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FSI scholars approach their research on the environment from regulatory, economic and societal angles. The Center on Food Security and the Environment weighs the connection between climate change and agriculture; the impact of biofuel expansion on land and food supply; how to increase crop yields without expanding agricultural lands; and the trends in aquaculture. FSE’s research spans the globe – from the potential of smallholder irrigation to reduce hunger and improve development in sub-Saharan Africa to the devastation of drought on Iowa farms. David Lobell, a senior fellow at FSI and a recipient of a MacArthur “genius” grant, has looked at the impacts of increasing wheat and corn crops in Africa, South Asia, Mexico and the United States; and has studied the effects of extreme heat on the world’s staple crops.

Recent Scholarly Publications

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Higher temperatures increase suicide rates in the United States and Mexico

July 2018

Linkages between climate and mental health are often theorized, but remain poorly quantified.

Anticipated burden and mitigation of carbon-dioxide-induced nutritional deficiencies and related diseases: A simulation modeling study

July 2018

Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are anticipated to decrease the zinc and iron concentrations of crops.

Robust relationship between air quality and infant mortality in Africa

June 2018

Poor air quality is thought to be an important mortality risk factor globally1,2,3, but there is little direct evidence from the developing world on how mortality risk varies with changing exposure...

Novel Method of Quantifying Radioactive Cesium-Rich Microparticles (CsMPs) in the Environment from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

June 2018

Highly radioactive cesium-rich microparticles (CsMPs) were released from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (FDNPP) to the surrounding environment at an early stage of the nuclear disaster...

Future warming increases probability of globally synchronized maize production shocks

June 2018

Climate-induced shocks in grain production are a major contributor to global market volatility, which creates uncertainty for cereal farmers and agribusiness and reduces food access for poor...

Robust relationship between air quality and infant mortality in Africa

June 2018

Poor air quality is thought to be an important mortality risk factor globally, but there is little direct evidence from the developing world on how mortality risk varies with changing exposure to...

Large potential reduction in economic damages under UN mitigation targets

May 2018

International climate change agreements typically specify global warming thresholds as policy targets, but the relative economic benefits of achieving these temperature targets remain poorly...

American Foreign Policy in Transition: From Cold War Consensus to Controversy and Confusion

May 2018

In a new article for Contemporary American Review, Shorenstein APARC Distinguished Fellow Thomas Fingar examines how, twenty-five years after the demise of the Soviet Union, Americans are still...

Eyes in the sky, boots on the ground : assessing satellite- and ground-based approaches to crop yield measurement and analysis in Uganda

March 2018

Crop yields in smallholder systems are traditionally assessed using farmer-reported information in surveys, occasionally by crop cuts for a sub-section of a farmer's plot, and rarely using full...

The Elusive Goal of Global Food Security

February 2018

Ending world hunger is a universal goal, yet progress and social awareness of the issue waxes and wanes in the course of broader political and economic developments.

Using satellite data to identify the causes of and potential solutions for yield gaps in India's Wheat Belt

September 2017

Food security will be increasingly challenged by climate change, natural resource degradation, and population growth.

Impact of a rural solar electrification project on the level and structure of women's empowerment

September 2017

Although development organizations agree that reliable access to energy and energy services—one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals—is likely to have profound and perhaps disproportionate...

Mapping Smallholder Yield Heterogeneity at Multiple Scales in Eastern Africa

September 2017

Accurate measurements of crop production in smallholder farming systems are critical to the understanding of yield constraints and, thus, setting the appropriate agronomic investments and policies...

The shared and unique values of optical, fluorescence, thermal and microwave satellite data for estimating large-scale crop yields

August 2017

Large-scale crop monitoring and yield estimation are important for both scientific research and practical applications.

Interests, Norms and Support for the Provision of Global Public Goods: The Case of Climate Co-operation

July 2017

Mitigating climate change requires countries to provide a global public good.

Landsat-based classification in the cloud: An opportunity for a paradigm shift in land cover monitoring

June 2017

Satellite-derived land cover maps play an important role in many applications, including monitoring of smallholder-dominated agricultural landscapes.

Towards fine resolution global maps of crop yields: Testing multiple methods and satellites in three countries

May 2017

One of the greatest challenges in monitoring food security is to provide reliable crop yield information that is temporally consistent and spatially scalable.

Structuring Cooperative Nuclear Risk Reduction Initiatives with China

April 2017

CISAC's Siegfried Hecker, Larry Brandt and Jason Reinhardt worked with Chinese nuclear organizations on issues involving radiological and nuclear terrorism.

Prevalence of anaemia, deficiencies of iron and vitamin A and their determinants in rural women and young children: a cross-sectional study in Kalalé district of northern Benin

January 2017

Objective: To identify the magnitude of anaemia and deficiencies of Fe (ID) and vitamin A (VAD) and their associated factors among rural women and children.Design: Cross-sectional, comprising a...

Opportunity for marine fisheries reform in China

January 2017

China’s 13th Five-Year Plan, launched in March 2016, provides a sound policy platform for the protection of marine ecosystems and the restoration of capture fisheries within China’s exclusive...

Using remotely sensed temperature to estimate climate response functions

January 2017

Temperature data are commonly used to estimate the sensitivity of many societally relevant outcomes, including crop yields, mortality, and economic output, to ongoing climate changes.

Trends and determinants of rural residential solid waste collection services in China

August 2016

Abstract:PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to describe the trends in residential solid waste collection (RSWC) services in rural China over the past decade and analyze the determinants of these...

Combining satellite imagery and machine learning to predict poverty

August 2016

Policy-makers in the world's poorest countries are often forced to make decisions based on limited data. Consider Angola, which recently conducted its first postcolonial census.

Invisible water, visible impact: groundwater use and Indian agriculture under climate change

August 2016

India is one of the world's largest food producers, making the sustainability of its agricultural system of global significance.


Alberto Díaz-Cayeros Senior Fellow Professor, by courtesy, Political Science
Stephen P. Luby Senior Fellow Professor, Medicine (CHP/PCOR)
Beatriz Magaloni Senior Fellow Associate Professor, Political Science
Takeo Hoshi Senior Fellow, Professor, by courtesy, Finance
Frank Wolak Senior Fellow Professor, Economics
George Azzari Research Scholar Research scholar, Center on Food Security and the Environment, Stanford Department of Earth System Science, and Stanford Sustainability and Artificial Intelligence Lab
Phillip Lipscy Center Fellow Assistant Professor, Political Science
Donald Kennedy Professor, Biology, Emeritus
Francisco Ramirez Professor, Education
David Freyberg Associate Professor, Civil Engineering
Barton H. Thompson Professor, Law
W. Richard Scott Professor, Sociology, Emeritus