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.

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. 

collage of 2022 interns holding signs with their intern placements

2022 summer interns head out into the field

The Bill Lane Center sponsors a new group of "West" interns and Shultz Fellows each year. Learn more about this summer's cohort.

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

Wildfire smoke erases years of clean-air gains; why the biggest Colorado River water users will have the most trouble cutting back, despite likely new requirements; disproportionate Arizona heat deaths among trailer residents; insects still protected by California’s endangered species act, and more environmental news from around the West.
A bighorn sheep lies dead by the side of U.S. Highway 85 in western North Dakota (North Dakota Department of Game and Fish) By Felicity Barringer Up Close
Stanford researchers have developed an AI model for predicting dangerous particle pollution to help track the American West’s rapidly worsening wildfire smoke. The detailed results show millions of Americans are routinely exposed to pollution at levels rarely seen just a decade ago.

Upcoming Events

Fri October 28th 2022, 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Speaker: John A. Lawrence