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Professor Noah Diffenbaugh and student

Deepening critical expertise

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Hiring faculty who bring new expertise to Stanford is a high priority for the school. An expected 60 strategic hires over the next 10 years will grow the school’s faculty to more than 150, building on the university’s existing strengths and helping to define new fields for the benefit of future generations. 


Named, Endowed Professorships ($5 million)

Endowed professorships will be critical to Stanford’s ability to attract the best scholars. Thanks to the Sustainability Matching Program, a gift of $5 million will receive a $1 million match to create a permanent $6 million endowment that supports one senior faculty member.

Professorships exist in perpetuity, with payout from the endowed gifts underwriting the named faculty members’ salaries and associated costs. They may be established in the donors’ own names or in the names of others whom they wish to honor.


Meet some of our current faculty working in the spaces between traditional disciplines to advance new kinds of technologies and policies for sustainability:

Ines Azevedo, associate professor of energy resources engineering, says courses and curriculum in the new school will broaden the scope of sustainability to include issues in the dimensions of science for sustainability, engineering for sustainability, economics and policy design for sustainability, and will provide opportunities to have more engagement with communities and decision makers.

Jef Caers, professor of geological sciences, identifies metals that are needed for EVs and other technologies that move the world away from fossil fuels. He says the new school is about how can we positively start to influence other people's lives.

Yi Cui, Director of the Precourt Institute for Energy and the Fortinet Founders Professor of Materials Science & Engineering, wants to develop clean, secure, affordable energy for all the people of the world. He describes how the new school's accelerator will help achieve that goal.

Kate Maher, professor of Earth system science, says the school will bring together a unique array of disciplines that aren't normally housed together in one academic unit, which will enable a different way of interacting with communities and stakeholders.

Will Tarpeh, assistant professor of chemical engineering, says the school will help his group translate their work on converting waste into useable products into real world impact, whether in the U.S. or in sub-Saharan Africa.

David Lobell, professor of Earth system science and Gloria and Richard Kushel Director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment, says the school will allow undergraduate and graduate students to leave Stanford understanding how they can make a meaningful contribution to the sustainability of the world.

Paula Welander, associate professor of Earth system science, says the school is focusing on all aspects of sustainability, including how scientists can work together to address the problem in a way that is caring for the planet, but also caring for the populations that are most affected.

Fiorenza Micheli, the David and Lucile Packard Professor in Marine Science and co-director of the Center for Ocean Solutions, says that by integrating scholarship, innovation, new ways of training the leaders of tomorrow, and active engagement in policy and technology, the school is poised to have immense impact on sustaining healthy, thriving oceans.

Jane Willenbring, associate professor of geological sciences, studies how Earth's surfaces change over time. She says the school provides opportunities for people to be driven by the actual problems that we experience in the world today.

Gabrielle Wong-Parodi, assistant professor of Earth system science, says the school's cross-cutting themes will tackle moonshot projects critical for a sustainable planet, including challenges like helping disadvantaged communities adapt to increasing environmental risks such as heat waves, wildfires, floods, or storms. 

Banner photo at top of page: Noah Diffenbaugh, the Kara J Foundation Professor, with graduate student in the lab. Photo by John Todd.