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About the Center for Conservation Biology

Our Mission

To conduct research and public outreach on the future of biodiversity and Earth’s life-support systems, and on harmonizing conservation and human well-being.


History and Activities

The Center for Conservation Biology (CCB) was established by Prof. Paul R. Ehrlich in the Department of Biology at Stanford University in 1984 and is directed by Prof. Gretchen C. Daily. In pursuit of its mission, the CCB conducts interdisciplinary research to build a sound basis for the conservation, management, and restoration of biodiversity and ecosystem services, to evaluate factors that are leading to declining environmental security and increasing inequity, and to find practical solutions to that predicament. Our research integrates biological and natural sciences with economic, anthropological, institutional, and other social science perspectives.

The CCB’s scientific research addresses both broad and highly specific problems, such as finding ways to enhance the capacity of human dominated landscapes to supply benefits to society, fostering understanding of species’ extinction susceptibility, providing tools to predict human impacts on ecosystem services, and developing an integrated theory of cultural evolution.

The CCB’s policy research focuses on “big picture” issues, including characterizing the impacts on the environment of human population growth and patterns of consumption, the role of equity in sustaining environmental quality, the influence of human activities on the epidemiological environment, and how cultural evolution works and can be redirected toward preserving biodiversity and providing a sustainable society.

A major portion of the CCB’s effort is aimed at communicating the results of our research beyond the scientific community to conservation practitioners (e.g., reserve managers and land planners), to the private sector and government, and to the public at large.


The Boething Lectures

Each year the CCB sponsors the Boething Lecture on Forests and the Human Predicament, in honor of the late John and Susan Boething: Boething Lecture History


The Natural Capital Project

The CCB supports fundamental research of theNatural Capital Project, a partnership whose mission is to align economic forces with conservation by mainstreaming the values of natural capital into decisions. “NatCap” is a joint venture among Stanford University's Woods Institute for the Environment, University of Minnesota's Institute on the Environment, The Nature Conservancy, and World Wildlife Fund.



The CCB is helping to organize the Millennium Assessment of Human Behavior. In response to the failure of societies to take action to stem the slide towards ecological disaster, this international program is attempting to find ways to steer cultural evolution towards sustainability. It strives to bring social scientists together with natural scientists to seek solutions to the human predicament and to organize wide-ranging “bottom-up” discussions to gain input from both decision makers and the international public. 


Supporting the CCB

The Center for Conservation Biology welcomes inquiries and contributions. Please contact us if you are interested in donating to the Center, or fill out the form provided.

Center for Conservation Biology Department of Biology Stanford, CA 94305-5020 tel: 650-723-3171 fax: 650-723-5920

CCB Donation Form