Media and Publications

Multimedia

Audio

In water, forest, and lab Stanford ‘SoCo’ examines Alaska’s natural systems

By Caitlin Woolsey, Sophomore College in Alaska 2013

KCAW’s Caitlin Woolsey is a Stanford senior, and the SoCo teaching assistant. She sent this audio postcard from what is proving to be a hands-on adventure in higher education.

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David M. Kennedy: The Modern American Military

The advent of the all-volunteer force and the evolving nature of modern warfare have transformed our military, changing it in serious if subtle ways that few Americans are aware of, says Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Kennedy

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Bruce Cain on KQED's Forum: "Election 2012"

The Center's faculty director designate, Bruce Cain, discussed the 2012 election results on KQED Radio's "Forum" with Michael Krasny, political consultant Chris Lehane, and former Center executive director Tammy Frisby of the Hoover Institution.

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Conference on the Rural West: Complete Audio

Complete audio of the proceedings of the first Conference on the Rural West, organized by the Rural West Initiative of the Bill Lane Center for the American West.

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Rural West Initiative Story on NPR: "Roosevelt's Badlands Ranch Faces Potential Threat"

By John McChesney

"Theodore Roosevelt's Elkhorn Ranch in North Dakota is often called the Walden Pond of the West. But Roosevelt's ranch is now feeling the pressure of an oil boom that is industrializing the local landscape. Critics say a proposed gravel pit and a bridge could destroy the very thing that made such a lasting impression on Roosevelt: the restorative power of wilderness.

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Bruce Cain on KQED's Forum: "Likability" and the Presidential Vote

KQED's California Report: Real Rural Project Aims to Bridge Stereotypical Divides

Story by KQED Radio's California Report on Center Media Fellow Lisa M. Hamilton's website and public information project, Real Rural

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Lisa M. Hamilton and Jon Christensen Discuss Real Rural on KQED's "Forum"

By Jon Christensen and Lisa M. Hamilton

Center Media Fellow Lisa M. Hamilton and Executive Director Jon Christensen appear on KQED's "Forum" radio program to discuss the new project "Real Rural."

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Rural West Initiative Story on NPR: "Oil Boom Puts Strain On North Dakota Towns"

By John McChesney

"North Dakota has a low 3.5 percent unemployment rate and a state budget with a billion dollar surplus. That's because of a major oil boom in the western part of the state, a discovery of at least 2 billion barrels to be gained by fracking — the controversial process of injecting fluid deep into underground rock formations to force the oil out."

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Jon Christensen on Wired Magazine's "Storyboard" Podcast

From Wired.com: "Looking for the future? Traditionally in North America, that’s been found West. But is there something about the area that helps it generate leading thought and novelty? Jon Christensen, the Executive Director of the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford, stops by to discuss."

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Interactives

Interactive Graphics: Understanding California's Groundwater

By Water in the West, Stanford University

A library of interactive maps, charts and data visualizations explaining critical issues related to California's groundwater resources. Prepared as part of the series of articles, "Understanding California's Groundwater."

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Farming Water

By Emily Bookstein

In this illustrated report, the Bill Lane Center for the American West's research assistant Emily Bookstein (Stanford '11) looks at farmers in the Palo Verde valley in Southern California who have embraced a new way to supplement their livelihood: temporarily transfering their water rights to urban utilities in exchange for cash.

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Shifting Landscapes in the Bay Area

By Geoff McGhee, Maria J. Santos and Lauren Sommer

As the climate continues to warm, scientists believe the Bay Area’s microclimates will shift. These maps show how the region’s plant communities could move as conditions change. What scientists don't know is how fast vegetation could migrate to new areas or how the changes will affect Bay Area parks and wildlife.

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A History of Bay Area Open Space Conservation

By Geoff McGhee, Maria J. Santos and Lauren Sommer

The Bay Area has a long history of preserving its open lands. Today, about one-third of the region is designated as open space, from small city parks to lands stretching thousands of acres.

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Comparing the Cost of Water

By Geoff McGhee, Kate Galbraith and Scott Murray

A look at how Texas stacks up against other parts of the U.S. in water rates, single-family usage, precipitation and drought. Produced in collaboration with the Texas Tribune.

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Envisioning California's Delta As It Was

By Geoff McGhee, Lauren Sommer and Alison Whipple

An interactive map of the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta comparing the historical habitat with the present day landscape, produced in collaboration with KQED Public Media and the San Francisco Estuary Institute.

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Real Rural: Stories from the Other California

By Lisa M. Hamilton

On a media fellowship from the Center, Lisa M. Hamilton spent much of 2011 criscrossing California, capturing offbeat portraits of the state's remarkable scenery and seeking out stories about the diverse residents of what she calls "the other California."

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The Grand Canyon as Outdoor Classroom

By Geoff McGhee and Kevin Cool, Stanford Magazine

The Sophomore College course Water in the West sent 12 students and four faculty on a 13-day excursion down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. This map highlights some of the places they encountered, including hiking trails, slot canyons, difficult rapids and other natural features. 

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The Long Draw: On the Trail of an Artistic Mystery in the American West

By Geoff McGhee and Jeremy Miller

An interactive map created as a supplement to the Harper's Magazine article “The Long Draw,” which appeared in the January 2012 issue of the magazine.

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E-Government Initiatives Flower in California

By Geoff McGhee, Jon Christensen, and Rio Akasaka

According to a new report by the New America Foundation, many of California's 5,000-some local governments are experimenting with technologies to engage the public and improve services.

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Global Players in the West's Extraction Economy

By Geoff McGhee, Rio Akasaka and Jonathan Thompson

International influence in the West's natural resource sectors is nothing new. But in recent years, the influence from Asia and former Communist bloc countries has risen substantially.

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Data Visualization: Journalism's Voyage West

By Geoff McGhee and Krissy Clark

Created for the Rural West Initiative's report on newspapers in the West, his visualization plots over 140,000 newspapers published over three centuries in the United States. The data comes from the Library of Congress' "Chronicling America" project, which maintains a regularly updated directory of newspapers.  

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Data Visualization: Changing U.S. Demographics

This visualization enables users to expore demographic changes over time and space using U.S. Census data at the county level from 1850 to 2008. 

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Videos

The California Drought: Causes, Context and Responses

On February 25, 2014, Water in the West brought together three Stanford experts to discuss the causes, policy implications and possible responses to a historic drought. 2013 was the driest year since the state began keeping records 150 years ago.

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Video from the Third State of the West Symposium, November 2013

By Bill Lane Center for the American West and Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research

The Bill Lane Center for the American West and the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research co-hosted the third annual State of the West Symposium on November 14. The symposium included panels on NAFTA at 20 years old and North American energy, and a keynote address by the Governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper.  

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Bert Patenaude on Bill Lane and "The Sun Never Sets: Reflections on a Western Life"

The Stanford historian Bertrand Patenaude, who served as editor for L.W. "Bill" Lane, Jr.'s new memoir, The Sun Never Sets: Reflections on a Western Life, speaks about Bill Lane's career as longtime publisher of Sunset magazine, environmentalist, and U.S. ambassador in Japan and Australia.

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Stanford to the Sea 2013: Talks

The Bill Lane Center for the American West's annual hike, Stanford to the Sea, featured talks along the way by Stanford faculty and Center affiliates on the land use and ecosytems of coastal California.

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Starr and Feingold Debate Campaign Finance Reform

Judge Kenneth Starr and former Senator Russell Feingold discussed Citizens United and the future of poltical reform at Stanford Law School, in a debate moderated by Professor Pamela Karlan on April 29, 2013. The event was co-sponsored by the California Fair Political Practices Commission, Stanford Law School and the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford.

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The New Western Fugitives: Ozone Ingredients from Oil and Gas

By Geoff McGhee, John McChesney and Ariana Reguzzoni

Two basins that lie along the Green River in the intermountain West have some of the worst ozone pollution in the nation. A video report by the Rural West Initiative on one of the unseen effects of gas drilling.

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Video from the State of the West Symposium, November 2012

By Bill Lane Center for the American West and Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research

The Bill Lane Center for the American West and the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research co-hosted the second annual State of the West Symposium on November 15. The symposium included panels on political demography, the regional economy, and climate change. 

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An Unquiet Landscape: The American West's New Energy Frontier

By Geoff McGhee, John McChesney and Ariana Reguzzoni

 

High energy prices have made advanced drilling technologies profitable, pushing drill bits into parts of the West once believed tapped out, and into new places once thought inaccessible. A look at three communities in North Dakota and Wyoming who find themselves at different stages of an energy boom. 

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Rural Ads Send a Message to BART Riders

By Don Sanchez, KGO-TV News

There may be a big divide in California between urban and rural residents. A new ad campaign called "Real Rural" is meant to make a connection between the two. The ads will be in BART cars.

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David M. Kennedy and Richard White Discuss Myths of the Transcontinental Railroad

By David M. Kennedy and Richard White

In June, the Center's faculty co-directors Richard White and David M. Kennedy sat for a thought-provoking conversation about the transcontinental railroad – and the tycoons who built it – at the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco.

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Video from the State of the West Symposium, February 2011

By Bill Lane Center for the American West and Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research

The first annual State of the West Symposium featured a timely lunchtime address by John C. Williams, the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank's vice president and director of research. Williams said that the nation's economic recovery has reached "escape velocity," and that while the West suffered some of the worst impacts of the Great Recession, the region can lead the way to recovery, through technology and exports.

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Journalism in the Age of Data: A Documentary

By Geoff McGhee

Journalists are coping with the rising information flood by borrowing data visualization techniques from computer scientists, researchers and artists. Some newsrooms are already beginning to retool their staffs and systems to prepare for a future in which data becomes a medium. But how do we communicate with data, how can traditional narratives be fused with sophisticated, interactive information displays?

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Websites

Understanding California's Groundwater

By Water in the West, Stanford University

Publications

Articles

"Stanford course aims to cultivate future leaders of the American West"

Developed by the Bill Lane Center for the American West, the interdisciplinary course introduced undergraduates to the unique history, literature, art, politics, and environmental challenges of the North American West.

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"Stanford panel lays out drought-survival strategies"

By Sue Dremann

As the state's drought deepens, Stanford University's water conservation efforts and strategies for expanding water resources for the future could serve as a helpful model for the rest of the state, a panel of Stanford experts said at a public forum on Tuesday night.

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"Warming Climate Could Transform Bay Area Parks and Open Space"

By Lauren Sommer, Center Media Fellow

By the end of the century, the Bay Area’s landscape could look more like Southern California’s, raising tough questions for land managers trying to preserve the region’s protected lands.

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"Americans and Their Military, Drifting Apart"

By David M. Kennedy and Karl W. Eikenberry

A chasm has opened between our citizens and our men and women in uniform. Soldier and citizen must once again be brought to stand side by side, write David M. Kennedy and Karl Eikenberry, the former commander of US forces and US Ambassador to Afghanistan.

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"Stanford humanities scholars harness the power of crowdsourcing"

By Corrie Goldman

Researchers at Stanford's Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis are incorporating the knowledge and resources of the public into three digital humanities research projects.

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"Comparative Wests"

By Richard White, Jon Christensen, Judee Burr, Brian Codding, Douglas Bird, Jared Dahl Aldern, and Others

A special issue dedicated to the Comparative Wests project. Occasion is thus named both to signal the “event” of the convening and publication of a set of papers on a specific topic in interdisciplinary humanities, and to prompt—“to occasion”— such collaboration and exploration.  With the aid of a distinguished editorial board, we will publish special issues on timely and critical topics.

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"Conservation for the land or for the species? Spatial and temporal relationships between protected areas and threatened and endangered species"

By Maria J. Santos and Alexandra Peers

As multiple stressors affect biodiversity persistence, conservation land acquisition has become a key tactic in preventing habitat loss, fragmentation, and land degradation, and thus maintaining biodiversity. Here we ask the question of whether land acquisition prompted the detection of threatened and endangered (T&E) species or the detection of T&E species promoted land acquisition. 

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"Oil, gas drilling rile West's energy embrace"

By Kristen Wyatt, The Associated Press

"The Best Scientific Figures of 2012: Gardening Fire"

"Stanford's Bill Lane Center for the American West moves into news"

By Max McClure

Already an interdisciplinary hub for regional studies of the West, the Bill Lane Center has also become a journalistic destination, partnering with newspapers and making forays into academic reporting.

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"American West's changing climate spells economic changes, too, according to Stanford symposium"

By Max McClure

The State of the West Symposium, hosted by the Bill Lane Center for the American West and the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, featured a discussion of the Western United States' future of extreme heat, declining snowpack, and what it all means for the region's industry, electricity generation and policy.

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"Obama's victory won't transform America"

By David M. Kennedy

Think of the extravagant hopes and promises that attended Barack Obama's election in 2008.This time around, a chastened Obama notably failed to offer a grand vision for the American future and instead contented himself with delegitimizing Mitt Romney and dwelling for the most part on small-bore issues. 

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"Obama’s Second Chance to Be Historic"

By David M. Kennedy

With Obama’s re-election we now have for only the second time in American history three back-to-back two-term presidencies. But our presidential trifecta, ironically, has been attended by stasis and seemingly irreconcilable conflict. Can the re-elected president now induce congressional Republicans, at last, to get in touch with their inner Jefferson, find common ground, and usher in a new Era of Good Feelings? Now that would be one for the history books.

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"Conference Tackles Tough Issues in the Rural West"

By Heather Scofield

On the heels of two years of preparation, the Bill Lane Center gathered more than 50 professionals for two days of intense talks surrounding issues impacting the rural West. The conference was not superficial, or designed for networking and socializing. It was a two-day event where some of today’s most pressing national issues and concerns were seriously engaged.

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"Building New Windows into Digitized Newspapers"

By Jon Christensen and Andrew J. Torget

In building Mapping Texts we wanted to create more transparent windows into the extraordinary wealth of information available in online archives of digitized historical newspapers. 

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"Producing a Collaborative Media Fellowship Model at Stanford"

By Geoff McGhee

In our small lab at Stanford University, we've been prototyping new models of collaboration that bring journalists together with university researchers and scholars. We're eager to share them because we hope that others will take them up, use them, and improve upon them.

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"Gold fever heats up in Mother Lode"

By Jon Christensen

"California has caught gold fever again," writes Jon Christensen, citing record-high prices for gold, a depressed economy in the Sierras, and a lingering sense that there's gold left to find. But, he writes, "For all the talk of a new gold rush, there is precious little gold coming out of the Mother Lode these days."

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"Visualizing California's changing delta with Stanford and KQED"

By Max McClure, Stanford News Service

A new interactive website – a collaboration between Stanford's Bill Lane Center for the American West and KQED's QUEST, using research from the San Francisco Estuary Institute – offers non-specialists an intriguing glimpse into the historical Delta. 

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"Stanford scholars give political edge to Obama when it comes to foreign policy"

By Brooke Donald, Stanford News Service

During a discussion at the Freeman Spogli Institute, foreign policy experts say elections can turn on international issues, debunking the dictum that 'all politics is local.'

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"New interactive database lets Stanford scholars map a mindset"

By Camille Brown, Stanford News Service

Mapping Texts, a collaboration between Stanford University and the University of North Texas, allows scholars to explore visualizations of language patterns embedded in almost two centuries of Texas newspapers.

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"California's Real Rural Tells Hidden Stories"

By Lisa M. Hamilton

"With these stories, I would simply reintroduce rural California to the rest of us. The result is not a comprehensive survey - that would be a life's work or more. Nor is it a portfolio of outliers and unusual looking people, as is often the case with portraits of unfamiliar places."

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"Railroad hyperbole echoes all the way down to the dot-com frenzy"

"The Stanford Historical Society, one of the sponsors of the event, has as one of its missions to study and understand 'the ideals of the university's founders.' Rarely if ever has the university's founder gotten such a drubbing at one of the society's gatherings. Stanford knew nothing about railroads, nor did any of the railroad barons, according to White."

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"Water Course"

By Kevin Cool

From Stanford Magazine: "Twelve sophomores spent two weeks rafting through the Grand Canyon, immersed in the issue that will determine the future of the West: Is there enough water to go around?"

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"Land Trusts Thrive Despite, and Because of, the Great Recession"

By Jon Christensen, Judee Burr, and Jenny Rempel

The recession has afforded a unique opportunity for land trusts to protect more of the West’s private open land through direct acquisitions and, increasingly, conservation easements, writes a group of Center researchers.

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"Fossil Fuels, Foreign Trade, and Foreign Investment in the American West"

By Robert W. Jackman

This working paper policy brief sets out to examine fossil fuel production in the American West in the context of the global economy. Specifically, this brief intends to examine how foreign countries and foreign corporations influence fossil fuel production in the American West, and it examines direct foreign influence in the American West in the form of investment and indirect foreign influence in the form of demand for fossil fuels.

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"Notes from the Data Revolution"

By Geoff McGhee

Article on the influence of data mining and visualization on news infographics.

"Media Organizations Must Become Trusted Data Hubs"

By Geoff McGhee, Nicolas Kayser-Bril and Mirko Lorenz

From Nieman Lab: Geoff McGhee teams up with two European colleagues — Mirko Lorenz, a German information architect and journalist, and Nicolas Kayser-Bril, head data journalist at OWNI in France — to argue that news organizations should restructure themselves as data generators, gatherers, and analyzers. They believe that selling trusted data should be the foundation of journalism’s new business model. Give their argument a look.

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"Stanford showcases Carleton Watkins' landscape photographs of the American West"

A new Cantor Arts Center exhibition of 19th-century landscape photographs is an innovative collaboration reflecting an interdisciplinary approach. The "Carleton Watkins: Stanford Albums" display includes visualizations that provide dynamic context for the geography and natural history behind the photos.

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"An historical land conservation analysis in the San Francisco Bay Area, USA: 1850–2010"

By Maria J. Santos, James H. Thorne, Jon Christensen, and Zephyr Frank

Unprecedented rates of change in land-use and land-cover over the last century challenge the ability of conservation networks to meet their objectives of conserving biodiversity, and other goals. We reconstructed the history of conservation land acquisition (where, when, how much and what) from 1850 to 2010 in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, U.S.A. We hypothesized that the process of land acquisition would be characterized by a fill-in effect – as acquisitions are pursued over time, they complement prior acquisitions by adding more area and new or underrepresented land-cover types. 

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Books

The Modern American Military

By David M. Kennedy and Foreword by former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry

The advent of the all-volunteer force and the evolving nature of modern warfare have transformed our military, changing it in serious if subtle ways that few Americans are aware of. Edited by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David M. Kennedy, this stimulating volume brings together insights from a remarkable group of scholars, who shed important new light on the changes effecting today's armed forces. 

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The Sun Never Sets: Reflections on a Western Life

By L.W. "Bill" Lane, Jr. with Bertrand M. Patenaude, Introduction by Kevin Starr

Bill Lane was a Californian whose life spanned a vital period of the state's emergence as the embodiment (or symbol) of the country's aspirations. His recollections offer readers a rich slice of the history of California and the West in the 20th century. Recounting his boyhood move from Iowa to California after his father purchased Sunset magazine in 1928, and his subsequent rise through the ranks of Sunset, Bill Lane's memoir evokes the American West that his magazine helped to shape.

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Document

Adopting a Landscape-Level Approach to Managing our Nation's Public Lands and Open Spaces

By Hon. David J. Hayes, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of the Interior

The Honorable David J. Hayes, who as Deputy U.S. Secretary of the Interior has oversight over major governmental land management agencies, delivered a speech to the Center on campus in late April.

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Presentations

Reading the Landscape: Infographics, Interactive Scholarly Works And the Future of Media

By Geoff McGhee

Keynote presentation to the Deutsche Infografikpreis (German Infographics Awards), Berlin, February 21, 2014

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The Making of "Envisioning California's Delta"

By Geoff McGhee and Lauren Sommer

Geoff McGhee and Lauren Sommer talk about their interactive map and data visualization on the historical Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

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Telling Stories with Data and Interactivity: Perspectives from Journalism and Academia

By Geoff McGhee

Presentation to Tableau Software in Seattle, Washington on July 30, 2012.

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Infographics for a Post-Flash World

By Geoff McGhee

Presentation to the Show, Don't Tell workshop at the 20th Malofiej Infographics Congress.

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Data Visualization in the Humanities

By Geoff McGhee

Presentation to Adobe Education Community on Jan. 26, 2012, looking at applications of data visualization at the Bill Lane Center, the larger Stanford community, and in academia in general.

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Telling Stories With Data Visualization

By Geoff McGhee

Presentation to the Visual.ly Data Visualization Meetup

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Getting Started With Data Visualization

By Geoff McGhee

Presentation slides for the May 6, 2011 session of the Tooling Up for Digital Histories workshop (HIST299D/ENG299D). The topics addressed include genres of visualization and the basic process from concept to execution. (from short description field)

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Water in the West: An Overview

By David M. Kennedy

Presentation of critical issues around Water in the West, by David M. Kennedy.

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