Welcome to the Bill Lane Center for the American West

Dedicated to advancing scholarly and public understanding of the past, present, and future of western North America, the Center supports research, teaching, and reporting about western land and life

Lane Center student researchers investigate salient challenges facing the West

In 2022, we’re pleased to welcome 16 RAs into the Lane Center family, with projects addressing climate change, water conservation, the energy transition, tribal justice, tourism, and more.

Bruce Cain and Iris Hui sitting side by side

Bill Lane Center Director Bruce Cain with Senior Researcher Iris Hui

Remembering Iris Hui

We mourn the loss of our beloved colleague, mentor and friend, Iris Hui.

From left to right, Hope Eccles, Eve Lilley, and Bill Lilley

From left to right, Hope Eccles, Eve Lilley, and Bill Lilley

Remembering Bill Lilley

The Lane Center remembers Bill Lilley, a charter member of our Advisory Council, whose commitment, generosity and creativity represented unparalleled contributions to the Council’s work and the Center

wildfire smoke over the Golden Gate Bridge

Image credit: Christopher Michel

Practical tips to mitigate harm from wildfire smoke

Lane Center researchers and partners offer tips for staying safe from the smoke during wildfire season.

Deadlines approaching for Shultz Energy Fellowships

With campus partners, we offer paid, high-level fellowships focused on clean energy in influential western states. Apply today for the Shultz Energy Fellowships program. The application deadline for graduate fellowships is Jan. 27 at 5 p.m. PT and Feb. 7 at 11:59 p.m. PT. for undergraduates

collage of 9 photos of Lane Center people, events and courses

2022: A Year in Review

It was an abundant and meaningful year for us at the Bill Lane Center. Check out our year-end letter to learn about the return of Sophomore College and Rural West, our spring hike to the sea, some wonderful new staff members, original research and reporting, and more. Happy holidays and happy trails from all of us to all of you.

Julia Simon and Janet Wilson headshots

Julia Simon (left) and Janet Wilson, 2022-2023 Western Media Fellows

Announcing our 2022-2023 Western Media Fellows

The Bill Lane Center has selected Janet Wilson and Julia Simon as recipients of this year's Western Media Fellowship, which provides support for journalists illuminating critical issues about the American West.

The Lane Center welcomes a new education manager

Corinne Thomas joined the Bill Lane Center in September as our new education manager. Students, come by Y2E2 to meet Corinne and learn more about our student programs!

Robust student research on the American West is well underway at the Lane Center

The Lane Center is proud to subsidize a number of research assistantships for students eager to explore their passions and produce contemporary scholarship about the Western region. 

report cover for the Future of Federalism and Foreign Policy paper

New research from the Bill Lane Center explores the future of federalism and foreign policy in California

With a grant from California 100, the Bill Lane Center identified key challenges of California’s intergovernmental relations, and offered solutions that ensure resilience and reliability of the state’s invaluable natural resources.

mountains and a small town, Pocatello, Idaho

Pocatello, Idaho, site of the 2022 Rural West Conference. Photo by Kate Gibson.

Highlights from the 2022 Eccles Family Rural West Conference

In Pocatello, Idaho, scholars and practitioners explored solutions to climate and economic challenges in the rural West.

hikers pose for a photo on the beach with blue sky in the background

Friends of the Bill Lane Center hike from Stanford to the Sea

On Saturday, April 30, 2022, the Lane Center brought back its Stanford to the Sea hike, taking a group on a 22-mile trek from Jasper Ridge to Gregorio State Beach. 

Recent News

What the California storms did — destruction — and what they didn’t do — end the drought; a missing piece of energy transition will be finding enough electricians; Arizonas’s new governor is focusing on water conservation; the impact of a prairie-dog plague; a new law to protect Native artifacts; and more environmental news from around the West.
As California endures yet another prolonged drought, and state water managers have balked at approving plans covering the basins at greatest risk, more growers in a few of the new local groundwater agencies are in revolt at the new rules that will curtail access to the water they once took for granted.
It was a full and rewarding year for us at the Bill Lane Center. Check out our 2022 newsletter to learn about the return of Sophomore College and Rural West, our spring hike from Stanford to the sea, the hiring of two new staff members, some fascinating research and reporting, and so much more. Happy holidays and happy trails to all.

Upcoming Events

Wed January 25th 2023, 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Speaker: Jason Kuiken, US Forest Service
Wed February 1st 2023, 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Speaker: Bob Roper, Chair of the CA Fire Safe Council and Policy Advisor to the Western Fire Chief's Association
Thu February 2nd 2023, 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Speaker: Rachel St John