Stanford is located in the town of Palo Alto, about halfway between San Francisco and San Jose. It takes about 20-25 minutes from either SFO or SJC airport (if you get lucky!). Directions to Stanford can be found on the Stanford visitors page. This page contains a wealth of information about local transportation. Here are really detailed directions to the base of the oval on Palm Drive from the San Jose airport. If you are flying into SFO, here are detailed directions to get to the base of Palm Drive from the airport. Note that this takes a slightly longer, but far saner route than the default directions (which take you on Highway 101).
If you are staying in the Palo Alto area, Stanford has a list of local accommodations that may be helpful for finding a place that matches both budget and sensibility.
The Department of Earth Systems Science and Woods Institute for the Environment are located in the Yang and Yamazaki Energy and Environment Building (Y2E2) near the corner of Via Ortega and Panama St. on the Stanford Campus. Before 4pm, you will need to use either metered parking or permit parking. Metered parking is available in the parking garage across Y2E2; A or C permits can be purchased on a daily basis from the Parking & Transportation office. A,C, and P spots are all free after 4pm.
If you're visiting the area and looking for some good places to eat, I have a Google Earth Map here that lists a few of our favorite local places. This list is slightly biased toward kid-friendly places near our home.