Sam Heft-Neal

Research Scholar

Center on Food Security & the Environment

Stanford University


Sam Heft-Neal is a Research Scholar at the Center on Food Security and the Environment at Stanford University. Sam is working to identify the impacts of environmental changes on health and agriculture around the world. His recent work combines household surveys with remote sensing data to examine environmental drivers of child health. Sam holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. in Statistics and Economics from the same institution.



Marshall Burke, Anne Driscoll, Sam Heft-Neal, Jenny Xue, Jennifer Burney, and Michael Wara. 2021. “The changing risk and burden of wildfire in the US”. PNAS, 118 (2).
[paper] [replication materials] [download paper figures] [press:(The Economist Daily Chart) (SF Chronicle) (LA Times) (AP) (NYT) (Bloomberg) ]

Eran Bendavid, Ties Boerma, Nadia Akseer, Ana Langer, Espoir Bwenge Malembaka, Emelda A. Okiro, Paul Wise, Sam Heft-Neal, Robert E. Black & Zulfiqar A. Bhutta. 2021. ``The effects of armed conflict on the health of women and children''. The Lancet, 397 (10273).

Sam Heft-Neal, Jen Burney, Eran Bendavid, Kara Voss & Marshall Burke. 2020. ``Dust pollution from the Sahara and African infant mortality''. Nature Sustainability, 3 (10).
[paper] [replication materials] [download paper figures] [video][cover photo][press: (Nat Geo)(BBC Newsday Interview)(Discover Magazine)]

Nathan Lo, Ribhav Gupta, David Addiss, Eran Bendavid, Sam Heft-Neal, Alexei Mikhailov, Antonio Montresor & Pamela Sabina Mbabazi. 2020. ``Comparison of World Health Organization and Demographic and Health Survey data to estimate sub-national deworming coverage in pre-school children''. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 14 (8).

Zachary Wagner, Sam Heft-Neal, Paul Wise, Robert Black, Marshall Burke, Ties Boerma, Zulfiqar Bhutta & Eran Bendavid. 2019. ``Women and children living in areas of armed conflict in Africa: a geospatial analysis of mortality and orphanhood'' . The Lancet Global Health, 7 (12).
[paper] [comment]

Nathan Lo, Sam Heft-Neal, Jean Coulibaly, Leslie Leonard, Eran Bendavid, & David Addiss. 2019. ``State of deworming coverage and equity in low-income and middle-income countries using household health surveys: a spatiotemporal cross-sectional study'' . The Lancet Global Health, 7 (11).

Corey Bradshaw, Sarah Otto, Alicia Annamalay, Sam Heft-Neal, Zach Wagner, & Peter Le Souef. 2019. ``Testing the socio-economic and environmental determinants of better child health outcomes in Africa: a cross-sectional study among nations''. BMJ Open, 9(9).

Sam Heft-Neal, Jennifer Burney, Eran Bendavid & Marshall Burke. 2018. ``Robust relationship between air quality and infant mortality in Africa''. Nature, 559 (7713).
[paper] [replication materials][download paper figures] [video] [2019 CRF Top 10 Research Achievement Award ]
[press: (Nature Podcast Interview) (ABC) (CBS) (The Independent) ]

Zachary Wagner, Sam Heft-Neal, Zulfiqar Bhutta, Robert Black, Marshall Burke, & Eran Bendavid. 2018. ``Armed conflict and child mortality in Africa: a geospatial analysis''. The Lancet, 392 (10150).
[paper] [comment 1] [comment 2] [comment 2 reply ] [press: (NPR) (U.S. News) (Reuters) (Xinhua) ]

Marshall Burke, Felipe Gonzalez, Patrick Baylis, Sam Heft-Neal, Ceren Baysan, Sanjay Basu & Sol Hsiang. 2018. ``Effect of ambient temperature on suicide in the US and Mexico''. Nature Climate Change, 8 (1).
[paper] [comment] [reply] [replication materials][download paper figures] [data visualization]
[press: (The Atlantic) (Bloomberg) (CNN) (FT) (Fortune) (Medscape) (Reuters) (Scientific America) (SF Chronicle) (Time) (USA Today) (WEF) ]

Nathan Lo, Jedidiah Snyder, David Addiss, Sam Heft-Neal, Jason Andrews & Eran Bendavid. 2018. ``Deworming in pre-school age children: A global empirical analysis of health outcomes''. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 12 (5).

Sam Heft-Neal, Marshall Burke & David Lobell. 2017. ``Using remotely sensed surface temperature to estimate climate response functions''. Environmental Research Letters, 12 (1).
[paper][blog post]

Marshall Burke, Sam Heft-Neal & Eran Bendavid. 2016. ``Understanding variation in child mortality across Sub-Saharan Africa: A spatial analysis''. The Lancet Global Health, 4 (12).
[paper][comment] [replication materials][download paper figures][download infant mortality data]

Papers Submitted or Under Review

``Associations between wildfire smoke exposure during pregnancy and risk of preterm birth in California'' (with Anne Driscoll, Wei Yang, Marshall Burke & Gary Shaw)

``Geographically-resolved estimation of the social cost of emissions from human activity'' (with Jen Burney, Geeta Persad, Jon Proctor, Eran Bendavid, & Marshall Burke)

Papers in Preparation

``Societal responses to wildfire smoke inferred from distributed sensors'' (with Patrick Baylis, Marshall Burke, Jen Burney, Anne Driscoll, Jessica Li, Matthieu Stigler & Joakim Weill)

``Early life stress moderates the association between fine particulate air pollution and adolescent structural brain development: A longitudinal tensor-based morphometry study'' (with Jonas Miller, Emily Dennis, Booil Jo & Ian Gotlib)

``Magnitude and consequences of infiltration of ambient air pollution into home environments'' (with Marshall Burke, Anne Driscoll, Jen Burney & others)

``Weather shocks at birth and human capital accumulation: evidence from Peru'' (with Manuel Barron & Tania Perez)

``The Dynamics of Weather, Yields and Deforestation: Evidence from Soy in the Brazilian Amazon'' (with Ryan Abman & Drew Behnke)

``Environmental constraints on elite worker productivity: evidence from professional tennis'' (with David Lobell, Marshall Burke, Vincent Tanutama & Miyuki Hino)

``Lost Production: Accounting for Crop Damages in Measures of Agricultural Productivity''

``Long Run Implications of Environmental Changes for Agricultural Credit Markets''

Other Writing

Policy Briefs

Managing the growing cost of wildfire (SIEPR Policy Brief with Marshall Burke & Michael Wara, 10/7/2020) [Link]
[replication materials] [download figures] [download figure data] [press: (The Economist Daily Chart)(ABC7) ]

Blog Posts

Wildfire Management is Air Quality Management (FSE post with Anne Driscoll and Marshall Burke, 3/4/21) [Link]
[press: (SF Chronicle on wildfires, air quality, and outdoor theatre)]

Calculations of indirect mortality from wildfires (G-FEED post with Marshall Burke, 9/11/20) [Link]
[press: (810AM Radio Interview)(NBC Bay Area)(SF Chronicle)(SJ Mercury)(Nat Geo) ]

Measuring temperature from space (G-FEED post, 1/27/17) [Link]



369 Y2E2. 473 Via Ortega. Stanford University.


sheftneal at stanford dot edu

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