Woods Institute for the Environment


The Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University harnesses the expertise and imagination of leading academics and decision-makers to create practical solutions for people and the planet. In the same spirit that inspired Stanford?s role in Silicon Valley?s high-tech revolution, the Woods Institute is pioneering innovative approaches to meet the environmental challenges of the 21st century ? from climate change to sustainable food supplies to ocean conservation.

The Woods Institute carries out its mission by:

  • Sponsoring research that leads to new solutions to global environmental sustainability issues.
  • Infusing science into policies and practices of the business, government, and NGO communities.
  • Developing strong environmental leaders for today and the future.
  • Serving as a catalyst and a hub for the university’s interdisciplinary work in environmental research, education, and action.

Research at Woods focuses on five core areas:

  • Climate and energy
  • Land use and conservation
  • Oceans and estuaries
  • Freshwater
  • Sustainable built environment

The Woods Environmental Venture Projects program provides seed funding to interdisciplinary teams of faculty for innovative research in these core areas.

Through its Strategic Collaborations and Uncommon Dialogues, the institute brings faculty together with leaders from the private and public sectors to develop pragmatic approaches and tools for solving major environmental challenges.

Finding practical solutions also requires leaders in research, business, and public policy who can effectively communicate and collaborate. The Woods Institute provides researchers with leadership training and creates opportunities for decision makers to learn about cutting-edge environmental research. To educate and inspire future leaders, the institute sponsors unique educational programs for students and teachers.

Through this and other work, the Woods Institute is helping to ensure that we can meet the needs of not only the current generation but of generations to come.