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Lauren Elizabeth Oakes

Lauren Elizabeth Oakes leoakes
I'm-not-a-bot
@stanford
Personal bio
Lauren E. Oakes is an ecologist and human-natural systems scientist. She is a lecturer in the Program in Writing and Rhetoric, where she teaches communications through classes focused on values of nature, sustainability, and environmental change. As an interdisciplinary scientist, she combines ecological research with methods from the social sciences to understand how people adapt to environmental changes. She earned her PhD from Stanford University’s Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (2015) and her bachelor’s degree from Brown University (2004) in Environmental Studies and Visual Art, studying film and photography. Dr. Oakes is currently writing The Canary Tree, a trade book about finding faith in the ability of people to cope with a rapidly changing planet. For nearly 20 years, Dr. Oakes has worked on a suite of environmental issues as a researcher, scholar, advocate, and documentarian (Alaska Gold 2012; Red Gold 2008). During that time, she confronted changes in rural communities and challenges in conservation, such as mining development in pristine watersheds in Alaska or road development through the temperate forests of Chile. She witnessed whole communities transformed by oil and gas development in the American West. She spent six years studying climate change impacts to forest ecosystems in the Alexander Archipelago, Alaska. Oakes is the lead author of peer-reviewed publications in the sciences, but she also writes for popular media outlets. She has written about her research for the New York Times and contributed to the San Francisco Chronicle. Her work has been profiled by Outside Magazine, National Geographic online, The Christian Science Monitor, Adventure Kayak Magazine, and ClimateWire, among other outlets. With years of experience in professional outdoor guiding, she has also lead multi-day expeditions for National Geographic Expeditions and co-designed/co-taught Stanford field courses in Alaska and the Grand Canyon.

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