The Center for Collaborative Synthesis in Archaeology (CCSA) awarded a $20,000 grant

The Center for Collaborative Synthesis in Archaeology (CCSA) in IBS is happy to announce that the Wenner-Gren Foundation has awarded CCSA $20,000 to pay for travel expenses for 6 African scholars and 5 international consultants to a workshop in Zanzibar, Tanzania. The project is being jointly organized with the Coalition for Archaeological Synthesis (CfAS), the partner organization to CCSA. A key objective of this workshop is for applied social science practitioners to identify how their biases affect their reports and recommendations, and further to determine if there are common patterns in how government authorities, lenders, and development organizations interpret these recommendations. The workshop will occur sometime between January 2022 and December 2023.  The outcomes of the conference are anticipated to have broad implications on the ethnographic method as it is employed in development projects and programs in East Africa and beyond. CCSA also looks forward to scholarly publications resulting from the workshop.

Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence (CSPV) awarded a $1.2 million grant to focus on violence education on campus

The Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence (CSPV) has been awarded a grant for $1.2 million from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to partner with the university’s police department, state and local agencies, campus offices, and student government to strengthen the local framework for preventing violence and terrorism.  

The two-year project will deliver educational programming to empower citizens to report concerns (e.g., training, social media). The project will also build the campus and community systems for addressing those concerns through investigations, threat assessment, and threat management. CSPV’s Sarah Goodrum, Ph.D. (PI), Beverly Kingston, Ph.D. (Co-PI), and Sabrina Arredondo Mattson, Ph.D. (Co-PI) along with CUPD’s Chief Doreen Jokerst and Commander Mark Heyart will be leading the effort. To execute the grant, CSPV and CUPD will be partnering with CU’s Dean of Students, Human Resources, and Athletics, as well as the Colorado Attorney General’s Office (Safe2Tell), Colorado School Safety Resource Center, Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, and Boulder Police Department.  We think these partnerships are particularly meaningful given the shooting tragedy our community experienced at the King Soopers on Table Mesa last spring.

Read more about the grant and campus partnership in CU Boulder Today.

$6 million CDC National Youth Violence Prevention Center of Excellence grant awarded to the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence

The IBS Center for the Prevention and Study of Violence, recently received a five-year (2021-2026) $6 million cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Youth Violence Prevention Centers of Excellence (YVPC). The YVPC-Denver project, called Empowering Youth to Realize Equity and Prevent Violence, will use a youth-community-university partnership to implement and evaluate youth violence prevention strategies (The Power of One for Youth Engagement Initiative, Violence Prevention and Interruption through Bystander Reporting and Social Media Monitoring, and Enhancing Youth Athletics and Career Development Programs) in two Denver, Colorado communities experiencing a high violence burden. Youth receive training through a youth advisory council and an early career researcher program. Success will be measured by reductions in rates of youth violence, increases in positive social opportunities, and sustainable improvements in public health practices.

Principal Investigator: Beverly Kingston, Ph.D.

Co-investigators: Sabrina Arredondo Mattson, Ph.D., David Pyrooz, Ph.D. Karl Hill, Ph.D., Sarah Goodrum, Ph.D., Eric Sigel, M.D.

For more information about Youth Violence, visit 

Lori Peek, a CU Boulder sociologist, was recently confirmed by the U.S. Senate to join the National Institute of Building Sciences board

Large building construction

Lori Peek, who is the first-ever social scientist appointed to the board, was nominated by President Joe Biden. The board is responsible for ensuring the nation’s buildings are safe, structurally sound and sustainable.

Peek studies marginalized populations, including children and low-income families, in disaster situations. She has conducted research after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Hurricanes Katrina and Matthew, Superstorm Sandy, the BP Oil Spill, the Christchurch and Anchorage earthquakes, and the Joplin tornado, among other major events.

Learn more and read Lori’s full interview in the CU Boulder Colorado Arts and Sciences Magazine.

Colleen Reid will receive EPA grant to deploy particulate matter sensors to develop health guidance for Denver-area schools

Calwood fire, Colorado

Colleen Reid, assistant professor of geography and research associate at the Institute of Behavioral Science at CU Boulder, will receive $549,919 to deploy low-cost particulate matter sensors to compare indoor smoke levels in Denver-area schools and homes. The results of this effort will be used to develop health guidance for school districts and inform decisions about school closures to protect student health.

CU Boulder is among nine institutions across the country receiving a combined $7 million under EPA’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) program for research to address health risks from wildland fire smoke. View the CU Boulder Today article for more details about this EPA award.

IBS researcher Brenkert-Smith to collaborate on $2.3 million NSF grant aimed at wildfire risk reduction


The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded a $478,980 to University of Colorado and the Wildfire Research (WiRē) Center to collaborate on a grant that includes researchers from the University of Alaska Anchorage, Northern Arizona University, and the Tanana Chiefs Conference to work on the four-year project, Socio-ecological considerations for sustainAble Fuel treatments to Reduce wildfire Risk (SAFRR). The project team, led by University of Alaska researcher Dr. Jennifer Schmidt, will assess fuel treatments as a strategy to reduce wildfire risk in the boreal forest of Alaska and western Canada. The project is funded by NSF’s Navigating the New Artic program.

“This project will help us understand more about the effectiveness and social acceptance of fuel treatments like prescribed burns and thinning of vegetation in reducing wildfire risk,” Schmidt said. “Since the 1990s there’s been a dramatic increase in the amount of boreal forest burned each year in Alaska and western Canada. This area has experienced some of the most deadly and costly wildfire events in the last decade.”

Fuel treatments are among the main tools that land management agencies, landowners, and communities use to reduce risk to residents and infrastructure. However, effective fuel treatments require significant planning, implementation costs, and maintenance. They can also be controversial: they may face resistance and affect attitudes and behaviors of nearby residents.

SAFRR project team members will work with public land and wildfire practitioners; Indigenous organizations; and communities on the Kenai Peninsula, in Interior Alaska, and Anchorage, and Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, to co-produce an integrated assessment of fuel treatments that will include:

  • preferred strategies, barriers to implementation, and key policies regarding fuel treatments
  • insights into how vegetation responds to different treatments, installation and maintenance costs
  • short-term and long-term ecological effects of fuel treatments and their influence on wildfire behavior
  • how likely fuel treatments are to be acceptable to residents
  • how alternative fuel treatment designs can achieve social, ecological, and public safety goals

Project team members

Dr. Jennifer Schmidt (Primary Investigator (PI) for UAA, overall)), assistant professor of natural resource management and policy at the Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage

Dr. Hannah Brenkert-Smith (PI for CU), research associate professor at University of Colorado’s Institute of Behavioral Science. WiRē team member.

Dr. Patricia Champ (Collaborator), economist at the Human Dimensions Program at the U.S. Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station in Fort Collins.  WiRē team member.

Chris Barth (Collaborator), fire mitigation specialist with the Bureau of Land Management. WiRē team member.

Dr. Michelle Mack (PI for NAU), regents’ professor of ecosystem ecology in the Center for Ecosystem Science and Society and the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University.

Will Putman (PI for TCC), forester with the Tanana Chiefs Conference with extensive experience in forest management in Alaska and use of fuel treatments around rural Alaska communities.

Dr. Matthew Berman (Co-PI), professor of economics at the Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anchorage

Dr. Xanthe Walker (Co-PI), assistant research professor in the Center for Ecosystem Science and Society and the Department of Biological Sciences at Northern Arizona University.

Dr. Joseph Little (Co-PI), assistant professor of economics in the W.A. Franke College of Business at Northern Arizona University and an affiliate researcher with the International Arctic Research Center.

Alison York (Senior Personnel), Alaska Fire Science Consortium (AFSC) coordinator and is an expert in Alaska fire ecology, tundra fire, fire management, and science communication.

Chris Moore (Collaborator), fire analyst with the Bureau of Land Management.

About IBS

Researchers in the Environment and Society Program at the Institute of Behavioral Science (IBS) – University of Colorado Boulder study the relationship between social and natural systems around the world. Climate change vulnerability, resilience to earthquakes, hurricanes, droughts, and floods, and the management of natural resources are critical challenges that the world faces in the 21st century. The work of the program has a broad impact beyond academic circles, influencing policymakers and practitioners, as well as the general public. The program is highly interdisciplinary, bringing together expertise in anthropology, economics, geography, history, law, political science, and sociology.

About the Wildfire Research (WiRē) Center

The Wildfire Research (WiRē) Center is a nonprofit organization that works with wildfire practitioners to seek locally-tailored pathways to create fire adapted communities. The WiRē Center builds on the findings and the approach of the WiRē Team, a decade-plus partnership between wildfire practitioners and researchers focusing on new approaches to integrating local social science into wildfire education and mitigation programs.

CONVERGE Collecting and Sharing Perishable Data Training Module and Demonstration Webinar

Forest fire

The NSF-funded CONVERGE facility, headquartered at the Natural Hazards Center, is so pleased to announce the release of the Collecting and Sharing Perishable Data Training Module. This module provides an overview of what perishable data is, how to ethically collect it, and why such data is vital for advancing hazards and disaster research. You can register and access the free module here:

To learn more, please join us Friday, August 6, 2021, from 12:00-12:30 p.m. MDT for a live webinar where our team will provide a demonstration of the training module. To register for the upcoming webinar, please visit:

This new module is part of a larger series designed to accelerate the education of a diverse hazards and disaster workforce. The new module, like the others in the series, concludes with a 10-question quiz. Upon successful completion of the quiz, users receive a certificate which is worth one contact hour of general management training through the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) certification program. These modules can be useful for classroom assignments as well as other activities. Please see the CONVERGE Annotated Bibliographies for further reading and the Assignment Bank for sample assignments. 

You can sign up for additional free resources and updates at the CONVERGE website at: Thank you! 

Acknowledgments: The CONVERGE Training Modules are based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NSF Award #1841338) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NSF or CDC.

President Biden Announces Intent to Nominate Lori Peek for Key Admin Position!

On April 20th President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Lori Peek for Member, Board of Directors of the National Institute of Building Sciences. Lori Peek is the Director of the Natural Hazards Center, an affiliate for the CU Population Center, and a fellow for the Environment and Society program and the Population Program. She is also the principal investigator for the National Science Foundation-funded CONVERGE facility, which is dedicated to improving research coordination and advancing the ethical conduct and scientific rigor of disaster research. In the statement, President Biden also announced his intent to nominate 9 other individuals to serve on key administration boards and commissions. 

To learn more about Lori Peek’s work and the other 9 nominated individuals, read the full statement on the White House briefing room website.

2021 IBS Poster Symposium

Thanks to all who came and participated in our IBS Poster Symposium this year! Our virtual event on Wednesday April 14th had approximately 30 attendees. Nine IBS graduate students presented their posters in two sessions.

The presenters were:

Grad student winners of the 2021 IBS Poster Symposium
  • Solveig Delabroye (ECON): Learning from One’s Community: Neighborhood Effects on Non-Cognitive Skills
  • Ganesh Gorti (PSCI): Inequality, conditional cash transfers, and confidence in local institutions
  • Heather Champeau (SOCY) and Jessica Austin (SOCY): Social Science Extreme Events Research (SSEER) Network: 2018 and 2019 Comparisons
  • Bertha Bermudez Tapia (SOCY): Violence, Asylum, and Permanent-Temporariness: The Effects of COVID-19 and Immigration Policies on the Matamoros’s Migrant-Camp
  • Melissa Villarreal (SOCY): Long Term Housing Recovery among Mexican Immigrants: How Service Providers Navigate Anti-Immigrant Disaster Recovery Policies
  • Brach Champion (ECON): Who Benefits Most from a Same-Race Mentor? Optimal Matching In Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Marija Sajekaite (PSCI): Taking Climate Change Seriously: The Impacts of Weather Events on Climate Change Attitudes in Latin America
  • Jose Sanchez (SOCY): Gang Intervention in the COVID-19 Era: A Qualitative Study of Multidisciplinary Teams and Gang Outreach in Denver
  • Jeremiah Osborne Gowey (ENVS): The role of social connections and community context in adaptive farming practices among Sri Lankan households.

And our top three fan favorites based on votes were…

  1. Melissa Villarreal
  2. Jeremiah Osborne Gowey
  3. Bertha Bermudez Tapia

Congrats to all the graduate students who participated and made the event a success! Also many thanks to Kim Truong-Vu and Carew Boulding for organizing this as part of the IBS Training Program.

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