Chitwan Healthy Aging Project

Website: <>

Institution: University of Michigan Population and Ecology Research Laboratory

Description: In fall 1999, Amy Pienta and Jennifer Barber conducted a pilot study which interviewed 103 older adults residing in the Chitwan Valley. This pilot study was undertaken in preparation for a new, large-scale project to collect data on mental and physical health from the elderly residents in the 171 neighborhoods sampled by the Chitwan Valley Family Study. Measures of physical functioning, chronic health conditions, lifestyle behaviors, health care utilization, barriers to health care utilization, depression, personal control, and cognition were pretested. This pilot study was an outstanding success. Locating and interviewing elderly respondents proved straightforward. Furthermore, virtually all of the survey questions proved feasible to ask and responses varied in reasonable and predictable ways. Our analyses of these pretest data give us great confidence that a large-scale project can be conducted successfully. Pienta and Barber are currently revising an R01 proposal previously submitted to the National Institute of Aging (National Institutes of Health) to fund a large-scale data collection project in Nepal.

Developmental Idealism and Family and Population Dynamics in Nepal

Website Link:

Institution: University of Michigan Population and Ecology Research Laboratory

Description: This is a pilot project including both training and research, led by Arland Thornton. The research component of this project is a collaborative endeavor that will create and test research instruments for measuring developmental idealism, a concept developed by Thornton in his 2001 Population Association of America Presidential address. The pilot project will collect data from approximately 500 respondents, and will evaluate the effectiveness and usefulness of the research protocols and data. The training component will provide Nepali students and collaborators information concerning developmental idealism and its relationship to family and population dynamics, knowledge of questionnaire design, and practice in translating theoretical concepts into questions for survey administration.

Population and Environment Study


Institution: University of Michigan Population and Ecology Research Laboratory

Description: This study was originally funded through a Request for Applications (RFA) from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD R01 HD-33551) for a five year period, 1995 through 2000. The study builds directly on the CVFS and uses the same study area, population, and sampling frame. The Population and Environment Study was designed to answer the following specific questions regarding the relationships between population change and environmental change: (1) To what extent do changes in marriage timing, household fission, childbearing, and migration influence changes in land use, water quality, and flora diversity? (2) To what extent do variations in land use, water quality, and flora diversity produce changes in marriage timing, household fission, child rearing, and migration? And (3) To what extent are the observed relationships between population processes and the environment produced by exogenous changes in the social and institutional context? This study includes a complete census of households within 171 neighborhoods, a household-level survey of agricultural practices and consumption patterns, land use maps of selected neighborhoods, flora data collection from surrounding forests and common lands, lab analysis and interviewer assessments of water samples collected from each neighborhood, a seasonal update of agricultural practices, and a monthly update of demographic events, including contraceptive use. A five year continuation (2001 through 2006) of the project was also subsequently granted by NICHD. The continuation grant includes funding for analysis of the data collected under the original grant, and focuses on a slightly refined set of research questions: (1) To what extent do marriage timing, household fission, childbearing, and migration influence land use and flora diversity? (2) To what extent do land use and flora diversity influence marriage, household fission, childbearing, and migration? (3) To what extent do agricultural practices and consumption patterns link population processes to environmental outcomes? And (4) To what extent are the observed relationships between population processes and the environment produced by exogenous changes in the social, economic, and institutional context? The continuation grant also includes funding for new data collection, including updates of land use and flora diversity measures, an extension of the monthly registry of demographic events, an update of the neighborhood contextual histories, a repeat of the household-level measures of agricultural practices and consumption patterns, and ethnographic information on environmentally-related behaviors and attitudes.

Texas Higher Education Opportunity Project


Institution: Princeton University The Office of Population Research at Princeton University

Description: The Texas Higher Education Opportunity Project i(THEOP) is a multi-year study that began in fall, 2000, which investigates college planning and enrollment behavior under a policy that guarantees admission to any Texas public college or university to high school seniors who graduate in the top decile of their class. The investigators have collected administrative data from 10 colleges and universities in Texas that differ in the selectivity of their admissions. The centerpiece of the study is a two-cohort longitudinal survey of sophomores and seniors who were enrolled in Texas public schools as of spring, 2002.



Affiliation: Center for Spatial Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

Principal Investigators: Donald G. Janelle and Karl Grossner

Project Description: is a web portal to promote the discussion of spatial literacy among researchers and educators. It provides access to digital teaching and learning resources that support the integration of spatial thinking into course curricula. With funding from NSF (small-grant NSDL Pathways project) the Resources section of the website is a managed Collection within the National Science Digital Library. It is organized according to a concept-based framework that transcends disciplinary boundaries. Linkage to NSDL leverages advanced aspects of  a data repository and content model that allows users to discover and navigate among related spatial concepts and provides guided access to National Science Digital Library resources. The TeachSpatial collection was accessioned to NSDL in February 2012.

Urbanization, Health and Environmental Quality in Coastal Ghana

Website Link:

Institution: Population Studies and Training Center, Brown University University of Cape Coast, Ghana

Description: This project draws upon existing links between Brown University, the University of Rhode Island, and the University of Cape Coast in Cape Coast, Ghana, to examine the social and demographic processes that are closely linked to health and environmental health risks, and how these in turn influence local thinking about environmental issues. The project includes such studies as the relationship between population concentration and water pollution in coastal lagoons; the determinants of environmental attitudes; knowledge of disease etiology, and the relationship between urbanization and fertility. The setting for this research is coastal Ghana, chosen for the ecological sensitivity of its coastal zone.

Related Publications: White, M.J., E. Tagoe, C. Stiff, K. Adazu, and D.J. Smith. 2005. “Urbanization and the Fertility Transition in Ghana,” Population Research and Policy Review. 24:59-83. White, M., S. Muhidin, C. Stiff, E. Tagoe and R. Knight. 2005. “Migration and Fertility in Coastal Ghana: An Event History Analysis,” in S. Agyei-Mensah, J. Casterline and D. Agyeman, eds., Reproductive Change in Ghana: Recent Patterns and Future Prospects. Department of Geography and Resource Development, University of Ghana, Legon: 101-115. Chattopadhyay, A. and M.J. White. “Migration and Fertility in Ghana: Beyond Rural-Urban Differentials.” Hunter, L.M. 2005. “Household Strategies in the Face of Resource Scarcity: Are They Associated with Development Priorities?” Forthcoming in Population Research and Development Review. Reed, H.E., Andrzejewski, C.S., and M.J. White. 2005. “An Event History Analysis of Internal Migration in Ghana: Determinants of Interregional Mobility among Residents of Coastal Central Region.” Under review. White, M.J. and L.M. Hunter. 2005. “Public Perception of Environmental Issues in a Developing Setting.” Andrzejewski, C.S. 2005.

Special collection on spatial demography published in Demographic Research

This Special Collection—edited by Stephen A. Matthews—focuses on uses of geospatial data and spatial analytical tools to examine demographic and health related questions (e.g., teenage pregnancy, child mortality, segregation and health, migration and rural livelihoods, simulation of population distribution, and demography and crime).  The collection’s manuscripts were prepared by participants in summer workshops (2008-2011) sponsored by the Advanced Spatial Analysis Training Program. This program was supported by a grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) – R25 HD057002. This collection may be accessed online or downloaded as a pdf file at

Future Directions in Spatial Demography–report now available

The Final Report on Future Directions in Spatial Demography Specialist Meeting (Santa Barbara, Dec 2011) features the perspectives of nearly four dozen spatial demographers on the opportunities and challenges facing the field. Special attention is given to the training needs for education and research.

View presentations, position papers, and the final report at

Welcome to the Advanced Spatial Analysis Website

Start Date: 04/03/2013

End Date: 12/31/2013

Short Project Description (150 words):

Welcome to the new website for the GISPopSci program of Penn State University and UC Santa Barbara. The site, launched for public access in June 2013, features learning and instructional resources of value to researchers and students interested in spatial demography. Many of the resources have been re-purposed from our prior NIH-supported training programs in spatial analysis for the population sciences. The original site is still accessible at

You can contribute to the community of spatial demographers by sharing information through the News and Events Registry and the Project Registry. Click on the Research-in-Action tab.