IBS Newsletter

April 1999

Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado


IBS is proud to announce that Debbie A. Ash has been awarded the 1999 Chancellor's Employee of the Year award. She has been employed by the University for over twenty years, and since January 14, 1985, has held the position as assistant to the Director, Richard Jessor, at IBS. In a coming IBS Newsletter a more detailed profile of her service to the University, in particular IBS will be offered. We extend our most heartfelt congratulations and look forward to enjoying many more years of her continuing to be an integral part of IBS.

Program Activities

Environment and Behavior Program

Gilbert F. White participated in an Experts Workshop on Water Use Policy convened by the International Joint Commission (IJC) in Toronto, Canada on March 30-31. The Workshop brought together ten people from the two countries to discuss questions related to law, policy, management principles, and conservation measures as they might relate to issues being faced by the IJC, especially bearing on consumptive uses diversions in the Great Lakes Basin.

Natural Hazards Center

On March 26 Mary Fran Myers attended the American Association of Geographers meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii. She presented the paper "Floodplain Management: History, Trends, and Options in the United States." Floodplain management in the U.S. is a relatively young concept. A half-century after first conceived by geographer, Gilbert White in the 1940's, floodplain management is finally becoming an entrenched discipline in the nation. Yet, floods continue to cause more property losses than any other environmentally extreme event, despite thorough knowledge about when and where floods occur and steps to mitigate their damages. This paper traces the development of floodplain management since 1950, describes trends that have emerged over the years, and outlines future directions.

Population Processes Program

The Population Processes Program convened the First Colorado Conference on Immigration and Internal Migration on March 18-21, supported by the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute on Child Health and Human Development, and IBS. The meeting, chaired by Andrei Rogers, brought together a dozen participants from Mexico, The Netherlands, Canada, and the United States to focus on substantive and modeling issues associated with migration analysis. The conference was held in Estes Park.

Richard G. Rogers and Robert A. Hummer presented their paper "Regional Variation in Race/Ethnicity, Nativity, and U.S. Adult Mortality" to the Association of American Geographers' 95th annual meeting on March 23-27, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

James Raymer, a graduate student in the Program in Demography, has won an award for the graduate student competition from the Population Specialty Group, American Association of Geographers for his paper "Are There Unique Metropolitan and Non-metropolitan Migration Patterns Among Native-Born Non-Hispanic Whites with Low Education In High Immigrant Concentration Areas in the United States."

Population Processes Program
In Print

Rogers, Richard G., Robert A. Hummer, Charles B. Nam, and Felicia B. LeClere. March 1999. "Race/Ethnicity, Nativity, and U.S. Adult Mortality." Social Science Quarterly, 80(1), pp. 136-153. This paper investigates how race/ethnicity is associated with the mortality risk of U.S. adults, while considering the influence of nativity. Data come from the National Health Interview Survey/National Death Index linked data set. The authors use discrete-time hazards models to estimate the association between race/ethnicity, nativity, and mortality. Race/ethnic adult mortality differentials are wide and are influenced by nativity, social factors, and health behaviors. Because foreign-born individuals, compared to their native-born counterparts, often exhibit differential health behavior patterns and health outcomes, researchers and policy-makers must be aware of immigrant composition and in how the compositional mix affects mortality for racial/ethnic groups and for the whole population.

Problem Behavior Program

Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence

On March 4, the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence received the Youth Crime Watch of America's Casey Award for Local Organization of the Year. The award was presented to Delbert S. Elliott at the 12th National Youth Crime Prevention conference, "Reaching New Heights," held in Denver on March 3-5. The award honors CSPV for its outstanding contribution and dedication to crime, drug use, and violence prevention. Representatives from CSPV attending the conference included Jane Grady, Tonya Aultman-Bettridge, and Tiffany Shaw.

Sharon F. Mihalic delivered a Blueprints for Violence Prevention presentation at the Western Society of Criminology in Oakland, California on February 26. She also made presentations to the American Federation of Teachers/National Education Association conference, "Safe and Orderly Schools: The Foundation for Quality Education" in Chicago, Illinois on March 13 and to the National Funding Collaborative on Violence Prevention, "Building a Civil Society: Preventing Violence Through Community Engagement and Collaboration" in Forth Worth, Texas.

Delbert S. Elliott attended a conference of the Center for the Study of Crime, Law and Society in Haifa, Israel on March 22-23. He participated in a study group on Survey Research. He also delivered a lecture at Hebrew University in Jerusalem on the Effects of Neighborhood Disadvantage on March 25.


The Social Science Data Analysis Center is continuing to gather material for IBS Web pages. A brief biography is sufficient to create a home page for individuals and can include current IBS research projects and interests. Other items to supplement this would be photos, vita, course materials, and publication lists. Electronic versions of these can be sent to Richard.Cook@Colorado.EDU. Other items, including photos and printed papers, can be brought to the SSDAC to be scanned. Assistance with Web authoring is also available for those who wish to work directly on their own Web pages. The SSDAC has versions of several authoring tools available for evaluation.

The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) offers a host of summer courses on topics in quantitative methods as well as "substantively" oriented workshops. Some of the workshops have stipend support if the applicant is accepted. ICPSR also offers a travel subsidy to applicants from member institutions. These courses and workshops are open to students as well as faculty and vary from one week to six weeks in duration. For more information visit the Web site: http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/sumprog or contact Jani Little at 492-4179 or jani.little@colorado.edu.

Jani S. Little attended a workshop on Multilevel Statistical Models sponsored by the University of Texas, School of Public Health in Houston, February 16-18. The workshop was taught by Harvey Goldstein, Director of the Multilevel Project, Institute of Education, University of London. Multilevel models are particularly useful for hierarchically structured data commonly found when respondents are sampled in clusters that correspond to classrooms, clinics, neighborhoods, etc. Look for future announcements of IBS seminars on this topic.

See http://www.colorado.edu/IBS/DAC/news.html at the SSDAC Web site for more computing news. If you have computing problems, questions, or comments, send e-mail to SSDAC@Colorado.EDU.

Profile: J. Terrence McCabe

Adaptive Processes of African Pastoralists

J. Terrence McCabe received his M.A. and Ph.D. (1985) in Anthropology from the State University of New York at Binghamton. He was an Assistant Professor at the University of Georgia from 1985 to 1989. He has been at the University of Colorado since 1989. Currently, he is a Faculty Research Associate on the Professional Staff of the Environment and Behavior Program and Professor of Anthropology. For the past 20 years he has been studying the processes by which people use the land and manage natural resources in the arid and semi-arid savannas in Eastern Africa.

Much of my research work was conducted among Turkana pastoralists in northern Kenya, as an anthropologist on the South Turkana Ecosystem Project (STEP) during the 1980's and early 1990's. STEP is a large multi-disciplinary project involving anthropologists and ecologists and has been referred to as the most detailed study of a human population conducted within an ecosystem framework.

I last visited the Turkana in 1996 and am currently writing an ethnography that will bring together my 16 years of work among the Turkana. I have two research projects underway: one in northern Tanzania and one in southern Ethiopia.

The Tanzania research again examines the adaptive processes of African pastoralists, but this time in an environment that is at the wetter end of the pastoral spectrum. It also involves an examination of the impact of conservation policy on the economy and land use practices of the Maasai living in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) in Tanzania. This research began in 1989 with funding from the International Union of the Conservation of Nature, and over time has developed into another large multi-disciplinary project involving many of the natural and social scientists who worked on the STEP.

The NCA is one of the world's most spectacular protected areas and provides a unique opportunity to study how conservation and economic development can be brought together. The NCA has been managed under a dual mandate of the preservation of the ecology and wildlife on the one hand, and protecting the interests of Maasai pastoralists, on the other. The NCA is also where over 1.5 million wildebeest come to give birth annually and that species' migration is truly one of the most impressive wildlife events remaining on the planet. One aspect of my research has been to examine the impact of the migration on Maasai land use practices. Wildebeest calves carry a virus that causes malignant catarrhal fever in cattle from the time that they are born until they are about three months old. In order to protect their cattle, the Maasai have to avoid areas where calves have been grazing, and the growth of the wildebeest population (from 240,000 to 1.5 million) has forced the Maasai to radically alter their traditional pattern of land use. Another aspect of the research involves an examination of the process of economic diversification. The Maasai, like many pastoralists in Africa have recently adopted cultivation.

In 1992 a ban against cultivation in the NCA was lifted and I have been able to compare the results of cultivation on the Maasai economy and on human nutrition. Very briefly, some of the more important results have been: 1) a dramatic decrease in sales of reproductive livestock (livestock are sold to purchase grain), 2) a very large drop in the levels of malnutrition among children under five years old, and 3) a shift from a short term livelihood strategy to one that emphasizes the long term sustainability of mixed livestock/cultivation system.

The research project in Ethiopia is another multi-disciplinary study that examines the enset cultivation system in southern Ethiopia. Enset is a plant that resembles the banana, but does not produce fruit. The corm and pseudo stem are edible and can be harvested from a year after planting until maturity at 7-12 years. It is estimated that seven mature plants can feed one person for a year. The enset system may be one of the only remaining indigenous systems of sustainable cultivation left in Africa. Although approximately 10-15 million people depend upon enset, and people who depend upon enset reportedly have never suffered from food shortage, this cultivation system is only beginning to be understood. The cultivation system and the livestock production systems are tightly articulated and I believe that this appears to be under stress as the human population has grown to the point that land previously allocated for livestock grazing is being plowed under for the first time. Initial results of our studies suggest that there has been a serious decline in livestock numbers at the household level. The Ethiopian research will hopefully allow us to see how human populations adapt to constraints on land availability and population pressure. It may also illustrate what happens when the adaptive processes are not successful.

I expect my research over the next five years to continue to focus on population processes, land use change, and the conservation of natural resources with a special emphasis on the relationships between wildlife and indigenous peoples.

Research Proposals Funded

Population Processes Program

J. Huff
Understanding changes in patterns of residential mixing between Mexicans and Anglos in southwestern cities
NSF, 03/15/99 - 02/29/00, new$63,598

Political and Economic Change Program

J.V. O'Loughlin and J.E. Bell
Can democracy be sustained? Civic engagement, social capital and the future of democratic governance in Moscow
NSF, 03/15/99 - 02/29/00, new, $53,818

Research Proposals Submitted

Political and Economic Change Program

E.S. Greenberg
Alcohol consequences of corporate restructuring
NIH, 05/01/99 - 04/30/00, cont, $177,739

Problem Behavior Program

K.R. Williams
Evaluation services for the ADL's Interrupting the Pathways to Hatred Program
ADL, 03/01/99 - 11/30/99, new, $10,000

Upcoming Colloquia

There is an online listing of upcoming and recent colloquia.

Institute of Behavioral Science

Richard Jessor, Institute Director

IBS Newsletter

Sugandha Brooks, Newsletter Editor
Richard L. Cook, Web site coordinator

Institute of Behavioral Science
University of Colorado at Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0483

(303) 492-8147