Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Karen Snedker

Associate Professor, Sociology
Seattle Pacific University


CSDE Research Areas:

My research and academic training provides a high level of experience and expertise directly related to demographical and ecological studies.  Since the beginning of my career as an NIH post-doctoral fellow at the University of Washington’s School of Nursing I have worked in interdisciplinary projects and collaborative teams. In my research I often work with students (both undergraduate and graduate) and other faculty members in a variety of disciplines.  I have been able to maintain an active research agenda despite my professorial position at a teaching university. The majority of my research centered on adolescence, prevention and neighborhood context, including two NIH grants. My research generally falls into four main areas: 1) crime and community; 2) urban sociology; 3) adolescence and prevention; and 4) health.  The scope of my published work appears in sociology, geography, demography, public health and crime academic outlets. My research reflects traditional sociological work as well as interdisciplinary research with direct implications for prevention research and public policy. My current research program is two-fold. First, I am writing a book on mental health courts (under contract from Plagrave). The book provides a unique mixed methodological study of mental health courts within the framework of the larger trend towards problem-solving courts. Second, in collaboration with Dr. Jennifer McKinney (SPU), I have been researching homelessness and tent cities. Together we designed an innovative research project while SPU hosted a homeless encampment known as Tent City 3 (TC3).  This project involved new coursework to prepare students to conduct research including interviews with TC3 residents and collecting field data (from the various programs sponsored throughout their stay and local and state events and protests).