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The Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment is celebrating with a symposium 10 years of bringing together Stanford researchers to pioneer breakthrough environmental solutions with experts across the academic, public, private, government and nonprofit sectors. (Photo: Courtesy Stanford Woods Institute)

Celebrating 10 years of environmental solutions at Stanford

With its Nov. 11 symposium, the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment marks a decade of interdisciplinary breakthroughs at Stanford with panels on innovation, collaboration and the future of environmental solutions.

In 2004, Stanford President John Hennessy launched a new interdisciplinary institute for the environment – the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.

In the decade since, the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment has brought together researchers from all seven Stanford schools to pioneer breakthrough environmental solutions in partnership with experts across the academic, public, private, government and nonprofit sectors.

That spirit of interdisciplinary collaboration has spawned a range of bold advances, including sophisticated software tools to guide natural resource management; award-winning designs for sanitation and water purification devices; and innovative techniques for using satellite technology to track increasingly scarce water in underground aquifers.

"At Stanford, there is drive to improve the world and a recognition that together we are more than the sum of our parts," said Barton "Buzz" Thompson, the Robert E. Paradise Professor in Natural Resources Law at Stanford. Thompson and Jeffrey Koseff, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, have served as the Perry L. McCarty Directors of the institute since its inception.

To commemorate its 10-year anniversary, the Woods Institute will hold a Nov. 11 symposium, titled "Breaking Through to Global Sustainability." Free and open to the public, it will take place from 2:30 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday in Cemex Auditorium.

The idea is to explore how Stanford faculty, students and their partners beyond campus are overcoming barriers to sustainability through innovation and collaboration across academic disciplines and economic sectors. Stanford School of Earth Sciences Dean Pamela Matson and San Jose Mercury News environmental writer Paul Rogers will moderate the event.

Jerry Yang, co-founder and former CEO of Yahoo, will give opening remarks. Panelists will include Stanford faculty and students working with the Natural Capital Project; Water in the West; the Water, Health and Development program; and INOGO, Woods' sustainable development program in Costa Rica.

The symposium will also include perspectives from Alvaro Umaña, Costa Rica's first Minister of Energy and the Environment; Chantalle Clarke-Samuels, director of the Belize Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute; and former California Secretary of Natural Resources Lester Snow, director of the California Water Foundation.

"We are celebrating not just a milestone, but a culture of innovation,” said Koseff, the William Alden Campbell and Martha Campbell Professor in the School of Engineering. "Finding solutions in transformative, creative ways by crossing boundaries is in the DNA of Stanford and Woods."

For more information and to reserve seating, visit the symposium website.