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. 

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.

Research assistant Georgia Scarr pours fuel onto foliage to ignite a controlled burn.

Lane Center wildfire researcher Georgia Scarr

Apply today for a research assistant role

The Bill Lane Center for the American West is now accepting applications for undergraduate research opportunities during spring and summer 2024. If you are interested in topics related to the American West and are looking to gain paid research experience, apply today on SOLO.

2023: The Year in Review

We look back on highlights from 2023 with immense gratitude for the students, faculty, staff, public audiences, donors, and friends of the Bill Lane Center who made the year so abundantly rewarding. From all of us to all of you, happy holidays and happy trails!

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.

2023 interns embark on summer adventures

Our 2023 intern cohort has launched. Nineteen "West" interns and seven Shultz Fellows make up this summer's talented and passionate group of students dedicated to supporting a thriving American West.

Photo by Phanatic via Flickr

Ninth Annual Eccles Family Rural West Conference

This year, our Rural West Conference takes up the theme of “Human and Ecosystem Health in the Rural West." On April 1, we'll be in Fort Collins, Colorado, to address the challenges of rural policy, health, and environment with top academics, practitioners, and policymakers. 

Recent News

Squeezed between sinking farmland and rising seas, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta residents and farm owners are facing approval of California's plan to divert water south via tunnels. The tunnel project will cost tens of billions of dollars and is immensely controversial because of its environmental impact and uneven effects on California farmers.
In a new policy brief, Esther Conrad offers analysis on how to expand the electric vehicle market in California and ensure access to charging stations.
Doubt grows on wolf restoration narrative; flooding causes surge in Valley Fever cases; a “climate bomb” avoided; restricted groundwater use in homes; a new national park in Colorado evokes Japanese internments; and more environmental news from around the West.

Upcoming Events

Thu March 14th 2024, 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Speaker: Jared Farmer
Wed March 27th 2024, 8:30am - 7:30pm
Sun July 21st 2024 - Fri July 26th 2024, All day