Northern California GEMM Center

Stanford and UC Berkeley are cooperating to investigate air quality and greenhouse gas measurements in Northern California urban environments, as well as subsurface imaging of groundwater systems and incursion of seawater.


Stanford campus

Stanford University

Tom Baer
Executive Director
Stanford Photonics Research Center

UC Berkeley campus

UC Berkeley

Ron Cohen
Professor of Chemistry and of Earth and Planetary Sciences



Argo is an international program that collects information from inside the ocean using a fleet of robotic instruments that drift with the ocean currents and move up and down between the surface and a mid-water level. Each instrument (float) spends almost all its life below the surface. The data that Argo collects describes the temperature and salinity of the water and some of the floats measure other properties that describe the biology/chemistry of the ocean. The main reason for collecting these data is to help us understand the oceans’ role in earth’s climate and so be able to make improved estimates of how it will change in the future.

Center for Diversified Farming Systems

The Center for Diversified Farming Systems (CDFS) is an interdisciplinary research hub within the Berkeley Food Institute that examines how biological, economic, and cultural diversity affect the productivity, resilience, sustainability, health, and equity of agriculture. With internationally-recognized experts in a broad range of both natural and social sciences, the Center for Diversified Farming Systems is uniquely positioned to rethink agriculture and find solutions to restore ecosystem services, sustain biodiversity, equitably promote farm livelihoods, and ensure food security.

BEACO2N Monitoring Network

BEACO2N is a new approach to observing atmospheric gases over an urban area. Instead of using a small number of extremely sensitive instruments to measure a large area, interesting locations are blanketed with a high density network of instruments, with each instrument representing a network “node.” 

Imaging Saltwater Intrusion

Saltwater intrusion is the process by which saltwater migrates into a portion of a coastal aquifer that previously contained freshwater. It can have significant economical and ecological impacts, and therefore is a critical issue to investigate and manage. Using the geophysical method of Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) results in continuous profiles of electrical resistivity with depth and is ideally suited to mapping out intrusion in coastal aquifers.

Global Freshwater Initiative

Freshwater scarcity is one of this century’s most pressing challenges, but it is surprisingly hard to describe the nature of the "global water crisis." GFI staff are the first to systematically analyze and classify water crises around the world.

West Big Data Innovation Hub

The West Big Data Hub’s mission is to build and strengthen partnerships across industry, academia, nonprofits, and government to address societal and scientific challenges, spur economic development, and foster a national big data ecosystem. Our projects, events, activities, and initiatives span priority thematic areas as well as cross-cutting areas.

Stanford Photonics Research Center

The Stanford Photonics Research Center builds strategic partnerships between the Stanford University research community and companies employing optics and photonics in their commercial activities.   Corporate members directly support photonics research activities at Stanford; in turn, members benefit from their exposure to current and emerging areas in Stanford photonics research.

Mapping Groundwater from the Air

Using advanced geophysical imaging technologies in novel ways, we are mapping California's groundwater to enable sustainable groundwater management for the state's major agricultural areas and elsewhere. California's subsurface aquifers are being extensively pumped, especially during years of drought. In some areas, the subsidence, or compaction, caused by over-pumping means that even with abundant rain, the lost water-storage capacity may never be recovered. Negative changes in water quality are also being seen - the intrusion of saltwater into coastal aquifers and high levels of arsenic in wells in the Central Valley.