Spring 2010 IBS News Archive

Tim Wadsworth is in Newsweek magazine for his research on how immigration decreases crime rates! See http://www.newsweek.com/2010/05/27/reading-ranting-and-arithmetic.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=statusnet for the article.

Congratulations to Jeff Dennis, who successfully defended his dissertation, titled "Birth Weight in the United States: Disparities by Race/Ethnicity and Maternal Age."

Liesel Ritchie of the Natural Hazards Center will appear on Studio 12 hosted by Steffan Tubbs. Studio 12 is a live, roundtable discussion program with screened viewer call-ins on Wednesday evening, June 23, 2010, from 8:00pm-9:00pm airing throughout Colorado on Channel 12. The topic for Wednesday evening is a look at the Gulf oil spill. Panelists will touch on how it happened, why it happened, could it happen again, what is and should the federal government and BP be doing, the economic impact on the Gulf and the nation, the sociological and psychological impacts and howhis disaster compares to the Alaskan Exxon spill.

Brandi Gilbert did a live radio interview with head Meteorologist of Univision Puerto Rico discussing the Haiti Earthquake. Specifically, the interview focused on measures that can be taken to make Haiti more disaster-resistant in the future. Brandi also gave a talk to sixty second grade students at Central Elementary School about her role as a disaster researcher at the Natural Hazards Center and how children can be involved in disaster preparedness and recovery.

Liesel Ritchie was interviewed by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for a piece that aired June 11, 2010 on how the residents of Cordova, AL, where she's studied the aftereffects of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, are viewing the current Gulf of Mexico oil disaster. Video and article: http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/06/11/cordova-alaska-exxon-gulf-oil-spill.html

Lori Hunter was recently elected to the Executive Council of the ASA's Environment and Technology section as Policy and Research Chair.

Kathleen Tierney's CNN editorial comparing the Hurricane Katrina and Haiti earthquake disasters was featured in the most recent issue of the ASA journal Contexts (http://www.contexts.org).

Jill Williams gave a plenary talk, "Power and politics: the discourse on women's empowerment in 'developing countries'," at the Community of Sudanese American Women/Men (CSAW) Community Outreach Conference in Boulder on May 30.

Lori Hunter's environmentally friendly remodel of her downtown Boulder home was featured in a Daily Camera article. You can read it at:

Fred Pampel's recent NSF grant, "Worldwide Patterns and Change in Gender Egalitarianism," was included in the most recent edition of the American Sociological Association's Footnotes.

Tim Wadsworth's research on immigration decreasing crime has been featured quite a bit in the media recently. This week he was on AM 760 (the David Sirota show) discussing his research.

Tim Wadsworth's Daily Camera writeup of his research on immigration and crime is currently the most read article on the newspaper's website. You can read it at: http://www.dailycamera.com/ci_15083416?source=most_viewed#axzz0nvbRbs00

Lee Alston spent three weeks in Bellagio Italy as a Rockefeller Fellow working on a book manuscript tentatively entitled: "On the Road to an open economic and political society: Brazil 1985-2010."

RoseMarie Perez Foster, Senior Research Associate at Environment and Society's Natural Hazards Center, has been appointed Honored Professor in the Department of Applied Psychology, Kiev Academy of Labour and Social Relations, Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine. The Academy serves as RoseMarie's base of operations for a population sampling study of long-term health, psycho-social and economic outcomes in the Ukrainian population exposed to radiation fallout from the Chornobyl Nuclear Plant disaster in 1986. The international research team is supported by an HSD Award from the National Science Foundation, and operates in collaboration with the Ukraine Ministries of Health, Colorado State University, and the Ukrainian Radiation Protection Institute.

Kudos to soon-to-be Dr. Peter Lovegrove, who has accepted a postdoctoral fellow position at the University of Virginia. Peter will be working with Professor Patrick Tolan, Director of the Center for Positive Youth Development at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The Center is relatively new, established last summer using a $4 million grant from UVA. Peter will help design and evaluate school- and community-based programs that improve youth health, well-being, civic engagement and academic achievement. The Center's main focus is on helping young people between the ages of 12 and 18 avoid risky behavior during adolescence. Additionally, Peter will work on projects associated with the Virginia Youth Violence Project and the Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention, and will continue to work with the Rochester Intergenerational Study.

Liesel Ritchie gave a radio interview on April 30th re the Gulf Coast BP Rig Incident. Link: http://www.961krock.com/index.php?page=6

Liesel Ritchie gave a presentation called "Rapid Response Research in Haiti: Early Reflections on Investigating Post-Earthquake Housing Issues" at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, April 29, 2010.

Liesel Ritchie was an invited panelist on the NSF Webcast "Learning from Haiti". Every disaster leaves critical clues in its wake -- not only about its cause, but also about how to protect lives in future emergencies. Following the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti, researchers were on site within days to gather such clues before they were lost forever to weather, recovery and reconstruction. On Tuesday, April 27, 2010, at 2:00 PM EDT, NSF hosted a webcast featuring three of those researchers-geophysicist Eric Calais of Purdue University, civil engineer Reginald DesRoches of Georgia Tech, and social scientist Liesel Ritchie of the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder-to discuss their work in Haiti and around the world. They were joined by social scientist Dennis Wenger, who discussed how U.S. and global agencies use disaster research to save lives. LINK: http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/haiti2010/
Quoted in Huffington Post piece: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/27/watch-live-national-scien_n_553542.html

On April 26, 2010, at a Kennan Institute talk at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, John O'Loughlin, Vladimir Kolossov, and Gerard Toal presented data from a public opinion survey conducted under their direction in Abkhazia in March and April of 2010. Here is a link to the discussion about the presentation: http://www.wilsoncenter.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=events.event_summary&event_id=603134

Congratulations to Bethany Everett, who was accepted into the Fenway Institute's Center for Population Research in LGBT Health Mentoring Program. She has been paired with mentor Bryn Austin from the Department of Society, Human Development, and Health at Harvard University. From their website: "Our mission is to link promising young scholars with the resources they need to improve the reach, quality and methodological rigor of their research and to prepare them for careers in LGBT health and population science. We aim to foster the growth and development of the next generation of scholars in this exciting, interdisciplinary field by providing opportunities for additional coursework, assistance with independent research, and faculty interaction."

CRS welcomes Jeremy Johnson, a new computer specialist, to our staff.

Jason Boardman and Jason Fletcher (Public Health, Yale) hosted a conference here at CU on June 2nd and 3rd entitled Integrating Genetics and the Social Sciences. The conference brought together economists, sociologists, demographers, political scientists, and public health researchers to discuss the state of the gene-environment interplay field and to present original findings from current studies. This current conference was funded by the Population Association of America, and it will continue for at least the next two years because of additional funding from NIH/NICHD (R13, Boardman). For more information about the conference, please visit the conference website:

Liam Downey's research on race-based environmental inequality was just cited in USA Today in a special Earth Day article. Here is the link to the article: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/environment/2010-04-19-earth-day_N.htm.

Lori Hunter participated in The Rocky Mountain Series on Social Science and Global Change, held at CSU on Monday, April 19. The workshop, entitled "Consilience Among the Social Sciences in the Face of Global Climate Change," represented the launch of an effort to (re)unify social science knowledge about climate change through discussion among its primary stakeholders. The workshop was attended by leading scholars from across the nation, and Lori was invited to offer an overview of Sociological contributions to climate change understanding and she participated in discussion regarding pathways to social science integration on climate.

Joanne Belknap was invited to present "The Intersections of Sexual Minority Status, Gender, Race and Abuse Histories Among Incarcerated Delinquent Youth," at the University of Georgia, April 16.

Brandi Gilbert gave a webinar entitled "Helping the Helpers Help Themselves" to 80 participants as a part of the HandsOn Non-Profit Network training series. The webinar focused on disaster preparedness for community-based organizations. Brandi received a $600 grant from the HandsOn Non-Profit Network to conduct this webinar.

Bethany Everett has received a travel stipend to attend the Add Health Users Conference at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. She will present her research, titled "Non-HIV STI Risk Among Sexual Minorities: Examining the Intersection Between Identity and Behavior."

Jeff Dennis was awarded a 2010 Summer Fellowship from the CU-Boulder Graduate School, which will provide substantial summer funding for his dissertation work.

Christie Sennott was chosen as the 2009 recipient of the Sherri Aversa Memorial Foundation Dissertation Completion Grant for her dissertation research on childbearing and motherhood in the context of HIV/AIDS in South Africa. The mission of the Aversa Foundation is to encourage young social and behavioral science researchers to continue the life's work that Dr. Sherri Aversa had begun, by aiding them in completing doctoral dissertation research that focuses on access to health care, health behavior, or quality of health care for persons with HIV/AIDS and/or substance abuse disorders.

Christine Bevc has accepted a position as a post-doctoral researcher/research associate with the NC Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill's Gillings School of Global Public Health. The Gillings School is ranked as the top publicly-funded school of public health in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and is tied with Harvard for second place among all public health schools in the country. Christine will be conducting research on public health preparedness systems and working with practice partners to ensure that the research findings are relevant to the practice community and are translated into practice. The NCPERRC is one of nine centers of excellence funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help develop sustainable public health preparedness and response systems.

Stef Mollborn has been awarded a CU CARTSS Scholar Grant to conduct collaborative research with Christie Sennott and Laurie Hawkins this summer. The title of the project is "Young People's Perceptions of Teen Pregnancy Norms, Risk-Taking, and Sexual Behaviors."

CRS Director Jani Little spent a month in South Africa, teaching at the University of Capetown, Center for Actuarial Research (CARe) from April 7 through May 10, 2010.

Congratulations to Frank Witmer, the Robert N. Colwell Memorial Fellowship recipient for 2010. Frank is a post-doctoral researcher in the PEC Program at IBS. The Colwell Fellowship will support his research to develop new algorithms for radiometric normalization of night-time imagery from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP). No record was made of on-board DMSP calibration adjustments over many years. This means that to detect changes over time, it is necessary to radiometrically normalize the imagery using known areas of constant light. Witmer will develop and use these new algorithms to analyze a dataset of over 14,000 violent events in the North Caucasus region of Russia that were identified and geolocated to the nearest village during the period from August 1999 to August 2007. Better radiometric correction of DMSP data collected over this 8-year period will support the analysis of the violent event data, to identify the types of impacts from violent conflict that are detectible with nighttime lights imagery. This information will aid in the early detection of violence, and could be used by international aid organizations to facilitate refugee assistance following periods of disturbance in contested landscapes and natural catastrophes.

Witmer's graduate career has emphasized the use of satellite remote sensing and other geospatial technologies to investigate the impacts of civil war on social functioning and land cover change. He received a PhD degree in Geography from the Univ. of Colorado in 2007. His doctoral research focused on an analysis of Landsat imagery to determine the effects of war on land-cover change and abandonment of agricultural lands in Bosnia following implantation of land mines during the war. The research topic for his Masters degree (2003, Univ. of Colorado) was Economic decline and the natural environment in post-Soviet European Russia: A remote sensing and spatial statistical analysis. Witmer also has experience in the private sector, having worked for Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) from 1997-2001.

As shown by his graduate research, Witmer has a very well rounded set of spatial analytical skills that include remote sensing, GIS, spatial and statistical modeling, and spatial analysis (including geostatistics) methods. He has demonstrated substantial success publishing his research in top journals, including the Annals of the Association of American Geographers and the International Journal of Remote Sensing. He is also a highly successful instructor in statistical methods, GIS, and political geography.

Dick Jessor, IBS, and the new building are featured in the latest issue of Inside CU, at: http://www.colorado.edu/insidecu/editions/2010/3-23/chancellor.html

Graduate Research Assistant Rob Kemp was awarded a 10-week summer fellowship from the Center for Population and the Environment. He will be working at NCAR with the Integrated Assessment Modeling Group to create global multi-region population projections.

Population Program graduate student Justin Denney was recently interviewed by a health reporter for AOL News on suicide and divorce. A link to the article: http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/suicide-rate-greater-among-divorced-men-research-finds/19388300

Lori Hunter recently returned from Nairobi and Nakuru, Kenya. She visited reforestation and livelihood initiatives in the Maasai Mau Forest, implemented by the Green Belt Movement and funded by The Nature Conservancy. Lori and Tracy Kirkland have been assisting the organizations in development of a baseline socio-economic survey to document conditions prior to the integrated development-conservation interventions.

Joanne Belknap gave an invited talk at The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology's Centennial Symposium: A Century of Criminal Justice at Northwestern Law School, entitled: "The Victimizations and Offending of Women and Girls and the Invisible Link Between Them: An Historical Perspective."

Joanne Belknap was appointed to the Committee on Women in Prison of the National Association of Women Judges.

Brandi Gilbert did a live radio interview with head Meteorologist of Univision Puerto Rico discussing the Haiti Earthquake. Specifically, the interview focused on measures that can be taken to make Haiti more disaster-resistant in the future. Brandi also gave a talk to sixty second grade students at Central Elementary School about her role as a disaster researcher at the Natural Hazards Center and how children can be involved in disaster preparedness and recovery.

Shelli Walker was awarded a $300 travel grant from UGGS to go to the Midwest meetings in Chicago at the beginning of April. She is attending the meeting to present a paper, "Beyond the Gender Divide in Mental Health: Relationships between Dimensions of Mental Health and Overall Self-Ratings."

John O'Loughlin's far-reaching, in-depth work on the Geographies of War and Peace is discussed in a feature article in Colorado Arts & Sciences Magazine. Here is a link to the article: http://www.colorado.edu/ibs/waroutcomes/ColoradoArtsSciencesMagazine_Geographiesofwarandpeace.htm

Joanne Belknap is in a discussion on Rocky Mountain PBS for "Colorado State of Mind: I-News Investigation: Sexual Assault on College Campuses." It aired for the first time Friday Feb 26 at 7:30 p.m. You can follow this link to watch the program online: http://www.rmpbs.org/content/index.cfm/program/13117, then click on "Colorado State of Mind" in the upper right-hand corner, then "Sexual Assaults on Campus".

Tim Wadsworth was quoted in a happiness article in the Daily Camera. Read the article at: http://www.dailycamera.com/ci_14404187?source=most_viewed#idc-cover

Joanne Belknap's research and experiences were featured in this week's Faculty/Staff Newsletter, and her photo was featured on the front page. Here's the link to "Five Questions for Joanne Belknap": https://www.cusys.edu/newsletter/2010/02-17/5q.html

Congratulations to Dr. Duke Austin, who received an unconditional pass on his dissertation defense this week. Dissertation Title: "Surviving the Next Disaster: Assessing the Preparedness of Community-Based Organizations." Abstract: Community-based organizations (CBOs) play a critical role in providing services to the nation's most marginalized populations. Mr. Austin's dissertation helps explain variation in the levels of disaster preparedness among CBOs with the goal of helping all CBOs-and therefore their clients-become better prepared for disasters. Mr. Austin gathered data while working on the BayPrep Initiative, a joint research project of the University of Colorado Natural Hazards Center and the Fritz Institute of San Francisco. He utilizes factor analysis to condense numerous measures of disaster preparedness into a manageable number of artificial dimensions known as factors. He then constructs multivariate models to examine the effects of organizational characteristics on the previously generated disaster preparedness factors. Finally, he enriches his quantitative results with the qualitative data he gathered while conducting in-depth interviews with the executives of the CBOs in the study.

Liam Downey's and Brian Hawkins's recently published research on environmental inequality was the feature of a research brief in the Winter 2009 issue of Pathways magazine, published by the Stanford Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality. You can read the article at: http://stanford.edu/group/scspi-dev/media_magazines_pathways_winter_2009.html

Lori Hunter gave an invited presentation at Global Greengrants Fund on the topic of "Gender, Natural Resources and Livelihoods." Global Greengrants offers small loans to environmental causes in less developed settings across the globe. They're interested in embedding research within some of their efforts and could offer entre to fascinating study sites for graduate student Population/Environment Research Internships and/or dissertations on topics such as environmental activism, women's empowerment, integrated development initiatives, etc. Contact Lori for additional information. http://www.greengrants.org/

An excellent essay on Haiti coauthored by Kathleen Tierney is being featured on the CU website: "Haiti Earthquake a Reminder That Disasters are Preventable, CU-Boulder Expert Says". Here is the article: http://www.colorado.edu/news/r/4a93d7dd603434a4af5a6e78f06b0761.html

Fred Pampel has been invited to teach a two-week class (in English) this summer in Paris at the Laboratoire de Sociologie Quantitative, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique. The topic will be "Socioeconomic Disparities in Health Behavior: Comparative Approaches."

David Huizinga received the Paul Tappan Award for outstanding contributions to the field of criminology and gave the key note address entitled Some Not Too Boring Findings: Arrest, Sanctions, Gangs and Girls, at the Western Society of Criminology meetings in Honolulu in February.

An excellent essay on Haiti coauthored by Kathleen Tierney can be found on CNN website: http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/01/22/fischhoff.tierney.haiti.recovery/?hpt=T2

An update from Kathleen: We at the Hazards Center are setting the groundwork for our own field work in Haiti, which will focus on the provision of temporary housing to the victims of the earthquake. Our assistant director for research, Liesel Ritchie, plans to go into the field on Saturday. She will be traveling with a group from the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans, which has foundation backing to begin the process of building temporary housing for earthquake victims. There will be many such efforts, and this is the process we would like to study. We have access to a limited amount of funds through our own quick response research program (funded by NSF), but we must keep most of those funds available for others to use. (We are already funding two research teams from other universities). I am trying to raise money to support our initial research efforts in Haiti--including asking the University for assistance.

Mike Radelet testified last week in favor of a bill abolishing the death penalty in front of the Kansas Senate Judiciary Committee in Topeka. This morning (29 January) that bill was approved by the Committee on a 7-4 vote. It now moves on to the full Senate.

Hearty congratulations to Joanne Belknap, who is the winner of the 2009 Elizabeth D. Gee Memorial Lectureship Award. This award recognizes and honors an outstanding faculty member of the University of Colorado for efforts to advance women in academia, interdisciplinary scholarly contributions and distinguished teaching. The Gee Award is the only award in the CU system that specifically recognizes outstanding work on women's issues and a concerted effort to advance women in the academy. It carries with it a $1,000 prize, and the recipient will have an opportunity to present his/her scholarly work at a research symposium/award ceremony on February 26, 2010. Joanne's award is discussed in the February 3 issue of the CU Faculty and Staff Newsletter.

Kathleen Tierney was quoted extensively by ABC news in an interesting article on disaster relief in Haiti: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=9565887

Liam Downey has received a College Scholar award from the College of Arts and Sciences. This award will allow him to pursue creative work or research full time. Congratulations, Liam!