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earth matters
science and insights for people who care about Earth, its resources and its environment

Human Dimensions and Sustainability

young girl at Sentebale health-care center
October 27, 2016

A new spatial analysis from Stanford shows that progress in combating child mortality has been highly uneven, even within countries where overall declines are substantial.

Satellite image of plant growth
September 26, 2016
Earth system scientist Eric Lambin explains how technology can be used to develop better policy for sustainable land use.
Jon Payne holding whale vertebra
September 14, 2016

In today’s oceans, larger-bodied marine animals are more likely to become extinct than smaller creatures, according to a Stanford-led report. It’s a pattern that is unprecedented in the history of life on Earth, and one that is likely driven by human fishing.

Map of Western Africa with poverty data
August 18, 2016
Stanford researchers combined satellite images and machine learning to predict poverty. Their improved poverty maps could help aid organizations and policymakers distribute funds more efficiently and enact and evaluate policies more effectively. Video by Neal Jean
August 3, 2016

The solenodon survived the impact that killed the dinosaurs, but after all that, we might be its downfall.

two rhinos
July 27, 2016

Stanford researchers are urging action toward the conservation of large mammals that provide substantial biologic and economic values.

July 22, 2016

A new study shows that the spread of the parasitic disease schistosomiasis is more effectively curbed with ecological intervention than with drug treatment alone.

illustration of catastrophic and healthy Earth
April 14, 2016

Targeting aspects of human psychology that can create barriers to effective climate change action may be the key to promoting environmentally friendly choices in both individual practices and national policies, Stanford scientists say.


new fossils define the age of humans
April 5, 2016

We are living in the Anthropocene age, in which human influence on the planet is so profound, it will leave its legacy for millennia. How are writers and artists responding along side scientists, politicians, and engineers?

two kids holding the Earth in their hands
March 21, 2016
How do we achieve sustainability? In her book "Pursuing Sustainability", Pamela Matson, Chester Naramore Dean of the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, suggests that the ultimate determinants of intergenerational well-being should be thought of as the stocks of assets on which people now draw and will draw upon in the future to subsist and improve their lives – stocks that include natural, social, manufactured, human and knowledge capital.