Stanford University
Peter Vitousek

Photo credit: Bjorn Carey

No place like Hawaii

Peter VitousekClifford G. Morrison Professor in BiologyCourtesy Professor in Earth System Science, Director Emeritus of Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources


For one quarter every other year, Hawaii becomes a home and classroom to 20 Stanford undergraduates studying the natural and social dynamics of one of the planet’s most interesting places. The Wrigley Field Program is led by Peter Vitousek, the Clifford G. Morrison Professor in the biology department, who holds a courtesy appointment in Earth System Science. With the help of an all-star cast of Stanford faculty, the program presents intensive, field-based sections on such topics as volcanology, geomorphology, soil science, ecosystem ecology, marine biology, anthropology, and environmental management.

“If we want to teach students the close relationship between humans and their environment, there’s no place like Hawaii,” Vitousek said. This is just one of several experiential learning programs Stanford Earth offers students who are looking for an opportunity to engage in hands-on learning and problem solving. In addition to courses with field trips, Stanford-at-Sea and Sophomore College courses in Southwest Alaska and the Rocky Mountains offer immersion into challenges related to Earth processes and human-environment interactions.

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