Upcoming Events

There are no Events Scheduled

Past Events

Monday, May 3rd 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm, Zoom link: - email for password.
Jennifer Merolla

Abstract:  How does the public react to information about the likely progression of COVID-19 cases in the United States? How do these reactions vary over the course of the pandemic and by partisanship, and with what consequences for policy attitudes and personal behavior? We argue that reading projections about the peak of COVID-19 cases in the United States is likely to lead to increased levels of anxiety and sadness. We expect that these effects will be more pronounced and less polarized along partisan lines earlier in the pandemic. Finally, we expect that elevated anxiety and sadness should in turn lead to greater support for protective policies to combat the pandemic and a greater inclination to engage in protective behaviors. To test these arguments, we fielded online survey experiments at three points in time (April, June, and August), in which respondents were randomly assigned to a control group or one of two projections about the likely progression of COVID-19 cases in the United States. Across all three waves, we find that exposure to information about case peaks increases anxiety, and to a lesser extent sadness, though the effects get weaker over time, particularly among Republicans. We also find that these elevated emotions increase support for protective policies and behavior.

Bio: I am a Professor and Vice-Chair in the Department of Political Science at the University of California, Riverside. My research focuses on how the political environment shapes public opinion and political behavior. I received my PhD in political science from Duke University. Prior to joining the University of California, Riverside, I served as Assistant Professor (2003-2009) and then Associate Professor of Political Science (2009-2015) at Claremont Graduate University. I am co-author of Democracy at Risk: How Terrorist Threats Affect the Public, published with the University of Chicago Press (2009), and Framing Immigrants: News Coverage, Public Opinion and Policy, published with the Russell Sage Foundation (2016). I am also co-editor of The Hillary Effect: Perspectives on Clinton’s Legacy (2020). My work has also appeared in journals such as Comparative Political Studies, Electoral Studies, the Journal of Politics, The Journal of Conflict Resolution, Perspectives on Politics, PNAS, Political Behavior, Political Research Quarterly, and Political Psychology. I have received support for some of this research from the National Science Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and Time Sharing Experiments in the Social Sciences. I am director of the UCR Gender and Politics Lab, and served as field editor of American Political Behavior for the Journal of Politics from January, 2015-January, 2019.

Monday, April 26th 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm, Zoom link: - email for password.
José Lobo

Abstract: It is a truism in the social sciences that “the past matters.” Yet the urban past is often missing in the argumentations for urban sustainability science. (As an example: a historical perspective on urbanization, or insights from urban archaeology, are absent in the 2018 NSF report calling for the development of a new science of sustainable urban systems.)  We propose that urban sustainability science can be strengthened by expanding the analytical gaze from the modern notion of cities to all human settlements. Analogies made between past and current circumstances tend to be richly metaphorical but analytically poor. When asking how the past matters for urban sustainability science, two key questions must be addressed. First, are there sufficient similarities (processes, mechanisms, decisions, feedback loops) to allow the past and present to be compared in a rigorous fashion? Second, can relevant data from the past be generated and assembled which can relate to analyses of contemporary urbanization? The phenomenon of settlement persistence provides a very relevant entry point for discussing how understanding spatially embedded human sociality in the past can inform our understanding of urbanization today and what are feasible paths for achieving sustainable urban development.  In the most basic terms, settlement persistence represents a measure of the length of continuous use of a well-defined area or place of human occupation. Remarkably little is known about the nature of settlement persistence or its variability in early times. How long did settlements last within particular regions? What facilitated adaptation and resilience? What caused fragility and brought about collapse? The presentation will use a recently proposed research agenda on settlement persistence in the past as a way of engaging seminar participants in a discussion of how does the urban past matter for the development of urban sustainability science?

BioJosé Lobo is a Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University.  Dr. Lobo was trained in physics, applied mathematics, and urban economics (and hopes to earn an honorary degree in archaeology through his collaborations with archaeologists). His research interests include urbanization across time and geographies, the role of settlements and cities in socioeconomic development, and theories of invention. 

Sponsored By: Center for Collaborative Synthesis in Archaeology

Monday, April 19th 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm, Zoom link: - email for password.
Courtney Cogburn

Please note that due to unforseen changes in schedules, this talk has been cancelled. Thank you for understanding. 

Abstract: TBD

Bio:  Associate Professor Courtney D. Cogburn employs a transdisciplinary research strategy to improve the characterization and measurement of racism and in examining the role of racism in the production of racial inequities in health. She is also conducting research exploring the use of emerging technologies, including computational social science to examine patterns and psychosocial effects of cultural racism and how virtual reality experiences can lead to changes in attitudes, social perception and engagement (empathy, racial bias, structural competence and behavior). Dr. Cogburn is the lead creator of 1000 Cut Journey, an immersive virtual reality racism experience that was developed in collaboration with the Virtual Human Interaction Lab at Stanford University and which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2018. She is on the faculty of the Columbia Population Research Center and a core member of the Data Science Institute where she also co-chairs the Computational Social Science working group. Dr. Cogburn is also a faculty affiliate of the Center on African American Politics and Society. She directs the Cogburn Research Group and co-directs the Justice Equity + Tech (JE+T) Laboratory at Columbia University. Dr. Cogburn completed postdoctoral training at Harvard University in the Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar Program and at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan. She received her Ph.D. in Education and Psychology, and MSW from the University of Michigan and her BA in Psychology from the University of Virginia. She is also a board member of the International Center Advocates Against Discrimination.

Sponsored By: CU Population Center, IBS DEI Initiatives

Friday, April 16th 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm, Once you have registered, you will receive the Zoom information and password for the class.
Josh Goode, IBS Computing and Research Services

Abstract: Interactions happen often in daily life, yet we often ignore or misinterpret them in our statistical models. For example, if you are studying age, income and gender in some population, have you considered that the age vs. income curve is often different for women and men. Statistically, we would say that age, income and gender interact. If you only include age, income and gender in the model, omitting the interaction, you may reduce the p-values for your model. Come to this class to learn how to use and interpret interactions in Stata.

Registration: Register at Interpreting Interactions in Stata

Wednesday, April 14th 2:00 am - 3:30 am, Zoom
IBS Graduate Students

Please join us in supporting our IBS Graduate Students and Post Docs at the 8th Annual IBS Poster Symposium!  The event will happen virtually this year on Wednesday April 14th from 2-3:30pm. 


April 14, 2020 | 2-3:30 p.m.

Meeting ID: 948 8531 0385

Passcode: 525069

Join us and visit each student's poster via breakout rooms! After the event you will have the opportunity to vote on the posters and the three highest scoring posters will be awarded gift cards!

Support our Students


2-2:10pm: Welcome

2:10-2:40pm: Session 1

2:40-2:50pm: Transition

2:50-3:20pm: Session 2

3:20-3:30pm: End


Session 1 Presenters:

Bertha Bermudez-Tapia (SOCY)

Heather Champeau and Jessica Austin (SOCY)

Solveig Delabroye (ECON)

Candace Evans (SOCY)

Ganesh Gorti (PSCI)


Session 2 Presenters:

Brach Champion (ECON)

Jeremiah Osborne-Gowey (ENVS)

Jose Sanchez (SOCY)

Marija Sajekaite (PSCI)

Melissa Villarreal (SOCY)


Email with questions.

Monday, April 12th 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm, Zoom link: - email for password.
Andrea Tilstra and Brachel Champion

Practice talks for the PAA Conference. 

Presenter: Andrea Tilstra. 

Title: "Differences in Determinants: U.S. Labor Induction Rates and Maternal Risk Factors across Race/Ethnicity."

Abstract: Labor induction rates have increased across all U.S. states and for all race/ethnic groups since the 1990s. Yet, maternal risk factors for induction have not concurrently increased, and differ by maternal race/ethnicity. The pervasiveness of structural racism in obstetric care results in inadequate care and poor maternal and child health outcomes for women of historically marginalized race/ethnic groups. In this paper we focus on induction of labor, an obstetric intervention that when used unnecessarily can increase risk of negative outcomes for women and infants. We aim to assess whether state-level measures of maternal risk (e.g., proportion of mothers with hypertension) explain race/ethnic-specific trends in labor induction rates. We use data from the National Vital Statistics Systems restricted birth data to analyze race/ethnic-specific trajectories of labor induction rates for all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia from 1990 to 2017. We use fixed effects models to assess how state-level risk factors account for the increases in labor induction rates over time. Preliminary results indicate that state-level indicators of risk, including proportion of mothers with hypertension, with diabetes, and teen births, are associated with rising labor induction rates among white women, but these factors do not explain increases among Black or Latina women. These results suggest that maternal risk does not fully explain increases in induction rates, particularly for Black and Latina women.

Author list: Andrea M. Tilstra, Ryan K. Masters, Daniel H. Simon, Kate Coleman-Minahan.    Presenter: Brachel Champion

Title: "Who Benefits Most from a Same-Race Mentor? Optimal Matching in Big Brothers Big Sisters."

Abstract: In many youth mentoring organizations, minority mentees often express preferences for a same-race mentor. Due to supply constraints, agencies are often forced to make choices about how to allocate mentors to youth. Therefore, it is important to understand the ways in which a same-race match improves youth outcomes, and who benefits most. Using data from the largest youth mentoring program in the U.S., Big Brothers Big Sisters, we investigate the effect of same-race matching on changes in a wide range of youth outcomes related to self-esteem, education, and risk attitudes after a year of mentorship. After demonstrating that there is little evidence of selection into same-race matches in our data, we use two complementary identification strategies that leverage within- and between-agency variation in same-race matches. We find that Black and Hispanic youth experience improvements in self-perceived school ability, education expectations, and truancy, with no evidence that white youth experience negative outcomes.

Author List: Brachel Champion, Zachary Szlendak, and CoreyWoodruff 

Sponsored By: CU Population Center

Friday, April 9th 10:00 am - 11:00 am, Zoom link:
Jennifer Beam Dowd

Abstract: While epidemiology is certainly having a moment, demography has been key to understanding COVID-19 data since the early days of the pandemic. This talk will highlight demographic insights into COVID ranging from the intersection of population age structure and mortality to estimates of excess mortality and age-prioritization in immunization. Dr. Dowd will also discuss her experiences with the COVID-19 science communication effort Dear Pandemic.

Bio: Dr. Jennifer Beam Dowd is Associate Professor of Demography and Population Health at the University of Oxford and studies mortality trends and how social factors “get under the skin” to impact health, including via infections and immune function. She is also Deputy Director of the Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science at Oxford and received her PhD training in Demography and Economics from Princeton University with post-doctoral training in Epidemiology at the University of Michigan as a Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholar. She is currently researching social and demographic factors related to COVID-19, and is also part of an all-female team of PhD scientists interpreting COVID-19 science for a general audience at Dear Pandemic.

Sponsored By: Administration

Monday, April 5th 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm, Zoom link: - email for password.
David Pellow

Presentation Video

Abstract: This presentation considers the evolution of environmental justice studies as a field concerned primarily with the intersection of social inequalities and ecological risks. Drawing on the concept of “critical environmental justice studies,” I present cases from research on struggles for environmental justice in prisons and jails across multiple scales, including the body, communities, populations, and nations. I draw on evidence from historical and contemporary cases to illustrate the importance of understanding how multiple categories of difference (race, gender, class, sexuality, ability, species) are entangled in both the production of environmental inequalities and in the possibilities for realizing imaginative forms of environmental and climate justice.

Bio: Professor David N. Pellow is the Dehlsen and Department Chair of Environmental Studies and Director of the Global Environmental Justice Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara where he teaches courses on environmental and social justice, race/class/gender and environmental conflict, human-animal conflicts, sustainability, and social change movements that confront our socioenvironmental crises and social inequality. He has volunteered for and served on the Boards of Directors of several community-based, national, and international organizations that are dedicated to improving the living and working environments for people of color, immigrants, indigenous peoples, and working class communities, including the Global Action Research Center, the Center for Urban Transformation, the Santa Clara Center for Occupational Safety and Health, Global Response, Greenpeace USA, and International Rivers.

Sponsored By: Natural Hazards Center

Monday, March 29th 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm, Zoom link: - email for password.
Justine M. Davis

Presentation Video

Abstract: This book project examines how the wartime experiences of civil society leaders affect post-conflict democratization. Although international donors funnel millions of dollars in aid to local civic organizations in conflict-affected countries with the goal of facilitating democracy and development, neither scholars nor policymakers fundamentally understand the leaders of those organizations. Relatively little is known about attitudes and behaviors held by civil society leaders, who are critical actors in post-conflict democratization, towards political empowerment or resource distribution. Employing lab-in-the-field experiments, surveys, in-depth interviews, and focus groups in post-war Côte d’Ivoire, I show that living under rebel control affects civil society leader behavior, shaping who starts organizations, what kinds of work they do, how they are perceived by local constituents, and how they conduct democracy and development projects in the future.  These findings have implications for post-conflict democratization by raising questions about the wisdom of relying on war-traumatized civic leaders to facilitate the growth of democratic culture.

Bio: Justine Maisha Davis is an LSA Collegiate Fellow in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies (DAAS) at the University of Michigan, where she will be an Assistant Professor of Afroamerican and African Studies and Political Science starting in the fall of 2022. She holds a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, was a UC presidential postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Diego, and holds a master’s degree from the American University of Paris. Her research interests include electoral violence, civil society, and the challenges to democratization efforts in post-conflict settings and weakly institutionalized democracies. Her dissertation, “Wartime Experiences of Civic Leaders: Legacies of Civil War, Rebel Control, and Democratization in Post-Conflict Africa,” won the Western Political Science Association best dissertation award in 2020. She also won the Ralph Bunche Best Graduate Student Paper in 2018 Award from the African Politics Conference Group, an organized section of the American Political Science Association and the African Studies Association. Her research has been published in African Affairs, Party Politics, and the South African Geographical Journal.

Monday, March 22nd 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm, Zoom link: - email for password.
Johannes Uhl

Presentation Video

Abstract: “Open data“ policies increasingly implemented by federal agencies and the industry sector catalyze the availability of geospatial data enabling novel insights into the spatial-temporal evolution of population and human settlement distributions with unprecedented detail, consistency, and spatial-temporal coverage. In order to fully benefit from such data sources and to derive new knowledge of the long-term development of human systems, effective data processing, integration, and analytical methods are required. We present ongoing work, including data production efforts such as the HISDAC-US (Historical Settlement Data Compilation for the US), which is based on Zillow’s Transaction and Assessment Dataset (ZTRAX). We demonstrate how we use these data for the quantitative long-term characterization of land development and urban-spatial trajectories in the US since the early 1900s. Moreover, we will present data harmonization and modelling efforts to construct historical, place-based population distributions for the US, Canada, and Mexico, in order to characterize the dynamics of the rural-urban continuum at a continental scale since 1940 and beyond. All data will be publicly available and will constitute valuable resources for a variety of applications in the social and environmental sciences.

Bio: Johannes Uhl is a geographic information scientist with a focus on spatio-temporal geographic information extraction. He earned his Ph.D. from CU’s Department of Geography in 2019, is trained in Geomatics engineering and Geodesy and is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at IBS and CIRES. In his work, he employs a variety of geospatial data sources such as building stock databases, remote sensing data, historical maps, and census data, and is interested in developing data-integration based information extraction techniques that help to improve our understanding of the built environment and human settlements, with respect to their spatial distributions and their evolution over time, as well as their role in dynamic, coupled nature-human systems.

Sponsored By: CU Population Center
View all past events