I study the cycling of carbon, nitrogen, and other elements between soil, water, and atmosphere, focusing primarily on the effects of land use and climate change in tropical forest and agricultural systems. Together with hydrologists, atmospheric scientists, economists and agronomists, my students and I analyze the economic drivers and environmental consequences of land use and resource use decisions, with the objective of identifying practices that are economically and environmentally sustainable. We also evaluate management strategies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and develop indicators of vulnerability to global climate change.
I teach courses and lecture for graduate and undergraduate students on global environmental change and sustainable agriculture. I also co-teach a field course on interdisciplinary methods for the study of ecosystem processes.
Chair, NRC Panel on Advancing the Science of Climate Change (2008-present); member, NRC Committee on America's Climate Choices; Richard W. Lyman Award (2005); leader, Stanford Environmental Initiative (2004-present); director, Aldo Leopold Leadership Program (2004-present); trustee, World Wildlife Fund (2003-present); McMurtry University Fellow for Undergraduate Education (2002); co-chair, NAS Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability (2002-present); founding editor-in-chief, Annual Review of Environment and Resources (2002-present); president, Ecological Society of America (2001-2003); Provost's Committee on the Environment (1999-present); director, Earth Systems Program (1999-2002); fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (1997); MacArthur Fellowship (1995-2000); election to National Åcademy of Sciences (1994); election to American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1992)