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

canyons and trees

What is the Bill Lane Center?

Learn more about the founding of the Bill Lane Center, Stanford University's academic hub for regional study of western land and life.

A map of the United States west of the 100th meridian

What is the West?

Our definition of the American West is expansive and takes into account the many dimensions of the region, from those rooted in geography to those rooted in the cultural and literary imagination. 

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collage of 2024 West Interns

Meet our 2024 "West" interns

Every summer, we offer undergraduate internships at organizations throughout the West. These work opportunities allow students to explore careers in natural history, conservation, ecology, land use, museum curation, resource management, water, energy, literature, policy, politics, and more. 

Dry Arizona desert terrain under a bright blue sky

Photo by @thematthoward on Unsplash

Annual Rural West Conference addresses the Colorado River crisis and more

Stanford News offers coverage of our annual Rural West Conference, which took place March 27 in Tempe, Arizona. The future of water and other issues facing the rural Southwest were top of mind.

Kate Gibson discusses all things Bill Lane Center on KZSU

What is the Bill Lane Center and who do we serve? Jon Cousins interviews Bill Lane Center Associate Director Kate Gibson on "The Great British Breakfast" show.

The Bill Lane Center and colleagues release joint survey findings on transgender legislation and policies

A new report examines the attitudes and opinions of Arizona, California and Texas residents regarding restrictive legislation and policies related to the transgender population. The report finds that residents of blue California, red Texas and purple Arizona generally do not support more rights for transgender people.

Recent News

California’s new water conservation plan; the effort by the Nez Perce to replace the Snake River dams’ hydroelectricity with solar power; Albuquerque’s out-of-commission dam is torquing regional water supplies; the Lakota herald the historic birth of a white buffalo; and more recent environmental stories from the American West.
New technologies and spiking power demand are directing western states’ attention to the hot rocks and hot groundwater beneath the earth's surface, which can be exploited for the energy they provide.
Bruce Cain argues that the federalist nature of the U.S., along with regional history and idiosyncratic human behavior, have made resolving collective action problems uniquely difficult.

Upcoming Events

Sun July 21st 2024 - Fri July 26th 2024, All day