Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

The Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology (CSDE) supports population research and training at the University of Washington by advancing knowledge on migration, health, family change, and other demographic trends.

About CSDE

The CSDE research community consists of more than 100 scholars advancing population science, representing disciplines ranging from Anthropology to Biostatistics, Economics, Epidemiology, Geography, Health Services, Nursing, Public Policy, Social Work, and more.

Our center strengthens this network with a variety of resources, including training for graduate student, postdoctoral, and mid-career professionals; grant assistance from planning, preparation, submission, and post award management; technical support for computing and security; consultations on methods, data, and GIS; information services; assistance using biomarkers in research; and weekly seminars.

CSDE is funded through internal commitments from UW and its portfolio of research, training, and infrastructure grants.  In recent years, CSDE’s UW affiliates typically held over 70 external research grants, more than half of which are from NIH or NSF. CSDE receives institutional matching funds from UW for its mission, including generous support from the College of Arts & Sciences along with support from the Vice Provost for Research, School of Public Health, School of Nursing, and School of Social Work.

CSDE also maintains partnerships with numerous of Academic Departments, Research Centers, and Institutes.


CSDE Governing Committees

Executive – Advises on center-wide planning and delivery of research services
Training – Oversees the Graduate Certificate and Fellowship programs
Events – Coordinates all outreach activities including Seminar Series

CSDE is distinguished both by a long institutional tradition at this University, and by recent changes that have consolidated its strengths and established a basis for innovative future research. Demography and population studies began at the University of Washington in the 1920’s, when Roderick McKenzie and William F. Ogburn served on the faculty. The first center for regional population studies was established by Calvin Schmid in 1947 as the Office of Population Research in the Department of Sociology. This became the CSDE in 1967 under the leadership of Stanley Lieberson. CSDE prospered over the next thirty years with a series of distinguished directors: Samuel Preston, Thomas Pullum, Charles Hirschman and Avery Guest. The development of CSDE has been marked by research of increasingly national and international scope, a growing multi-disciplinary focus, and increased external funding for research, center support, and training.

Under the direction of Robert Plotnick (1997-2002), CSDE became an independent unit within the College of Arts and Sciences in July 2000. In 2002, CSDE first received federal funding under the Eunice Kennedy Shriver NICHD (EKSNICHD) population infrastructure program. Martina Morris, director from 2002 to 2006, was responsible for overseeing the increase in staffing and the dramatic expansion of CSDE’s core research support services that followed. Under the leadership of Shelly Lundberg (2006-2010), the Center started a development program to stimulate research projects, added GIS to the roster of core services, and implemented the expanded CSDE Training Program, increasing the number of trainees from six to more than 20 per year.  Under the leadership of Mark Ellis (2010-2016), CSDE formalized its training program with the establishment of a graduate certificate in Demographic Methods and established the Northwest Federal Statistic Research Data Center (NWFSRDC).  The NWFSRDC is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation and institutional commitments from the University of Washington.


The CSDE logo, designed by Marvin Oliver, features a male and female salmon.
The pairing signifies fertility, migration, and mortality—
three core subjects of demography.

CSDE logo