David Kennedy at TEDxStanford: ‘Not your daddy’s military’

August 6th, 2014

DAVID M. KENNEDY is a professor emeritus of history at Stanford, where he has taught for more than 40 years. His book Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945 won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 2000. His most recent book is The Modern American Military, published by Oxford University Press in 2013. At the 2014 TEDxStanford conference in May, Kennedy talked about America’s all-volunteer armed forces, and the implications of a having a military that is at war while the civilian sector is not.

Stanford Life Flight: 30 years of saving lives

August 5th, 2014
Flight nurse and emergency medical specialist Michael Baulch is the program manager of Stanford Life Flight, which this year marks its 30th year of operation. (Photo: Norbert von der Groben)

Flight nurse and emergency medical specialist Michael Baulch is the program manager of Stanford Life Flight, which this year marks its 30th year of operation. (Photo: Norbert von der Groben)

In May 1984, a 70-year-old woman critically injured in a car accident in Santa Cruz County became Stanford Life Flight’s inaugural mission. With that incident, Life Flight was established as the first helicopter emergency services program in the Bay Area, and Stanford Hospital & Clinics became the first medical center in the region to have its own helicopter and air medical transport team.

Thirty years and many thousands of flights later, Life Flight has a proud history to celebrate. Its flight crew has years of experience, and its helicopter carries some of the most advanced airborne health-care technology available.

“Stanford has always been regarded as one of the premier programs in the state, if not the country,” said MICHAEL BAULCH, RN, JD Life Flight’s program manager.

Life Flight may launch its helicopter and crew up to three times a day and averages about 700 flights annually, ranging as far south as Santa Barbara and as far north as the Oregon border. Between 30 and 40 percent of those flights carry children to the neonatal intensive care unit of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford. Adult patients are most often transported to Stanford for stroke, cardiac or trauma care.


In-flight experts

A number of the flight nurses have been on board for years, even decades. To be considered for the crew requires years of experience, as well as extensive clinical qualifications and exceptional interpersonal skills. “People say, ‘I bet your staff is a bunch of Type A personalities,’” Baulch said. “I want the Type D personality whose heart rate never goes up. When you land on a highway where there are badly injured people, you want someone to step in and infuse a sense of calm into the situation.”

Most Life Flight nurses have advanced certifications in flight nursing and critical care specialties, and several have graduate degrees. The nurses maintain their expertise through ongoing training, continuing education courses and hours of practice with simulation mannequins for procedures they may not perform frequently but must manage well in a crisis.

Flight nurses also assist with trauma alerts in the Emergency Department and help in the intensive care units with advanced procedures. “Our job has evolved greatly over the years,” said GERALYN MARTINEZ, RN, a Life Flight nurse since 1990. “When I started, a doctor was giving the orders. Now we have protocols and expanded responsibilities. It’s a very collaborative, team-centered approach.”


Specialized technology

Evolving technology has made the Life Flight helicopter faster and larger and filled with medical equipment that is compact, lightweight and rugged to withstand an environment that is not as controlled as a hospital’s clean and accommodating spaces. “We have benefitted from war-zone medical care techniques developed by the military overseas,” Baulch said.

A nurse now can insert a breathing tube guided by video that interfaces with a computer tablet. Stanford’s Life Flight program is one of just a few programs with professionals qualified to insert a catheter into an artery to monitor blood pressure in critically ill patients, Baulch said. “And we have nurses who are world experts in dialing in the optimal setting for a patient breathing on a ventilator,” he added.

Stanford Life Flight also is the only flight program in Northern California able to transport critically ill cardiac patients who need advanced equipment such as an intra-aortic balloon pump. Its helicopter is equipped with instrument-aided flight capability to make it safer to transport patients in inclement weather. Crew members wear night vision goggles on all nighttime flights to improve safety. “Stanford has kept its focus on safety,” Baulch said, “and on the best use of this very expensive asset.”


Team effort

Life Flight’s nurses and pilots are perhaps the most visible part of the program, but its success also depends on other types of professional expertise: a team of mechanics to maintain the aircraft and a group of communication technicians who track flights and coordinate arrangements so that appropriate medical personnel are ready for patients when they arrive.

Beneath all the technology and specialized training, however, remains the power of a calming voice. “A patient wrote me a very nice letter to say thanks,” recalled DAVID BEVIN, RN, a 20-year veteran with Life Flight, “because I leaned over her and said, ‘You’re going to be OK. You’re going to make it to Stanford.’”


— SARA WYKES, Stanford Hospital & Clinics



Stanford physics professor meets President Obama in the Oval Office

August 4th, 2014

ANDREI D. LINDE, the Harald Trap Friis Professor of Physics at Stanford, was among several winners of 2014 Kavli Prizes who met with President BARACK OBAMA in the Oval Office last week.  The prizes are awarded to scientists who have made seminal advances in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience.

Linde was awarded the 2014 Kavli Prize in Astrophysics in May for his work in developing the theory of cosmic inflation, which explains the origin and structure of the universe. He shared the award – and the accompanying $1 million prize – with fellow inflation pioneers ALAN GUTH, a professor of physics at MIT, and ALEXEI STAROBINSKY, a cosmologist at the Landau Institute for Theoretical Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Read the full announcement on the Kavli Foundation website.

President Barack Obama meets with Kavli Prize laureates from left, Andre Linde, Stanford; John O'Keefe, University College London, Alan Guth, MIT, and Marcus E. Raichle, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. Accompanying the laureates are Kåre R. Aas, the Norwegian Ambassador to the United States; Rockell N. Hankin, chairman of the Kavli Foundation; Robert W. Conn, president of the Kavli Foundation and Miyoung Chun, executive vice president of science programs at the  Kavli Foundation.

President Barack Obama meets with a group of 2014 Kavli Prize laureates in the Oval Office Thursday, July 31. From left, Andrei Linde, Stanford; John O’Keefe, University College London; Alan Guth, MIT; and Marcus E. Raichle, Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine. Accompanying the laureates are Kåre R. Aas, the Norwegian ambassador to the United States; Rockell N. Hankin, chairman of the Kavli Foundation; Robert W. Conn, president of the Kavli Foundation and Miyoung Chun, executive vice president of science programs at the Kavli Foundation. (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

Stanford magazine puzzle tests your movie knowledge

July 31st, 2014


Want to take a peek at the answers? They are available on the Stanford magazine website.

Stanford’s dean of Earth Sciences named to newly established Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research

July 31st, 2014


PAMELA MATSON, dean of the Stanford School of Earth Sciences, has been appointed to the board of the new Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to increase the scientific and technological research, innovation and partnerships critical to boosting America’s agricultural economy. U.S. Agriculture Secretary TOM VILSACK announced the foundation and its 15-member board, which was selected from lists of nominees provided by the National Academy of Sciences and by industry.

Matson is recognized internationally for her work with multidisciplinary teams of researchers, managers and decision makers to develop agricultural approaches that reduce environmental impacts while maintaining livelihoods and human well being. She is a fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Science and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research was authorized by Congress and provided with $200 million in funding as part of the 2014 Farm Bill.  The government funding is to be matched by non-federal funds.

NANCY PETERSON,  chief communications officer, School of Earth Sciences

Eight to be inducted into the Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame

July 30th, 2014


The Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame will induct eight new members in October. The inductees will be NICOLE BARNHART, NOTAH BEGAY III, TOI COOK , LAURA GRANVILLE, A.J. HINCH, SKIP KENNEY, ANIKA LEERSSEN and HEATHER OLSON.

Following are a list of the inductees’ accomplishments on and off the field:

  • Barnhart ’04, women’s soccer: Barnhart won Olympic gold medals in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012. A native of Gilbertsville, Pa., she graduated from Stanford with a double degree in studio art and psychology in 2004. She currently serves as a volunteer assistant coach on the Stanford women’s soccer team,
  • Begay, ’95, men’s golf: Leading his Stanford team to the 1994 national championship as a first team All-American, Begay finished his career with a stroke average of 72.6. A three-time All-American, in 1992, ’94 and ’95, Begay’s career low score of 62 came during the 1994 NCAA championships, finishing one stroke shy of the school record, held by teammate TIGER WOODS. Currently an analyst with NBC Sports and The Golf Channel, Begay graduated from Stanford with a degree in economics.
  • Cook ’86, baseball and football: A two-sport standout at Stanford, Cook was equally impressive in football and baseball. Drafted in the eighth round of the 1987 NFL Draft on concerns that he would choose baseball over football, Cook also was drafted in baseball, going in the 38th round to Minnesota. He played 11 seasons in the NFL from 1987-97, winning Super Bowl XXIX with the San Francisco 49ers. Cook currently is president of Empire Sports, a sports, entertainment and consulting company.
  • Granville ’03, women’s tennis:  During her two years at Stanford, Granville won an NCAA-record 58 consecutive singles matches, two NCAA singles titles, one NCAA team title and two ITA Collegiate Indoor singles titles, while compiling a singles win-loss record of 93-3.  During both seasons, the Chicago native was honored as the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Player of the Year. Granville left Stanford in 2001 after her sophomore year, and as a professional she twice reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon, as well as the third round of the U.S. Open, the French Open and the Australian Open.  After nine years on the tour, Granville returned to Stanford to earn her degree in history in June 2012.  She recently completed her second year as head women’s tennis coach at Princeton University.
  • Hinch ’96, baseball: Hinch was a player who rarely makes it to college, an early round draftee out of high school. One of the greatest catchers at Stanford, Hinch never gave up his Stanford dream. He was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the second round of the 1992 Major League Baseball Draft but did not sign, opting to attend Stanford. After a junior season that saw him earn the first of two Pac-10 Player of the Year honors, Hinch was drafted again, this time by Minnesota in the third round in 1995. He opted to remain at Stanford for his senior season, earning another Pac-10 Player of the Year honor, graduating with a degree in psychology and, again, being drafted in the third round, this time by Oakland.  Just two summers after being drafted and helping Team USA to a bronze medal at the Atlanta Summer Olympics, Hinch debuted with the Athletics in 1998 and remained with the team through the 2000 season. He played for Kansas City from 2000-02, Detroit in 2003 and Philadelphia in 2004 before retiring following the 2005 season.  Currently the vice president and assistant general manager for the San Diego Padres, Hinch is a former manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he skippered the team from May 2009 to July 2010.
  • Kenney, men’s swimming coach: One of the most respected coaches in the world of swimming, Kenney led the Cardinal for 33 years before his retirement in 2012. Kenney’s impact on the sport went beyond the seven NCAA titles or 31-straight conference titles, the 1,086 All-America certificates, 134 All-America athletes or 72 NCAA champions. The three-time Olympic coach also produced 23 of his own Olympians, who won a combined 18 medals from 1984 through 2008.
  • Leerssen ’00, sailing: Sailing in her hometown of Newport, R.I., in 1999, Leerssen became the first Stanford athlete to win the Janet Lutz Trophy as the individual national champion in that sport. She won 15 of 16 races to capture the ICYRA Women’s Single-handed sailing championships, becoming the first athlete to win that many races at a national event. Leerssen was not a one-race wonder, however. The senior captain helped Stanford to two team national titles (1997 and 1999) and placed sixth individually in 1998. Leerssen, who later earned a law degree from Oregon, is currently an assistant attorney general for the Oregon Department of Justice in the Natural Resources Section.
  • Olson, synchronized swimming:  As both a student-athlete and coach, Olson has played a role in five of the seven Stanford collegiate national championships, as a student-athlete in 1998 and as a coach for four straight seasons from 2005-08. In 2008, under the guidance of Olson, Stanford became the first collegiate team to capture a U.S. National title. Olson graduated from Stanford in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in English and took over the head-coaching role in 2001, coaching the team from 2001-2012.

The inductees will be honored at a private reception and dinner on Oct. 11. The class also will be introduced at halftime during Stanford’s football game against Washington State Oct. 10.

Read the full announcement on the inductees on gostanford.com.

 — KURT SVOBODA, Stanford Athletics

Stanford law students submit recommendations to White House on updates to environmental law

July 29th, 2014

reset_button2Stanford Law School students recently filed detailed recommendations to the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality on how to update the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), the nation’s foundational environmental law. Their submittal made a strong case for requiring better coordination among the project proponents, interested federal agencies and important stakeholders so all of the key parties can identify major project flaws early and ensure that the environmental impact statements will cover the key environmental issues (and not tangential issues that divert attention from the issues that matter) and that the process covers the full range of permitting and review needs.

The students worked closely with DAVID J. HAYES, former deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior and a distinguished visiting lecturer at the Law School, in a unique policy practicum during spring quarter called The National Environmental Policy Act: Pushing the Reset Button to research the recommendations. They focused on major federal projects, for which NEPA requires the preparation of full environmental impact statements (EISs).

“The policy lab was an incredible experience and a very different experience from other Law School classes,” said REBECCA VOGEL, JD ’15. “We learned about NEPA and the related agency regulations with an eye toward how to make the process work better in practice; that purpose really shaped our approach and added extra motivation to learn. David’s experience in the field did not diminish his receptiveness to new ideas, and every student got the chance both to brainstorm reforms and to delve more deeply into the areas that intrigued us.”

In the submittal, students recommended that agencies be required to use modern information technology tools when preparing EISs, including searchable databases and geographic information system-based mapping. These types of reforms should cut down on the preparation time for EISs while producing better, more readable and relevant products.

“Students in the policy lab have made a major contribution to the current debate on how to improve implementation of one of our bedrock environmental laws,” said Hayes. “Their product will be an invaluable resource for the Council on Environmental Quality, legislators and other interested parties who are committed to improving the EIS process.”

In addition to Vogel, students involved in the practicum included JULIA FORGIE, JD ’14; ELIZABETH HOOK, JD ’15; MATTHEW MILLER, JD ’15; and LAURA SULLIVAN, JD ’15.

Read more about the practicum and view the document in its entirety at: http://stanford.io/1nk5yTI.

— ALEXANDRIA MURRAY, Stanford Law School

Stanford’s Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar on what borders tell us about the world

July 28th, 2014

When Stanford law Professor MARIANO-FLORENTINO CUÉLLAR was tapped for the California Supreme Court by GOV. JERRY BROWN, many of the news stories about his nomination mentioned that Cuéllar, who was born in Mexico, walked across the border to attend school in Brownsville,Texas. With the nation grappling with how to handle a recent influx of children crossing the U.S. border from Central America, a talk Cuéllar gave at TEDxStanford in 2013 has particular resonance.

Four Stanford scholars have won fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies

July 25th, 2014


Four Stanford scholars in music, history, art history and anthropology are among the 2014 American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) cohort of fellows.

A federation of 72 national organizations, the New York-based ACLS awards fellowships and grants annually to scholars at all career stages and from countries around the world. The council also supports conferences and publications that advance scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences.

This year, ANNA SCHULTZ, assistant professor of music, and doctoral candidates GRANT HAMMING (art and art history), KOJI HIRATA (history) and ADAM JOSEPH NAZAROFF (anthropology) join the 64 Stanford faculty members and doctoral candidates who have been ACLS fellows in the past decade.

“All of our fellowships are awarded through a rigorous peer-review process to ensure that humanities scholars select those fellows deemed to represent the very best in their fields,” said MICHAEL GOLDFEDER, director of fellowships for the ACLS.

Schultz, an ethnomusicologist who researches the music of South Asia, Indo-Caribbean music and music transmission, was selected to the central ACLS Fellowship Program, which is supported in part by contributions from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For 12 months, Schultz will be able to focus full time on her project “Performing Translation: Indian Jewish Devotional Song and Minority Identity on the Move,” which explores how devotional music impacted the cultural dialogue between the Bene Israel (Marathi Jews) in India and other social groups during the past two centuries.

Hamming says he anticipates “a fruitful year of travel, research, writing and, most important, contemplation” while completing his dissertation, which is titled “Amerikanischer Malkasten: American Art and Düsseldorf,” during his time as one of 10 Luce/ACLS Dissertation Fellows in American Art. In his dissertation, Hamming argues that the colony of American artists working in Düsseldorf, Germany, during the mid-19th century contributed to stronger cultural connections between American and European intellectual life than previously thought.

Hirata will travel to China as part of his Luce/ACLS Predissertation Summer Grant in China Studies to conduct research for his dissertation, “Steel Metropolis: Developmental State, Technology Transfer and Urban Space in Northeast China, 1906-1966.” Hirata examines how the steel industry transformed the city Anshan in the first half of the 20th century.

Nazaroff, whose research focuses on the origins of materials traded in ancient Anatolia, will be completing his dissertation, titled “Entanglement: A Study in Neolithic Resource Exploitation in the Middle East,” during his time as a Mellon-ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellow. Nazaroff examines how access to particular resources shaped the relationship between economic practices and community development in Neolithic communities in the Middle East.

—VERONICA MARIAN, The Humanities at Stanford



Late Stanford climate expert to be inducted into California Hall of Fame

July 24th, 2014

Stephen Schneider (Photo credit: Linda A. Cicero/Stanford News Service)

Renowned Stanford climate scientist, the late STEPHEN H. SCHNEIDER will be inducted into the California Hall of Fame, GOV. JERRY BROWN announced recently.

Other individuals who will be honored at a ceremony on Oct. 1 in Sacramento include basketball legend

KAREEM ABDUL JABAR, author JOAN DIDION and film director FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA, as well as civil rights hero CHARLOTTA BASS, community organizer FRED ROSS SR. and social activism innovator MIMI SILBERT. The newest class will join 81 Californians previously inducted for exemplifying California’s spirit of innovation.

At the time of his death in 2010, Schneider was a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and was the Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies at Stanford. Well known for his emphasis on science communication and a world expert on interdisciplinary climate science, he consulted with federal agencies or White House staff in every U.S. presidential administration since the Nixon era.

Schneider first alerted the public to climate change in 1972. He was a leader in the creation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and was part of the three groups of IPCC authors who shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 (equally with former Vice President AL GORE). He founded the interdisciplinary journal Climatic Change and continued to serve as its editor-in-chief until his death.

Schneider’s widow, TERRY L. ROOT, will accept a Spirit of California medal from the governor and first lady on behalf of her husband during the official ceremony in Sacramento on Oct. 1. Root is a Stanford biology professor, by courtesy, and also is a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute.

“I was so thrilled when I got the call from the governor’s office telling me that Gov. Brown had decided to induct Steve into the California Hall of Fame,” Root said. “This is truly a great honor for Steve. I just wish he were here to receive it himself.”

In announcing the awards, Gov. Brown said, “These talented pioneers represent the very best of California. Their determination, intelligence and creativity continue to inspire us.”

In addition to the ceremony, inductees will be commemorated with an exhibit of personal artifacts highlighting their lives and achievements. It will open to the public at 10 a.m. on Oct. 2 at The California Museum in Sacramento.

—  TERRY NAGEL, Stanford Woods Institute