Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Message from CSDE Director, Sara Curran

Posted: 9/26/2017 ()

Welcome back to the academic year! Thanks to the good news about the renewal of CSDE’s research infrastructure grant from NICHD’s Population Dynamics Branch, CSDE starts the academic year with renewed energy and new plans.  You can read about the award here. Notably, the strong support from the College of Arts & Sciences and from units across UW means that we can grow our support for UW’s community of population scientists.  We’re looking forward to working with all of you over the next five years!

To celebrate, please join us on September 29 at 12:30 in the Peterson Room in Allen Library for a celebration of our grant renewal, graduate student successes, and your own achievements!

To meet the objectives of our renewed infrastructure grant, CSDE has recently undergone a reorganization.  Instead of one Associate Director, we now have a Development Core Director, Professor Steve Goodreau (Anthropology) and a Science Core Director, Professor Kyle Crowder (Sociology). They join myself and Training Director, Associate Professor Emilio Zagheni (Sociology & eScience Institute).

Under Steve Goodreau’s direction, the Development Core includes the seminar series, an elaborated seed grant program, and specific activities within CSDE’s Primary Research Areas (PRAs). Chaired by Associate Professor Rachel Heath (Economics), CSDE’s weekly seminar series is on Fridays at 12:30pm. The new seed grant program will solicit proposals quarterly, as well as consider smaller requests on a rolling basis.  Expect to hear more about this soon! The Development Core includes specific activities within each Primary Research Area (PRA). PRA Chairs are beginning to develop plans now, but they would love to hear your ideas. Heather Hill (Evans Public Policy & Governance) is chairing Well-being of Families and Households, Ann Bostrom (Evans Public Policy & Governance) is chairing Environments & Populations, Mark Ellis (Geography) is chairing Migrations & Settlements, David Grembowski is chairing Health of People & Populations, and I am serving as chair of Demographic Measurements & Methods in an interim capacity, while Adrian Raftery (Statistics & Sociology) is on leave.

Under Kyle Crowder’s direction, the Science Core identifies and implements ways for CSDE to fill research infrastructure needs at UW and, most importantly, tailor CSDE’s scientific research support to fit the needs of your research agenda.  Dr. Matt Dunbar, CSDE’s Assistant Director and a Geographer, and Matt Weatherford, CSDE’s Computing Resources Director, help lead the Science Core’s activities.  They are joined by Dr. Cori Mar, CSDE’s statistician, and Ellie Brindle, managing CSDE’s Biodemography Lab. The Science Core staff works closely with our Training Program to offer a regular workshop series for growing your population science tool kit.  Students, staff and faculty are welcome to sign up for workshops. CSDE will soon search for a new research scientist to join the Science Core as an applied statistical demographer!

Under Emilio Zagheni’s direction, CSDE’s Training Program continues apace.  The Certificate Program is managed by Dr. Aimee Dechter and is actively seeking new enrollees.  Soon there will be a call for applications to our fellowship program for fellow appointments to begin 2018-19.  Also on the agenda for this year will be an application to NICHD to renew our T32 Training Grant.  Finally, a new development in the Training Program are ongoing, hands-on workshops for faculty and students. If you have one that you’d like to initiate, don’t hesitate to propose one. Currently, Emilio runs a monthly Computational Demography Workshop where students, staff and faculty share code, data, projects, and research challenges.

I direct CSDE’s Administrative Core, which includes support for grants, budgeting, hiring, events, travel, and communication.  We can provide you with support on your grants from start-to-finish, budget projections and reconciliations, help with project management, meeting rooms and conference calling support, help in spreading the news about your research, and support with hiring appointments. We can also be the first place you turn to for who to talk with when trying to get your project off the ground or sustained.  Thanks to the Evans School support for an RA, we have a fabulous information and communication specialist, Olivia Hill, who is pursuing an MPA at UW.  Olivia is in 223 Raitt Hall, while the rest of the team (anchored by Thalia Freamon and Joanna Medina) are all in 206 Raitt Hall. Please stop by.

New academic years are also times of transitions. There have been several, but I will just mention one: over the summer, Professor Stewart Tolnay transitioned from a full-time faculty appointment to emeritus faculty.  We will be celebrating Stew’s accomplishments on October 6 from 1-7:30pm, during a symposium (Walker-Ames Room, Kane Hall) and reception (Hotel Deca) co-hosted with the Department of Sociology. Stew served as CSDE’s Associate Director from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2017.  But, over the years Stew supported at least four CSDE directors, in a large number of capacities.  As you can see in my preceding description, Stew’s mighty contributions and service to CSDE have been replaced by two people, not one. That says it all.  We’re looking forward to celebrating with him on October 6! Please rsvp to the event to: socws@uw.edu

Last but not least, over the last year, we’ve welcomed 11 new research affiliates to CSDE’s community of Population Scientists.  Our new affiliates bring with them exciting research agendas; they include Ruanne Barnabas (Global Health), Elena Erosheva (Statistics), Dan Goldhaber (School of Social Work), Himanshu Grover (Urban Design & Planning), Carole Lee (Philosophy), Anita Rocha (School of Social Work), Noah Snyder-Mackler (Psycology), Janelle Taylor (Anthropology), Ott Toomet (Information School), and Claire Yang (Jackson School of International Studies). In addition, CSDE is happy to announce that Dr. David Swanson has joined as a regional affiliate.  Dr. Swanson is an applied demographer, recently retired from UC Riverside.  Dr. Swanson recently edited the volume, Frontiers of Applied Demography (Springer).

On behalf of all of us at CSDE, here’s to a productive year and we look forward to seeing you on September 29 to celebrate.