School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences
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Donald and Donald M. Steel Professor in Earth Sciences
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsInvestigates role of ocean biology in gobal carbon and nutrient cycles.
Associate Professor of Earth System Science and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
BioMarshall Burke is an assistant professor in the Department of Earth System Science, deputy director at the Center on Food Security and the Environment, and center fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) at Stanford University. He is also a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a co-founder of AtlasAI, a remote sensing start-up. His research focuses on social and economic impacts of environmental change and on measuring and understanding economic development in emerging markets. His work has appeared in both economic and scientific journals, including recent publications in Nature, Science, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, and The Lancet. He holds a PhD in agricultural and resource economics from the University of California, Berkeley and a BA in international relations from Stanford University.
Prospective students should see my personal webpage, linked at right.
Victoria and Roger Sant Director, Earth Systems Program, Associate Professor of Earth System Science and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsAssistant Professor in EESS, focus on marine chemistry and biogeochemistry.
Assistant Professor of Earth System Science
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsEnvironmental microbiology, deep-sea microbial ecology, marine biogeochemistry
Kara J. Foundation Professor and Kimmelman Family Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsDr. Noah S. Diffenbaugh is an Editor of the peer-review journal Geophysical Research Letters, and a Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He is a recipient of the James R. Holton Award from the American Geophysical Union, a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation, and a Terman Fellowship from Stanford University. He has also been recognized as a Kavli Fellow by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and as a Google Science Communication Fellow.
Social Science Research Scholar
BioSibyl Diver is a research scientist at Stanford University in the Department of Earth System Science. She does community-engaged research on Indigenous water governance focusing on Pacific Northwest salmon watersheds. This includes research on co-management (or collaborative management) arrangements between Indigenous communities and state agencies. She received her PhD from Berkeley's Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at the College of Natural Resources. Sibyl completed her undergraduate work at Stanford, earning a dual degree in Human Biology and Russian. Prior to graduate school, Sibyl spent eight years with the non-profit Pacific Environment, supporting Russian grassroots environmental and indigenous leaders to have a voice in natural resource management decisions. Sibyl is a member of the Karuk-UC Berkeley Collaborative, a group supporting the Karuk Tribe's eco-cultural revitalization strategy in Northern California.
For publications and CV, please see www.sibyldiver.com.
W.M. Keck Professor in the School of Earth Sciences and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOcean processes, biogeochemistry, climatology/paleoclimatology, isotopic chemistry, ocean policy
Terry Huffington Professor, Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsSoil and environmental biogeochemistry
Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, Director, Woods Institute for the Environment, Professor of Earth System Science, of Biology and Senior Fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch
My field is climate-change science, and my research emphasizes human-ecological interactions across many disciplines. Most studies include aspects of ecology, but also aspects of law, sociology, medicine, or engineering.
Professor of Earth System Science and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMicrobial cycling of carbon, nitrogen, and metals in the environment; molecular geomicrobiology; marine microbiology; microbial diversity
Cyrus Fisher Tolman Professor in the School of Earth Sciences and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch
As a hydrogeologist, my research involves the study of water resources and water security with emphasis on groundwater. Using lab and field data, our aim is to develop an understanding of fundamental aspects of the transport of water and contaminants, and to investigate regional water resources systems. We have developed simulation-based planning tools to aid in sustainable agricultural and urban water management in the US, Mexico, India, and Jordan. With my colleagues, we have initiated the Global Freshwater Initiative, which studies water resources vulnerability problems throughout the world. During the past 14 years, our field investigations have focused on the interactions between groundwater and patterns of vegetation in studies of both meadow and salt-marsh ecohydrology. Scales of physical processes of interest extend from the domain of small pores to vast regional subsurface flow environments. Although driven by observations and data, we develop conceptual and quantitative models to rigorously understand physical processes, make predictions, and explore the impacts of new water management policies, such as taxes, quota, and markets. Such models enhance our understanding of groundwater flow behavior and provide the means to better manage water resources.
I teach courses for graduate and undergraduate students involving principles and methods used in physical and contaminant hydrogeology. In addition, I run a seminar series that exposes students to a variety of multidisciplinary topics involving hydrology.
2016 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2014 Best Paper in Environmental Research Letters in 2014 (Padowski and Gorelick, (2014), 2013 Editor's Choice Award, Water Resources Research for paper Srinivasan et al., (2012), Member, US National Academy of Engineering (2012), International Fellow, Institute for Environmental Science and Research (ESR) (2011), New Zealand, Fulbright Senior Scholar (2008-09); Chester C. Keisel Memorial Lecturer, University of Arizona (2008); Best Paper Award in Computers and Geosciences, International Association for Mathematical Geology (2006); fellow, John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2005); Stanford representative to the Consortium of Universities for Advancement of Hydrologic Sciences (2005-2008); M. King Hubbert Science Award, NGWA (2004); Ineson Distinguished Lecturer (1998); Fulbright Senior Scholar (1997); O.E. Meinzer Award, GSA (1994) James B. Macelwane medal, AGU (1990); Fellow, GSA (1988) and AGU (1990); Editorial Board, Optimization and Engineering Journal (1990-present); visiting professor, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Ecological Engineering Laboratory (2006); visiting professor, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, jointly at the Swiss Federal Institute for Environmental Science and Technology (2005); visiting scholar, University of Cambridge, Zoology (2007); visiting scientist, CSIRO, Perth, Australia (2009); Member AGU Water and Society Technical Committee (2011-present) visiting professor, University of Western Australia Centre for Ecohydrology (2012); visiting professor, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH Zurich (2013, 2019), Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Science, Technology and Innovation, Australian-American Program (2019-2020).
John A. Harrison
Visiting Professor, Earth System Science
BioDue largely to human activities associated with food and energy production, the world is experiencing an un-precedented mobilization of nutrients such as nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). A substantial portion of this mobilized N and P flows into streams and rivers, and eventually down to coastal waters, where nutrient over-enrichment has been associated with a host of environmental impacts. En route to the ocean, these nutrients can alter ecosystem function as well as the balance of atmospheric greenhouse gases.
I use experimental and spatially explicit modeling approaches to elucidate processes governing the mobilization, transport, transformation, and ecosystem/biogeochemical impacts of land-based N, P, and other bio-active elements. For more information about me and my research group, please see my Washington State University research page: https://labs.wsu.edu/gcwblab/
Michelle and Kevin Douglas Provostial Professor and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and at the Precourt Institute for Energy
BioRob Jackson and his lab examine the many ways people affect the Earth. They seek basic scientific knowledge and use it to help shape policies and reduce the environmental footprint of global warming, energy extraction, and other issues. They're currently examining the effects of climate change and droughts on forest mortality and grassland ecosystems. They are also working to measure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the Global Carbon Project (globalcarbonproject.org), which Jackson chairs; examples of new research Rob leads include establishing a global network of methane tower measurements at more than 80 sites worldwide and measuring and reducing methane emissions from oil and gas wells, city streets, and homes and buildings.
As an author and photographer, Rob has published a trade book about the environment (The Earth Remains Forever, University of Texas Press), two books of children’s poems, Animal Mischief and Weekend Mischief (Highlights Magazine and Boyds Mills Press), and recent or forthcoming poems in the journals Southwest Review, Cortland Review, Cold Mountain Review, Atlanta Review, LitHub, and more. His photographs have appeared in many media outlets, including the NY Times, Washington Post, USA Today, US News and World Report, Science, Nature, and National Geographic News.
Rob is a current Guggenheim Fellow and sabbatical visitor in the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He is also a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Geophysical Union, and Ecological Society of America. He received a Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering from the National Science Foundation, awarded at the White House.
James Holland Jones
Associate Professor of Earth System Science and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsI am a biological anthropologist with primary research interests in evolutionary demography and life history theory. In addition these fundamental interests in the evolution of human life histories, I work at the intersection of disease ecology, the analysis of dynamical systems, and social network analysis. My work combines the formalisms of population biology, statistics, and social network analysis to address fundamental problems in biodemography, epidemiology, and human decision-making in variable environments.
Professor (Teaching) of Earth System Science, Emerita
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch
For the past 21 years I have been active in designing and running the school's interdisciplinary environmental science and policy undergraduate major, the Earth Systems Program. I have specific interest in interdisciplinary teaching and learning, and in the effective communication of complex interdisciplinary problem descriptions, analysis methods, and solutions to expert and non-expert audiences. I advise and work on research projects with undergraduate and master's level students whose interests include ecology, energy, land systems management, ocean science and policy, sustainability, environmental education, and science communication.
I teach classes in interdisciplinary problem analysis and in critical reading and review of environmental literature. I also am one of a number of faculty who co-teach the Earth Systems gateway course, Introduction to Earth Systems.
My professional activities center on undergraduate education. I have been active for decades on Stanford committees that examine standards and policies, the review of general education requirements, undergraduate advising programs, student mental health, and student diversity.
Assistant Professor of Earth System Science, Center Fellow, by courtesy, at the Woods Institute for the Environment and Assistant Professor, by courtesy, of Geophysics
BioAlexandra Konings is a ecohydrologist - she is interested in how ecosystems and the carbon cycle respond to variations in water availability at large scales (and vice versa). Research questions in the Konings lab span a range of ecosystem properties, but many of them surround the role of vegetation water content in predicting plant health and its associated fluxes and growth. She holds SB and PhD degrees from MIT (working with Dara Entekhabi), and a M.S. from Duke University (working with Gaby Katul). She joined the Department of Earth System Science as an assistant professor in 2016 after two short postdoctoral stints at Columbia University (working with Pierre Gentine) and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (working with Dave Schimel, Sassan Saatchi, and others).
George and Setsuko Ishiyama Provostial Professor and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsI study human-environment interactions in land systems by linking remote sensing, GIS and socio-economic data. I aim at better understanding causes and impacts of changes in tropical forests, drylands, and farming systems. I currently focus on land use transitions – i.e., the shift from deforestation (or land degradation) to reforestation (or land sparing for nature), – the influence of globalization on land use decisions, and the interactions between public and private governance of land use.
Professor of Earth System Science and Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute, at the Woods Institute for the Environment and at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWe study the interactions between food production, food security, and the environment using a range of modern tools.
Katharine (Kate) Maher
Associate Professor of Earth System Science, Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and Professor, by courtesy, of Geological Sciences
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch
Chemical reactions between fluids and minerals create the environments that are uniquely characteristic of Earth’s surface. For example, chemical weathering reactions support the growth of soils and organisms and regulate the flow of elements to the oceans. The rates of these reactions also control the release and storage of natural and human-derived contaminants. Over geologic timescales, mineral-fluid reactions have helped to maintain a mostly habitable planet. Over human timescales, these reactions will regulate our ability to use Earth’s resources, such as soils, waters, and minerals.
My research focuses on the rates of reactions in different environments using a combination of geochemical tools, including isotope geochemistry, geochemical and hydrologic modeling, and geochronology in order to address the following themes: (1) defining the controls on mineral-fluid reactions rates in the environment (2) finding new approaches to use mineral-fluid reactions to safely store carbon dioxide in the subsurface; and (3) development of isotopic approaches to study mineral-fluid reactions in the environments of Earth’s past. To support these research themes, I have constructed a new mass spectrometer and clean lab facility capable of high precision geochemical and isotopic measurements, and teach a number of classes and short courses on reactive transport.
My teaching focuses on introducing students to the questions and major challenges in low-temperature and environmental geochemistry, and the application of isotope geochemistry to environmental and geologic problems. In order to introduce incoming students to Earth surface processes, materials and geochemistry, I am also teaching a freshman seminar on forensic geoscience. At the graduate level, I offer classes on isotope geochemistry and modeling of environmental transformations and mass transfer processes (i.e., subsurface reactive transport).
Richard and Rhoda Goldman Professor in Environmental Studies, Director, Change Leadership for Sustainability and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute
BioPAMELA MATSON is an interdisciplinary sustainability scientist, academic leader, and organizational strategist. She served as dean of Stanford University’s School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences from 2002-2017, building interdisciplinary departments and educational programs focused on resources, environment and sustainability, as well as co-leading university-wide interdisciplinary initiatives. In her current role as the Goldman Professor of Environmental Studies and Senior Fellow in the Woods Institute for the Environment, she leads the graduate program on Sustainability Science and Practice. Her research addresses a range of environment and sustainability issues, including sustainability of agricultural systems, vulnerability and resilience of particular people and places to climate change, and characteristics of science that can contribute to sustainability transitions at scale.
Dr. Matson serves as chair of the board of the World Wildlife Fund-US and as a board member of the World Wildlife Fund-International and several university advisory boards. She served on the US National Academy of Science Board on Sustainable Development and co-wrote the National Research Council’s volume Our Common Journey: A transition toward sustainability (1999); she also led the NRC committee on America’s Climate Choices: Advancing the Science of Climate Change. She was the founding chair of the National Academies Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability, and founding editor for the Annual Review of Environment and Resources. She is a past President of the Ecological Society of America. Her recent publications (among around 200) include Seeds of Sustainability: Lessons from the Birthplace of the Green Revolution (2012) and Pursuing Sustainability (2016).
Pam is an elected member of the National Academy of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a AAAS Fellow. She received a MacArthur Foundation Award, contributed to the award of the Nobel Prize to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, among other awards and recognitions, and is an Einstein Fellow of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Matson holds a Bachelor of Science degree with double majors in Biology and Literature from the University of Wisconsin (Eau Claire), a Master degree in Environmental Science and Policy from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, a Doctorate in Forest Ecology from Oregon State University, and honorary doctorates from Princeton, McGill and Arizona State Universities. She spent ten years as a research scientist with NASA-Ames Research Center before moving to a professorship at the University of California Berkeley and, in 1997, to Stanford University.
Anna Marta Michalak
Professor (By Courtesy), Earth System Science
BioDr. Anna M. Michalak is a faculty member in the Department of Global Ecology of the Carnegie Institution for Science and a Professor in the Department of Earth System Science. Her lab's research interests lie in understanding the cycling and emissions of greenhouse gases at the Earth surface at urban to global scales – scales directly relevant to informing climate and policy – primarily through the use of atmospheric observations that provide the clearest constraints at these critical scales. Her group is also interested in climate change impacts on freshwater and coastal water quality via influences on nutrient delivery to, and on conditions within, water bodies. Her approach is highly data-driven, with a common methodological thread being the development and application of spatiotemporal statistical data fusion methods for optimizing the use of limited in situ and remote sensing environmental data. She co-led the development of the U.S. Carbon Cycle Science Plan, is the Chair of the Integrated Carbon Observation System European Research Infrastructure Consortium Scientific Advisory Board, and is a Member of the NASA Earth Science Advisory Committee, among other appointments. She is a Leopold Environmental Leadership Fellow, and a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on scientists and engineers beginning their independent careers.
William Wrigley Professor, Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and Professor, by courtesy, of Economics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch Activities:
My research focuses on the environmental and equity dimensions of intensive food production systems, and the food security dimensions of low-input systems. I have been involved in a number of field-level research projects around the world and have published widely on issues related to climate impacts on agriculture, distributed irrigation systems for diversified cropping, nutrient use and loss in agriculture, biotechnology, aquaculture and livestock production, biofuels development, food price volatility, and food policy analysis.
I teach courses on the world food economy, food and security, aquaculture science and policy, human society and environmental change, and food-water-health linkages. These courses are offered to graduate and undergraduate students through the departments of Earth System Science, Economics, History, and International Relations.
William Wrigley Professor of Earth Science (2015 - Present); Professor in Earth System Science (2009-present); Director, Stanford Center on Food Security and the Environment (2005-2018); Associate Professor of Economics by courtesy (2000-present); William Wrigley Senior Fellow, Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and the Woods Institute for the Environment (2007-2015); Trustee, The Nature Conservancy CA program (2012-present); Member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the Beijer Institute for Ecological Economics in Stockholm (2011-present), for the Aspen Global Change Institute (2011-present), and for the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program (2012-present); Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow in Environmental Science and Public Policy (1999); Pew Fellow in Conservation and the Environment (1994). Associate Editor for the Journal on Food Security (2012-present). Editorial board member for Aquaculture-Environment Interactions (2009-present) and Global Food Security (2012-present).
Physical Science Research Scientist
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsSalvatore Pascale is a Research Scientist at the Department of Earth System Sciences at Stanford University.
His interests lie in understanding the impact of climate natural variability and change on the hydroclimate, with a particular emphasis on high-impact weather events (e.g., droughts, extreme precipitation) in monsoonal, mediterranean and semi-arid climates. These are densely populated regions, which, given the seasonal or erratic nature of their rainfall regimes, are particularly exposed to climate variability and to the impacts of global warming. In his research, Salvatore combines observations, statistical techniques and dynamical theory, and comprehensive and idealized climate models.
Assistant Professor of Earth System Science and Center Fellow, by courtesy, at the Woods Institute for the Environment
BioI joined Stanford's Earth System Science department as an assistant professor 2018. Prior to this, I was a a Junior Fellow of the Simons Foundation in New York, and a postdoctoral research scientist at Columbia University’s Department of Applied Physics and Applied Math and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. I got my Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science at MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, in the Program for Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate, where I worked with R. Alan Plumb. I’m broadly interested in atmosphere and ocean dynamics, climate variability, and general circulation.
I'm particularly interested in fundamental questions in atmospheric dynamics, which I address using a combination of theory, observations, and both idealized and comprehensive numerical experiments. Current areas of focus include the dynamics, variability, and change of the mid-latitude jets and storm tracks and the stratospheric polar vortex.
Associate Professor of Earth System Science and, by courtesy, of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsPhysical oceanography; theory and numerical modeling of the ocean circulation; dynamics of ocean fronts and vortices; upper ocean processes; air-sea interaction.
Clifford G. Morrison Professor in Population and Resource Studies, Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and Professor, by courtesy, of Earth System Science
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsVitousek's research interests include: evaluating the global cycles of nitrogen and phosphorus, and how they are altered by human activity; understanding how the interaction of land and culture contributed to the sustainability of Hawaiian (and other Pacific) agriculture and society before European contact; and working to make fertilizer applications more efficient and less environmentally damaging (especially in rapidly growing economies)
Paula V. Welander
Associate Professor of Environmental Earth System Science
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsBiosynthesis of lipid biomarkers in modern microbes; molecular geomicrobiology; microbial physiology
Assistant Professor of Earth System Science and Center Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy research uses a decision science approach for informing the development of behaviorally realistic policies and strategies for meeting the challenge of global environmental change. I am primarily interested in understanding and enhancing adaptive responses to this change given the rich context of people's lives in order to promote long-term resiliency and sustainability.