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Program History

The Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER) developed from many fruitful interdisciplinary collaborations among Stanford faculty members, who recognized the value of purposefully training graduate students to be interdisciplinary scholars and leaders.

The program was first approved in 2001, with grants from the Henry Luce Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and with funds from the School of Earth Sciences.

In February 2009, Rae and Dan Emmett, '61, named the program with a generous endowed gift, helping to establish E-IPER's long-term financial sustainability.

As an interdisciplinary graduate program at Stanford, E-IPER undergoes a comprehensive process of review and approval by the Academic Senate every five years.  The program also develops a strategic plan on a five-year cycle; the most recent plan is the 2017 E-IPER Strategic Plan.

E-IPER's historical highlights include these milestones:

Date Milestone

Robert B. Dunbar named first Faculty Director of the Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (IPER)

2001 Faculty Senate authorizes the Executive Committee of IPER to initiate PhD and MS degree programs
2002 First cohort of six PhD students matriculates
2003 Stephen H. Schneider joins Dunbar as Faculty Co-Director
2005 Gretchen C. Daily appointed Faculty Director
2006 Senate reauthorizes IPER for five years
2007 Senate approves Joint MS-MBA and Joint MS-JD in Environment and Resources
2007 Four Graduate School of Business and four Stanford Law School students begin Joint MS in Environment and Resources

IPER moves to the new Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy (Y2E2) Building

2009 Peter Vitousek appointed Faculty Director

Dan and Rae Emmett make $10 million endowed gift; program name changed to the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (E-IPER)

2009 Joint MS program undergoes rapid expansion, with 23 new students, including E-IPER's first from the School of Medicine
2011 Senate renews E-IPER for five years
2012 The Stanford Challenge meets fundraising goals to support E-IPER
2013 Alumni population exceeds 100
2016 Senate reauthorizes E-IPER for five years
2016 Dan and Rae Emmett make $7.2 million endowed gift to enhance the program
2017 Alumni population exceeds 200
2019 Nicole Ardoin appointed Faculty Director