Stanford University
Woman harvesting rice

Food and Water Security

Solving challenges around agriculture, food policy, and water access. 

The challenge of feeding a global population that is expected to reach 11 billion this century looms large. The availability of water—largely used for food production—is also an enormous challenge, made more difficult by the droughts associated with climate change. The School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences is home to much of Stanford’s expertise in this area. With faculty in areas such as sustainable agriculture, land use, economics, geographic analysis, watershed analysis, and ecosystem services and benefits analysis, Stanford brings an innovative and interdisciplinary approach to this tangled but vitally important set of issues.

Meet some of our faculty involved In Food and Water Security

Our faculty are world class teachers and researchers in their fields, leveraging the latest remote-sensing and data science technologies to understand everything from crop yields to groundwater availability and the economics of famine.

David Lobell
David Lobell

Associate Professor of Earth System Science

Rosemary Knight
Rosemary Knight

Professor of Geophysics

Steven Gorelick
Steven Gorelick

Professor of Earth System Science

Rosamond Naylor
Rosamond Naylor

Economist and Professor of Earth System Science

scott fendorf
Scott Fendorf

Professor of Earth System Science

Marshall Burke
Marshall Burke

Economist and Assistant Professor of Earth System Science

How do we manage our freshwater future?

Professor Rosemary Knight explains how amazing new technologies allow us to "see" the groundwater hidden beneath our feet at TEDx Stanford. Watch.

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FEED Collaborative

The FEED Collaborative is an academic program in sustainable food system education and innovation at Stanford Earth.

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Learning on the Stanford Educational Farm

 The farm is Stanford’s home for hands-on learning in sustainable agriculture.

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Measuring crop yields from space

News related to food and water security

U.S. corn crop increasingly sensitive to drought

New management approaches and technology have allowed the U.S. Corn Belt to increase yields despite some changes in climate. However, soil sensitivity to drought has increased significantly, according to a new study that could help identify ways to reverse the trend.

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Why laughing gas is a growing climate problem

Nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas,” is the most important greenhouse gas after methane and carbon dioxide and the biggest human-related threat to the ozone layer. Now, emissions of the gas are rising faster than expected.

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Newly identified 'landfalling droughts' originate over ocean

Researchers have identified a new type of “landfalling drought” that originates over the ocean before traveling onto land, and which can cause larger, drier conditions than other droughts.

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Gravity wave insights from internet-beaming balloons

A better understanding of how gravity waves in the upper atmosphere interact with the jet stream, polar vortex and other phenomena could be key to improved weather predictions and climate models.

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