Field research at Jasper Ridge

Bill Anderegg, Jasper Ridge, Photo by Nona Chiariello

After the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was the co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, Christopher Field, faculty director of Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, director of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology and one of the lead authors of the IPCC reports, remarked that the collective nature of the honor was significant. One person alone cannot advance the field of climate change, he said; it requires teamwork and many discoveries in many fields.

So, it is no accident that Field works at Jasper Ridge. There, natural scientists, archaeologists, computer scientists and even a few historians can be found hiking trails and sometimes tramping through the brush, setting cameras, scribbling in notebooks, squinting at computers. It’s a place where scholars and scientists can wander in every sense of the word, where students from many schools and departments (and not just from Stanford) take classes, do fieldwork, complete theses and dissertations and make a difference.

“With researchers from seven departments at Stanford conducting studies at Jasper Ridge, the possibilities for new discoveries through collaboration are remarkable,” said Jasper Ridge research coordinator Nona Chiariello. Conversations with undergraduate interns and honors-laden graduates confirm that Stanford students are learning that science that matters must reach broadly as it digs deep—often literally.

Jasper Ridge: An Island of Discovery - Video

This beautifully photographed half-hour video by Stanford filmmaker Tamsin Orion shows the history of the preserve and dicusses some of the research being conducted there.