Understanding threats and reducing risks to human wellbeing
Thousands of lives and billions of dollars have been lost in recent natural disasters such as the 2010 Haiti and 2015 Nepal earthquakes and the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. Not to mention the hurricanes that struck Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. Geohazards have shaped and reshaped the planet for millennia. Now climate change is adding to the threats, even as urban centers are expanding and more people are living in vulnerable locations.
We study Earth processes—what causes them and how to predict where and when they will happen—but we also seek to reduce the risks to human wellbeing, especially in increasingly populated and vulnerable cities worldwide. Our expertise in both subsurface-originating hazards and the surface changes brought about by shifts in climate and land use provides a unique vantage point from which to analyze a new breed of potential hazards and risks.
Meet some of the faculty involved in Reducing Disaster Risks
News related to Reducing Disaster Risks
New approach estimates long-term coastal cliff loss
A new method for estimating cliff loss over thousands of years in Del Mar, California, may help reveal some of the long-term drivers of coastal cliff loss in the state. (Source: Stanford News)
Oil-sand wastewater triggered large Alberta earthquake
New research reveals wastewater injected underground by fossil fuel operators caused a magnitude 5.6 earthquake in November 2022 in the Peace River area of Alberta’s oil sands region. This is the first study to link seismicity in the area to human activity. (Source: Stanford News)
A Burning Issue: Stanford scholar testifies on rising costs of wildfire
Stanford climate and energy policy expert Michael Wara addressed the U.S. Senate Committee on the Budget about the economic risks of climate-fueled wildfire. (Source: Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment)
Researchers created maps showing where warmer weather has left trees in conditions that don’t suit them, making them more prone to being replaced by other species. The findings could help inform long-term wildfire and ecosystem management in these “zombie forests.” (Source: Stanford News)