Stanford University
Wrigley Program in Hawaii. Photo by Bjorn Carey

Earth Systems Program

The complex Earth resource and environmental challenges facing humanity today transcend any one discipline or approach. The scientific expertise of our environmental leaders must be both broad and deep, enabling them to evaluate potential solutions from a systems perspective.

Around the world, many such leaders are alumni of the Stanford Earth Systems Program. Earth Systems students learn about and independently investigate complex environmental problems caused by the interaction of human activities and natural changes in the Earth system. They gain skills in those areas of science, economics, and policy needed to tackle the globe’s most pressing social-environmental problems, and they become scientists, professionals, and citizens who approach and solve problems in a systematic, interdisciplinary way.

Student Spotlights

Increasing awareness

Denley Delaney, ’17, MA ’18, began making documentary films as an ocean-loving youth growing up in The Bahamas.

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Hands-on ecology

Ben Bravo ’16, MS ’17, will never forget the day he was accepted into the two-quarter ecology and natural history course at Stanford’s Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve.

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Changes in the Amazon

Madeline Lisaius, '19, traveled to Ecuador to interview longtime residents of the Amazon about how the land might be shifting in ways that are not detectable by remote sensing.

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Alumni Spotlights

Designing landscapes beyond the backyard

Kate Hayes, Earth Systems ’08, uses her interdisciplinary background to design and build landscapes that bring people closer to the environment.

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Leveraging law for clean air

As a lawyer with the Environmental Defense Fund, Martha Roberts, Earth Systems ’04, MS ’06, advocates for federal policies that protect us from pollution.

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Bringing a systems perspective to product design

Lily Cheng, Earth Systems ’06, credits her Earth Systems degree with providing an appreciation for context and analytical skills.

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Supporting the Earth Systems Program

Since its inception in 1992, the Earth Systems Program has grown substantially in both scope and impact. Additional resources are needed to accommodate this growth and to position the program for the future. 

Giving Opportunities

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For more information


Jennifer Judas

Associate Dean for External Relations, School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences

(650) 723-1942

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