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
"Sustainable Product Engineering and Human Behavior"
Erin MacDonald, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford
» Read more ...
Environmental Forum
"Environmental Behavior and Environmental Learning”
Woods Center Fellow Nicole Ardoin (Education) will discuss research on how human behavior and sustainability outcomes are influenced by the social landscape of environmental learning
» Read more ...
"Earth Matters: A Matter of Degrees"
Woods Senior Fellow Noah Diffenbaugh (Environmental Earth System Science) and Ph.D. students will discuss climate change impacts on weather, water resources, agriculture, human health and poverty vulnerability
» Read more ...

Making a Living, Sustainably

This past summer, Costa Rica's president ventured to a remote area of his country for the first time. Luis Guillermo Solís paid a visit to a Stanford Woods Institute program in the Osa and Golfito region, an ecological wonderland threated by development (read more). Woods' Osa & Golfito Initiative (INOGO) is seeking ways to help the region's people plan a sustainable future. Solís was particularly interested in Caminos del Liderazgo, or Pathways to Leadership, an effort by INOGO and local partners to develop leadership skills and create sustainable tourism offerings. "The only way of solving the structural problems that have affected the peninsula for over 40 years is through alliances with social organizations, entrepreneurs and the government," Solís said of the effort. "This is achieved precisely through projects that allow for the development of these public-private partnerships." We couldn't agree more, and we can't wait to see what comes out of this effort. Read on to learn about other innovative environmental solutions that balance conservation with people's needs. Have a wonderful holiday season and a happy new year.


Jeffrey R. Koseff
Perry L. McCarty Director


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


Program Updates

Software Solution Balances Impacts of Development Projects

Increasingly, countries and funders are requiring project developers to account for and mitigate environmental damage. A powerful new software tool developed by the Natural Capital Project can help countries around the world more efficiently assess the impact of development projects, and plan mitigations that benefit communities equitably.

Photo credit: Stacie Wolny

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Using Science to Open Way to "Blue Economy"

Scientists at the Natural Capital Project recently shared new science and open source software that can calculate risk to coastal and marine ecosystems. These novel tools were used to design the first integrated coastal zone management plan for the Caribbean country of Belize.

Photo credit: Melanie McField

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Research Highlights

Urban Agriculture on the Rise

Food production globally is taking on an increasingly urban flavor, according to a new study that finds 456 million hectares—an area about the size of the European Union—is under cultivation in and around the world's cities. The paper, co-authored by Woods Senior Fellow Eric Lambin (Environmental Earth System Science), challenges the rural orientation of most agriculture research and development work.

Photo credit: Linda / Creative Commons

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Some Underwater Waves May Harm Deep-Water Organisms

A team led by Woods Senior Fellow Stephen Monismith (Civil and Environmental Engineering) discovered that voluminous underwater waves known as "internal bores" can have a dramatic impact on marine productivity, potentially affecting the abundance and distribution of a variety of organisms.

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Avoiding Ecosystem Collapse

From coral reefs to prairie grasslands, some of the world's most iconic habitats are susceptible to sudden collapse due to seemingly minor events. A study co-authored by Center for Ocean Solutions researchers holds the promise of helping resource managers predict, avoid, and reverse the tipping points that lead to degraded habitats, economic losses and social upheaval.

Photo credit: Ronald H. McPeak, UCSB Digital Commons, UC Regents

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

Engineer Honored for Environmental Work

Woods Senior Fellow, by courtesy, Richard Luthy (Civil and Environmental Engineering) received the 2015 Gordon Maskew Fair Award from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers & Scientists. The award recognizes his substantial contributions to the field of environmental engineering and his dedication to improving the quality of the world’s environment.

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Naylor Appointed to Endowed Faculty Position

William Wrigley Senior Fellow Rosamond Naylor (Environmental Earth System Science) was appointed the inaugural holder of the William Wrigley Professorship in the School of Earth Sciences. Naylor, director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment, teaches courses on the world food economy, human-environment interactions and sustainable agriculture.

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Learning From a Day at the Zoo

A trip to the zoo or aquarium is an opportunity for deep engagement and learning in science and environmental issues. A research team led by Woods Center Fellow Nicole Ardoin (Education) received a $115,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to look at the potential for long-term learning in these informal settings.

Photo credit: Courtesy NatureBridge

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

Reopen Barnett Shale Water Probe in Texas

Texas Tribune, Dec. 1
Op-ed by Senior Fellow Robert Jackson (Environmental Earth System Science) on contamination of drinking water by oil and gas drilling

Getting Our Money's Worth From $7.5 Billion Water Bond

San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 28
Op-ed by Woods Co-Director and Senior Fellow Buzz Thompson (Law) on merits of California's Proposition 1

'How Long Will It Last, and How Do We Plan?' California Drought Foreshadows Crisis for Rest of West 

Billings Gazette, Nov. 29
Quotes Leon Szeptycki, executive director of Water in the West, on California's record-breaking drought

Meet a Data Scientist Who's Helped Revolutionize Agriculture 

Forbes, Nov. 20
Profile of Senior Fellow David Lobell (Environmental Earth System Science)

California's Brown Calls Conservation Priority in Drought

Bloomberg Businessweek, Oct. 20
Quotes California Gov. Jerry Brown on comments he made at forum co-hosted by Stanford Woods Institute

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