Gretchen Daily

Gretchen Daily won a Heinz Award and a Midori Prize. (Vern Evans / Heinz Foundation)

The Initiative on the Environment and Sustainability

Stanford environmental faculty research recognized worldwide

Organizations worldwide recognized the accomplishments of Stanford environmental scholars in 2009-10, reflecting the increasing impact of work encouraged by the Initiative on Environment and Sustainability. Among the faculty honored:

Harold Mooney

Harold Mooney won the Volvo Environmental Prize. (L.A. Cicero)

The five are among the scholars university-wide who are also fellows or senior fellows at the Ward W. and Priscilla B. Woods Institute for the Environment, which was founded in 2004 and remains the hub of the initiative.

The initiative is led by Jeffrey Koseff, the William Alden Campbell and Martha Campbell Professor in the School of Engineering and the Perry L. McCarty Director of the Woods Institute; Pamela Matson, the Chester Naramore Dean of the School of Earth Sciences and the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Professor in Environmental Studies; and Barton “Buzz” Thompson, the Robert E. Paradise Professor in Natural Resources Law and the Perry L. McCarty Director of the Woods Institute.

Woods Institute initiatives

Water presents one of the greatest sustainability challenges of this century. Woods Institute co-director Jeffrey Koseff explains the institute's new Freshwater Initiative.

Among the Woods Institute’s missions is to infuse science into policies of business, government and non-governmental organizations. To that end, the institute sponsored a range of activities, including:

Jon Krosnick describes Woods Institute public perception surveys of climate change.

In 2010, research and outreach activities in the three collaborations within the Woods Institute continued to expand:

Progress in energy research

The Initiative on the Environment and Sustainability also benefits from the ongoing energy-related research and teaching spurred by the Precourt Institute for Energy, founded in 2009.

The Precourt Institute includes the Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP), launched in 2002 to seek new solutions to meet the challenge of supplying energy to the world’s growing population while preserving the environment; the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy, launched in 2009 to harness the skills and creativity of science, technology and policy experts to transform the world’s energy systems for a sustainable future, with initial focus on the energy grid; and the Precourt Energy Efficiency Center, created in 2006 to promote efficient and economically viable energy technology.

It also partners with the Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Science, which is associated with the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, and the Program on Energy and Sustainable Development in the Freeman Spogli Institute. It is working with the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research to establish a new Environmental and Energy Policy Analysis Center. Also complementing this work is the new Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance.

Multidisciplinary research remains key

Interdisciplinary research remains key to progress in environmental sustainability and energy. Faculty members in all seven schools at Stanford are addressing sustainability challenges. Grants made by the Woods Institute, the Precourt Institute, TomKat Center and GCEP encourage and facilitate innovation: