Press Release

Stanford Earth and Rare Collaborate to Connect Behavioral Research with Conservation Practitioners

New initiative draws on faculty and students from Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences to support the adoption of behavior change solutions in conservation

November 1, 2017
(ARLINGTON, VA) Stanford University’s School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences (Stanford Earth), and Rare, a global leader in behavior science for conservation, have announced a collaboration to support the protection of Earth’s natural resources so that both people and nature thrive. The relationship helps lay the groundwork for Rare’s Center for Behavior & the Environment, an initiative designed to bridge the gap between thought leaders in behavior change research and field-based conservationists.
Stanford Earth and Rare signed a memo of understanding, which recognizes the institutions’ commitment to “the advancement of scientifically sound solutions, community engagement, and social change, especially focusing on sustainability and environmental conservation.”
“We want to not only bring scientific insights to conservation solutions, but an understanding of the practices that best motivate adoption of new ideas by people making decisions and coping with change on the ground,” said Stanford Earth Dean Pamela Matson. “We hope we can enhance Rare’s training programs around the world, and learn from them, too.”
“Rare is thrilled to join forces with Stanford faculty and students who are leading the way toward a more sustainable future,” said Brett Jenks, CEO of Rare. “The research and ideas that come from Stanford Earth will help shape the world’s approach to conservation for generations. Their engagement with the Center is a huge boon for its mission to bring the best insights from research and design to bear against the most challenging environmental issues of our day.”

The Center will deliver on three core areas:

  • Showcasing bright spots. The Center will identify solutions that are already working and explore ways to scale and spread them to communities around the world. This approach is the basis for Rare’s annual Solution Search contest, which elevates the work of conservation practitioners in the developing world, who might otherwise go unnoticed.
  • Field-based learning. The Center will take science out of the laboratory and into the field, for the betterment of both. The Center will foster collaborations with students and faculty from leading universities in the U.S. and around the world, including Harvard, Yale, UC-Santa Barbara, Dickinson College, and Stanford.
  • High-impact training and delivery. Through a designed training curriculum, made available on a virtual platform and accessible to a global network, the Center will empower more conservation practitioners around the world with state-of-the-art insights and position them to become transformative behavioral design strategists.
Learn more about the Center for Behavior & the Environment at Receive updates about the Center by subscribing to its newsletter here.

The Stanford School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences is one of Stanford’s seven schools. It develops the knowledge, talent, and leadership to understand the changing Earth and help solve the enormous resource and environmental challenges facing the world. Faculty at the school focus on a broad range of Earth issues, from climate change and impacts, sustainable agriculture, marine processes, and freshwater resources, to energy resources engineering, Earth hazards, evolution of life and other Earth process research, using biophysical sciences, social sciences, and engineering.  The school is home to the O’Donohue Family Stanford Educational Farm and works in close collaboration with Stanford’s interdisciplinary Woods Institute for the Environment.
A 4-star Charity Navigator-ranked NGO, Rare is the leading organization in using behavior change to achieve conservation goals globally. Rare inspires people to take pride in the natural resources that make their communities unique, while also introducing practical alternatives to environmentally destructive practices. Rare has trained more than 350 community leaders and government employees in 56 countries in campaign planning and social marketing, equipping them to deliver community-based solutions based on natural and social science, while leveraging policy and market forces to accelerate positive environmental change. Rare then works to scale that impact to help deliver the same kind of change elsewhere. To learn more about Rare, please visit and follow us on Twitter: @rare_org.