logo: Stanford University Emmett Interdisciplinary 
Program in Environment and Resources
Spring 2012 Newsletter

The Deep Unknown - Special Marine Issue

How many E-IPER students and alumni study the oceans and coasts? What impact are they and their collaborators making on critical marine issues? You might be surprised by the current wave of ocean work!

Connecting Knowledge to Action
Saving Marine Life
Diving Into Deep Problems
Linking Land and Sea
Connecting the Drops

Connecting Knowledge to Action

courtesy A. Hemphill

Those who know Meg Caldwell, executive director of the Center for Ocean Solutions (COS) and senior lecturer at Stanford Law School, may wonder how many miles she puts on her hybrid car flying between her Stanford office and COS headquarters in Monterey. COS provides a perch from which she can strategically connect new knowledge about the ocean to key actions needed to sustain marine and coastal ecosystems─a knowledge to action hub. For E-IPER PhD students Andy Gerhart, Kristen Honey, Mehana Vaughan (all 6th), Dane Klinger (5th), Austin Becker (4th), Amanda Cravens (3rd), Dan Reineman (2nd), and Katrina ole-MoiYoi and Aaron Strong (both 1st), COS provides an intellectual and physical home for their varied marine interests.

Through its leadership development work with emerging leaders, COS helps graduate students connect the knowledge they generate to action for issues they care about: climate change, coastal adaptation, fisheries sustainability, food security, conflict resolution, and community-based resource management. COS supports their education and professional development through the Monterey Area Research Institutions Network for Education (see MARINE article), The Coastal Society (see TCS article), and by involving graduate students directly in COS projects.

The Pacific kelp forest may be vulnerable to climate change and acidification; courtesy C. Fackler, CINMS, NOAA

With the recent recruitment of Larry Crowder, COS Science Director and Edward Ricketts Provostial Professor, COS is well positioned to make a significant difference in our understanding and protection of the world’s ocean. COS has two goals: to integrate science and technology into ocean and coastal policy and decision making and to educate and equip existing and future leaders with the knowledge and tools they need to be effective decision makers as they take on the major challenges facing the ocean.


Saving Marine Life

Pacific leatherback sea turtles enjoy a large protected area; courtesy NOAA

Pacific leatherback sea turtles can forage for jellyfish more confidently since the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration declared 42,000 square miles of the Pacific Ocean a critical sea turtle habitat in February. Achieving the largest turtle protected area in the world was a multi-year effort by many individuals and organizations. Reading about this regulation and its approval process in the Federal Register is a lesson in democratic policy (sausage) making. But for E-IPER graduate Geoff Shester (PhD 2008), the collaborative process from drafting the original petition, providing the science to support it, and helping to win its approval is among his proudest professional achievements. Now the California program director at Oceana, a non-governmental organization dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans, Geoff is a fitting example of the type of “boundary person” E-IPER trains its students to be – scholars and leaders who connect science to policy and knowledge to action.

Geoff studied fisheries in Baja as an E-IPER graduate student; courtesy G. Shester

With his E-IPER PhD in hand, Geoff first took a position as senior science manager for the Seafood Watch program at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, overseeing the team dedicated to researching the sustainability of hundreds of seafood products. Seafood Watch does more than advise consumers on which seafood are sustainably managed and harvested. The program also influences the multi-million dollar seafood industry through its extensive database of information about the robustness of management practices.

Ultimately Geoff’s professional goals aim well beyond healthy fisheries to sustaining entire marine ecosystems that influence other sectors of the economy such as tourism and recreation. He ponders complex questions just as he did as a graduate student: “For the greatest overall benefit of the nation, should we be maximizing what we extract or should we be worried about maintaining healthy food webs that are resilient in the face of climate change or other natural or human disasters?” At Oceana he has had a role in the controversial state legislation banning shark finning and is currently working on a California bill to manage foraging fish stocks like anchovies and sardines, which are critical components of the food web that supports the more charismatic marine life that are critical for tourism and recreation. He is also working on a California bill to require better seafood labeling and fight seafood fraud.


Diving Into Deep Problems

Thankfully, the Monterey Area Research Institutions’ Network for Education goes by an acronym that’s easier to remember: MARINE. But both the full name and acronym hold key information: that MARINE is a consortium of institutions with graduate programs focused on the oceans, particularly the Monterey Bay. In addition to Stanford’s main campus and Hopkins Marine Station, MARINE includes California State University, Monterey Bay; University of California, Santa Cruz; Moss Landing Marine Laboratories; Naval Postgraduate School; and the Monterey Institute for International Studies.

Stanford’s Center for Ocean Solutions (COS) hosts MARINE and its myriad leadership and professional development activities around Monterey Bay. Students from all seven MARINE campuses have participated in decision-making simulations, communications training, research design workshops, and other opportunities to “equip students with the skills to be ocean leaders and communicators.”

"Negotiation is very complicated; simulating one is equally complicated." – Workshop participant
Amanda Cravens leads the negotiation workshop; courtesy M. Krebs

A notable example of the “knowledge to action” projects MARINE aims to create is Amanda Cravens’ (PhD 3rd) collaboration with advisors Janet Martinez (Law) and Meg Caldwell (Law) and COS for a workshop that simulated public policy negotiations around marine spatial planning. Wrapping up an educational series on marine spatial planning, the one-day capstone workshop introduced students to the complex issues that policy-makers and scientists grapple with in marine planning settings and provided students with valuable negotiation skills. The workshop’s centerpiece was a four-hour experiential curriculum case written by Amanda and a team from COS: early career fellows Matt Armsby, Erin Prahler, and Melissa Foley; program manager Margaret Krebs; and intern Casey Zweig, under Jan Martinez’s editorial guidance.


Linking Land and Sea

Big Sur
The Big Sur coastline is a topic in many coastal issue discussions; courtesy D. Reineman

Stanford’s student–led chapter of The Coastal Society (TCS), a national organization dedicated to “actively addressing emerging coastal issues by fostering dialogue, forging partnerships, and promoting communication and education,” rallies students and faculty around issues of critical importance to coastal environments. Launched by Austin Becker (PhD 4th) in 2009, Stanford’s TCS chapter has grown through collaboration with other oceans-oriented students like Dan Reineman (PhD 2nd). This year TCS leadership was passed on to co-presidents Aaron Strong (PhD 1st) and Lida Teneva (EESS PhD 4th). Though they study different problems, these student leaders share an interest in natural and human interactions at the land-sea interface and are dedicated to building an interdisciplinary scholarly community.

Coastal Society

TCS hosted Shark Week: The True Story in February, focusing on California’s recent passage of legislation banning the importation and sale of shark fins. Shark Week brought together marine experts, filmmakers, state legislators, and Stanford students and faculty to dive into the science behind the decline of sharks and other top predators and management approaches to reducing demand for shark fins. Professor Barbara Block (Biology and Hopkins Marine Station) presented her work tracking shark travels around the globe, showing sharks around - and in - the San Francisco Bay as part of the Tagging of Pacific Predators project.


Connecting the Drops

social ocean
Surfers and kayakers socializing with the ocean; courtesy D. Reineman

In winter quarter, the Stanford Coastal Society (TCS; see article above) created a new seminar series, "The Social Ocean", to highlight the human activities that affect the ocean, explicitly focusing on the social – rather than natural - dimensions of ocean management. “The overarching goal of the class was to show that to manage and conserve nature, we have to understand people. These dots aren’t connected in most ocean science classes. Our focus on the social science led to our title: The Social Ocean,” explained organizer Dan Reineman (PhD 2nd).

Sponsored by the Center for Ocean Solutions (COS), the series featured lectures by several COS Early Career Fellows. “We thought it would be a great opportunity to expose the student community to COS and the research they do, much of which is highly applicable to the goal of the series,” said Dan. Other speakers came from academia, local government, environmental groups, and even a political action committee. Seminar attendees were equally diverse, including undergraduate and graduate students, staff, and other members of the Stanford community from a wide range of programs, backgrounds, and interests.


Upcoming Spring Events

E-IPER PhD Dissertation Defense
Joanne Gaskell
The Structure of Demand for Palm Oil
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Goldman Conference Room, E406, Encina Hall

E-IPER Faculty and Student Reception
Monday June 4, 2012
Hartley Conference Center, Mitchell Earth Sciences

E-IPER Joint MS Capstone Symposium
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Y2E2 299

School of Earth Sciences Commencement
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Mitchell Earth Sciences Patio

Past Spring Events

2nd Annual Connecting the Dots Conference: The Water Nexus
Monday, April 16, 2012
Arrillaga Alumni Center
Nicola Ullibari (PhD 2nd) led a break out session, Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don't: the Challenges of Dam Removal

SES Research Review
Friday, May 4, 2012
Y2E2 Lobby

Celebrating Sustainability at Stanford
Monday, May 7, 2012
Paul Brest Hall: Munger Graduate Residence

Meg Caldwell
Meg Caldwell discussed E-IPER's achievements at Celebrating Sustainability; courtesy M. Caldwell


Robert Heilmayr (PhD 3rd) received the School of Earth Sciences Centennial Teaching Assistant Award.

Rachelle Gould (PhD 5th) and Noa Lincoln (PhD 4th) each received a Community Engagement Award from the Haas Center for Public Service and the Vice Provost for Graduate Education, for their projects titled He Mo‘olelo ko ka Nahele (The Forest Has a Story) and Soil Science of Indigenous Farming Restoration, respectively.

Kate Brauman (PhD 2010) won the Best Early Career Poster Award at the Planet Under Pressure conference for her poster, Are We Getting Enough Crop for Drop?

Aaron Strong (PhD 1st), with Jeremy Caves (EESS), Dan Sinnett (Geophysics) and Dana Thomas (GES) received a SPICE grant from the Vice Provost for Graduate Education with matching funds from the School of Earth Sciences for the Science Policy Forum Series, a forum for environmental science students to learn about, discuss, and act upon science policy issues.

Marilyn Cornelius (PhD 5th), Amanda Cravens (PhD 3rd), and Nicola Ulibarri (PhD 2nd), with collaborators Adam Royalty and Anja Svetina Nabergoj, received a renewal of their SPICE grant to continue their Research as Design (RAD) project, a collaboration with the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d school) to apply design thinking to scientific and scholarly research.

Noa Lincoln (PhD 4th) was awarded a Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation 2012 Environmental Leadership fellowship.


Dan Reineman (PhD 2nd) was Master of Ceremonies at TEDxMonterey's Sea Change event on Friday, April 13.
Dan Reineman
Dan Reineman energizes the TEDxMonterey audience; courtesy D. Goldman, TEDxMonterey


Nikit Abhyankar (PhD 5th) and Amol Phadkeb. Impact of large-scale energy efficiency programs on utility finances and consumer tariffs in India in Energy Policy, Volume 43, April 2012, 308–326

Greg Bratman (PhD 2nd) with Hamilton, J. P. and Daily, G. C. The impacts of nature experience on human cognitive function and mental health in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1249: 118–136, 2012

Kate Brauman (PhD 2010) published a chapter of her dissertation with David Freyberg (CEE) and Gretchen Daily (Biology): Potential evapotranspiration from forest and pasture in the tropics: A case study in Kona, Hawai'i in Journal of Hydrology, May 2012

Danny Cullenward (PhD-JD 4th), Michael Wara (Law), and the Stanford Environmental Law Clinic, commented on two proposed carbon offset protocols - on forest carbon in Mexico and on coal mine methane emissions in the United States - raising concerns about the integration of state, federal, and international legal systems and offering suggestions for improving the environmental integrity of the proposed rules.

Joshua Goldstein (PhD 2007) with G.C. Daily, et al. Integrating ecosystem-service tradeoffs into land-use decisions in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012. Also covered in the Stanford Report.

Kevin Hettrich (Joint MBA-MS 2012) and colleagues launched the inaugural issue of the Stanford Energy Journal on The Future of Nuclear Energy. Developing the journal was Kevin’s Joint MBA-MS Capstone Project.

Kristen Honey (PhD 7th) with R. M. Fujita, A. Morris, J. R. Wilson, and H. Russell. Cooperative Strategies in Fisheries Management: Integrating Across Scales in Bulletin of Marine Science, 86(2): 251–271, 2010

Kristen Honey (PhD 7th) with R. M. Fujita and J.H. Moxley. From Rags to Fishes: Data-Poor Methods for Fishery Managers in Managing Data-Poor Fisheries: Case Studies, Models & Solutions 1:159–184, 2010

Dane Klinger (PhD 4th) with Roz Naylor (EESS). Searching for Solutions in Aquaculture: Charting a Sustainable Course, Annual Review of Environment and Resources Vol. 37 (in press)

Lauren Oakes (PhD 3rd) contributed an essay to the Forest Health Conditions in Alaska 2011 report of the US Department of Agriculture on her research on the decline of yellow cedars.

Narasimha Rao (PhD 2011). Kerosene Subsidies in India: When Energy Policy Fails as Social Policy in Energy for Sustainable Development, 16 35–43, 2012

Narasimha Rao (PhD 2011) and P. Baer. Decent Living Emissions: A Conceptual Framework in Sustainability (Accepted, Forthcoming)

Notes from the Field

Valentina Zuin (PhD 4th) and collaborators surveyed 1800 households and standpipe operators in eight neighborhoods of Maputo, Mozambique to evaluate the impact of water policy reforms implemented by the Mozambican government. A partnership between Stanford and the Mozambique Water Regulatory Council, the project uses action research to identify policy solutions to better target the poor in the water and sanitation sector. Vale, with Stanford Masters students Maika Nickolson and Julienne Bautista, manages a team of more than 30 enumerators, drivers, and neighbors’ guides, including undergraduates in history, public management, marketing, engineering, and statistics at Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo. The research is funded by the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, the Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor, and the World Bank.

Vale and collaborators gather data in Maputo; courtesy V. Zuin

New Positions

Hilary Schaffer Boudet (PhD 2010) has accepted a position as an assistant professor in the School of Public Policy at Oregon State University.


Thank you to students, faculty, and alumni for submitting updates and taking time to be interviewed. Special thanks to Dan Reineman for inpsiring this marine issue and to Dan, Austin Becker, Amanda Cravens, and Aaron Strong for submitting articles.

The E-IPER Newsletter is distributed quarterly and can also be found online or downloaded as a PDF. To subscribe or unsubscribe, email your request to Helen Doyle: hdoyle@stanford.edu.
To learn more about E-IPER, visit http://www.e-iper.stanford.edu.

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