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.

Research assistants dig deep into questions about climate change, the arts, technology and public policy in the West

With an eye toward preserving and restoring an American West ravaged by climate change, and a keen interest in elevating the region's rich arts and culture, 21 students have spent the summer working with Lane Center mentors on research projects spanning multiple disciplines.

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 Designecologist on Unsplash.

Lane Center experts share tips to protect against wildfire smoke

As Canada's wildfires create hazardous air quality in the U.S., Stanford researchers who study air quality, human health and public policy have these practical tips to mitigate harm from the smoke.

a group of hikers stand and kneel in a redwood forest for a photo with tall redwoods behind them

Stanford to the Sea 2023

On Saturday, May 20, the Bill Lane Center hosted its annual 22-mile trek from Stanford to the Sea. Traditionally, the route winds from its starting point at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve through Wunderlich County Park, continues along Bear Gulch Road and the Skyline Trail before catching the Purisima trail downhill to shuttles for San Gregorio State Beach.

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

A three-state survey conducted by the Bill Lane Center and other academic institutions explores citizens' attitudes and political affiliations in three key Western states. The findings indicate no dramatic differences among citizens of the same party across Arizona, California or Texas.
A lawsuit in California to hold big oil accountable; Southern California and Arizona explore desalination in the face of drought; growing urchins to save the kelp forests; wildfires cause a decrease in air quality across the United States; and other environmental news from around the West.
In many drought-stricken regions, water security is threatened by shifting climate and demographic conditions. In research funded by the Woods Institute for the Environment, Center Director Bruce Cain and colleagues will develop a new approach to drought management that accounts for long-term socio-environmental change.

Upcoming Events

Tue October 3rd 2023, 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Speaker: Clay Jenkinson
Fri October 20th 2023, 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Speaker: Rosanna Xia , Dr. Charles Lester
Mon October 23rd 2023, 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Speaker: Margaret O’Mara