Agroecologist and Dean of Stanford University’s school of earth sciences Pam Matson discusses her agricultural research in the Yaqui Valley and how it relates to the Green Revolution. She also reflects upon the politics of sustainable agriculture and how we might go about feeding the 9 billion people we expect in the coming decades. As a final thought, she offers some advice to those who are coming of age in the Anthropocene, and why we shouldn’t waste our time trying to assign blame.
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Pamela Matson is an interdisciplinary Earth scientist who works to reconcile the needs of people and the planet. Her research addresses a range of environment and sustainability issues, including sustainability of agricultural systems; vulnerability of particular people and places to climate change; the consequences of tropical deforestation on atmosphere, climate and water systems; and the environmental consequences of global change in the nitrogen and carbon cycles. With multi-disciplinary teams of researchers, managers, and decision makers, she has worked to develop agricultural approaches that reduce environmental impacts while maintaining livelihoods and human wellbeing.
Samantha Larson is a master’s student in Earth systems at Stanford, with specialized emphases in ocean sciences and environmental journalism. She also likes to spend as much of her time as possible playing in the mountains, climbing on granite walls, or diving under the sea.