In 2009, the Bill Lane Center for the American West launched the Rural West Initative, which seeks to research and document contemporary life in the Rural West. Our work examines life in rural western areas through scholarship, public policy, and journalism.
Why We Study the Rural West
As the pace of urbanization accelerates in the western United States, the Rural West Initiative highlights the important role of rural communities in the region. Often overlooked in broader regional discussions, rural communities offer an important lens into the economics, environment, and health of the changing West. Through research and outreach, the Center is building a network of institutions and individuals to:
- Identify common patterns across states, and develop best practices that can be shared across the Rural West;
- Engage key actors at Stanford and other western universities to collaboratively problem-solve together through scholarship and research; and
- Focus Stanford’s academic and clinical resources on policies and research that improve Rural Westerners’ health and health care access.