at the lake while spreading awareness and knowledge of the rich biodiversity in a nearby ecosystem to student and community members alike. This year participants included individuals and classes representing 10 area schools and colleges.

InnovAid: Innovations for Sustainable Development
Chiara Kovarik, Kristina Popova, Himani Phadke

The InnovAid team aims to raise awareness among the graduate and undergraduate student community around key sustainable development challenges, by holding a team-based and solutions-oriented workshop. At the conclusion of the workshop, teams will pitch their project ideas to a panel of experts and practitioners who will evaluate them on criteria such as: creativity, feasibility of implementation, profitability and scalability.

Integrated Mobile Sanitation Solutions for Peri-Urban Communities: Technology Development, Service Delivery, and Community Participation
Kory C. Russel and Sebastien Tilmans

In collaboration with the Non-Governmental Organization SOIL, this team of students will pilot a portable, low-cost household toilet and entrepreneurial service model to deliver safe sanitation and dignity to the urban poor in Haiti.

Renewable Galveston
Stanford Students Environmental Consulting

The Stanford Students Environmental Consulting team working in coordination with the Galveston Housing Authority (GHA), Galveston Independent School District (GISD) and City of Galveston (COG) will perform solar feasibility studies. In addition, they will educate the local community through demonstrations, materials and in-person discussions to help to ensure that rebuilding efforts are environmentally, economically and socially sustainable.

Stanford Open Water Initiative
Keegan Cooke

In conjunction with industry partner, Templeman Automation LLC and Stanford’s Transformative Learning Technologies Lab (TLT), this team will develop low-cost, open-source water diagnostic biotechnologies and an educational curriculum explaining the science behind the technologies. The technologies and curriculum will be piloted at three low-income school systems beginning with a U.S. based system. The goal is to provide classrooms with the tools needed to engage their students in modern bioscience by having them perform invaluable tests on their local water supplies. This capacity-building initiative will provide a platform for sustained water quality monitoring in low-income areas in the US and abroad.

Sustainable Seafood Education and Action on Stanford Campus
Lida Teneva, Aaron Strong

The Stanford Coastal Society in conjunction with the Center for Ocean Solutions will host a series of events in May 2012 to raise awareness regarding the future of seafood. The events will include: documentary screenings, talks by experts, and a cook-off event featuring sustainably sourced seafood. Additionally, students will investigate and document which eateries on campus source sustainable seafood.

2011   2010   2009   2008     2007