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Departments & Programs



E-IPER grew directly out of the fruitful interdisciplinary collaborations among Stanford faculty, who recognized the value of purposefully training graduate students to be interdisciplinary scholars and leaders. As an interdisciplinary graduate program at Stanford, E-IPER undergoes a comprehensive approval and review process by the Academic Senate every five years.

E-IPER's historical highlights include these milestones:

  • Early 2001 - Robert B. Dunbar becomes first Faculty Director of IPER
  • October 2001 - Stanford University's Academic Senate gives E-IPER approval to award the PhD and dual MS
  • September 2002 - First cohort of six PhD students matriculates
  • January 2003 - Steve Schneider joins Dunbar as co-Director when Dunbar takes on Directorship of Earth System
  • September 2005 - Gretchen C. Daily, professor of Biological Sciences, appointed Faculty Director
  • June 2006 - Senate reauthorizes E-IPER for five years
  • March 2007 - Senate approves Joint MBA-MS in Environment and Resources
  • May 2007 - Senate approves Joint JD-MS in Environment and Resources
  • September 2007 - Four Graduate School of Business and four Stanford Law School students begin Joint MS in Environment and Resources
  • January 2008 - E-IPER moves to the new Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy (Y2E2) Building
  • January 2009 - Peter Vitousek, professor in Biology, appointed Faculty Director
  • February 2009 - Dan and Rae Emmett make $10M endowed gift; program name changed to the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources
  • September 2009 - Joint MS program grows significantly with 23 new students, including E-IPER's first from the School of Medicine
  • April 2011 - Senate renews E-IPER for five years
  • January 2012 – The Stanford Challenge fundraising goals to support E-IPER are achieved
  • June 2012 – Strategic Plan developed and approved by Executive Committee