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Facing Humanity’s Challenges

Photo: Andrew Brodhead

Stanford is leading the way toward solutions that will shape the long-term future of our planet.
The Doerr School of Sustainability — the university’s first new school in 70 years — launched
in September 2022, focusing on three broad areas: Earth, climate, and society. The school is
dedicated to producing interdisciplinary scholarship, training ambitious students, and building
collaborative partnerships that help people across the globe address the complex challenges of
climate change and sustainability.

Stanford scientists and students have long been dedicated to understanding Earth. The university’s first professor was a geologist; its first PhD granted was in geology. The focus has since expanded from exploring Earth’s subsurface processes to the atmosphere, land, and oceans, as well as society’s impact on the environment and resources. 

Photo: Philippe Roberge

Collaborating for Impact

The school’s efforts stretch across campus — and far beyond it. The school’s institutes are hubs for interdisciplinary scholarship, cultivating teams of faculty, students, and external partners to address issues in energy, the environment, and other areas that transcend academic disciplines. The Sustainability Accelerator unites Stanford experts with global partners to help deliver technology and policy solutions to the people who need them most.

Photo: Christine Baker

Thriving Scholarship

Scholars in all areas of the school strive to understand the interconnected systems and complex causes that underlie sustainability challenges. As they create crucial new knowledge, they apply their insights to innovative and transformative solutions on local and global scales. From answering fundamental questions about the past to asking inspiring questions about the future, the school helps build a world in which humans and nature thrive together. 

Photo: Andrew Brodhead

A Global Classroom

The school’s research activities span all seven continents. Students deepen their knowledge, make meaningful contributions, build connections with local communities, and prepare to become leaders in tackling the world’s sustainability challenges. Regardless of area of study, all Stanford students can take classes in the school, participate in sustainability research and action, and launch sustainability careers.