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Through scientific research we gain the knowledge that converts to impact and fuels innovations and breakthroughs for sustainability. The Earth Leadership Program provides outstanding academic researchers with the skills, approaches, and theoretical frameworks for catalyzing change to address the world’s most pressing sustainability challenges. It seeks to prepare faculty to:

Learn new skills and approaches for working collaboratively with partners to communicate and integrate science into practice, making a strong, positive impact on decision-making

Model effective practices and engage students and colleagues in using new practices and knowledge gained from their training

Grow the Earth Leadership Network and contribute to its collective knowledge-building, best practices, and sustainability.

The Earth Leadership Program is committed to creating a sustainable and equitable world by enabling scientists to work collaboratively with diverse stakeholders and colleagues to:

Co-create strategic visions and new paradigms for environmental problem-solving

Catalyze action and bridge communities and disciplines

Change patterns of behavior, processes, and key decision systems to influence large-scale transformations.



The Leopold Leadership Program grew from an idea, originated by Jane Lubchenco, then a distinguished professor at Oregon State and a past president of the Ecological Society of America (ESA). She and colleagues within ESA recognized the need to train environmental scientists and received initial funding from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to launch the program in 1998. The first cohorts, 1999-2001, were convened under the auspices of the Ecological Society of America. In 2003 the program moved from ESA to the New England Aquarium and received continued support from the Packard Foundation. The program relocated to Stanford University in 2005. View the timeline to learn how the Leopold Leadership program innovated and adapted to the ever-changing sustainability science and leadership landscape.



In addition to support from Future Earth and Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, the program is also generously funded by the the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

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