Special Announcements

Friday, 16 February 2018

  • PERN will hold a Cyberseminar entitled “People and Pixels Revisited: 20 years of progress and new tools for population-environment research” from 20-27 February. This cyberseminar aims to identify and review the primary research breakthroughs and future directions opened by the digital revolution. The “people and pixels” move in geography shed light on the concerns of sustainability, human livelihoods, land use planning, resource use, and conservation, and led to practical innovations in agricultural planning, hazard impact analysis, and drought monitoring. The cyberseminar will explore what the next 20 years will bring. For more information visit: https://populationenvironmentresearch.org/cyberseminars.
  • The 2018 Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America will take place on 25-28 April at Denver (CO). The program includes several sessions on population and environment, among them: climate and population health; innovative data and methods; food security and development; environment and inequality; vulnerability and resilience; population and environment in developing countries; and environmental migration. The final program will be available closer to the meeting dates at http://www.populationassociation.org/sidebar/annual-meeting/.
  • PERN will be partnering with the IUSSP Panel on Climate, Migration and Health on a cyberseminar in fall 2018. The cyberseminar will review existing understandings of climate-migration-health relations and future directions. It will explore what can be learned through bringing together research on the pairwise associations of climate-migration and migration-health, while highlighting critical knowledge gaps.
  • PERN is planning a training workshop on interdisciplinary data integration for the SDGs at the ALAP (Latin American Population Association) 8th Population Conference on 23-26 October in Puebla, Mexico. See http://www.alapop.org/alap/ for the program.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

  • A journal article based on the October 2015 cyberseminar on water and population dynamics has been published in Science of the Total Environment. The article, authored by former steering committee member Stephanie Dos Santos (IRD – the government of France development research institute), and co-authored by several expert panelists, addresses urban growth and water access in sub-Saharan Africa. To access the journal article (subscription only) visit: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.06.157. A poster based on the paper will be presented at the IUSSP’s 2017 International Population Conference in Cape Town by PERN coordinator Susana Adamo.

  • PERN steering committee member Raya Muttarak (University of East Anglia) and coordinator Alex de Sherbinin conducted a week-long seminar on climate change and population dynamics at the European Forum Alpbach from 17-22 August. The syllabus is now in the eLibrary, along with 100s of other syllabi on related topics. Search the eLibrary on “Publication Type = Educational Resource” to find them.

Monday, 13 March 2017

•    PERN’s cyberseminar on Culture, Beliefs and the Environment will be taking place from 15-26 May. More information is on the cyberseminar page.

•    PERN welcomes new six new SC members Dr. Andres Ignacio (Director for Planning and Geomatics, Environmental Science for Social Change, Philippines), Dr. Elma Montaña (Director of Science Programs / InterAmerican Institute for Global Change Research, Uruguay/Argentina), Dr. Raya Muttarak (Research Scholar, World Population, IIASA, Austria), Dr. David Rain (Director of Undergraduate Studies, EVST, Dept. of Geography, George Washington University, USA), Dr. Brooke Wilmsen (Research Fellow, Institute for Human Security, La Trobe University, Australia), and Dr. David Wrathall (Assistant Professor, Oregon State University, USA). We also welcome incoming chairperson Landy Sanchez (Associate Prof, El Colegio de México, Mexico).

•    PERN would also like to sincerely thank recent SC members who have completed their terms for their contributions to the network:  Dr. Rimjhim Aggarwal (Arizona State University, USA), Dr. Jason Bremner (Population, Health and Environment, Population Reference Bureau, USA), Dr. Stephanie Dos Santos (Laboratory for Population, Environment, and Development, Institute for Development Research, France), and Dr. David Lopez-Carr (University of California at Santa Barbara, USA). A special word of thanks to Dr. Yan Tan (University of Adelaide, Australia), who ably guided the SC as its chairperson for the past two years.

•    PERN will be present at the forthcoming Association of American Geographers meeting 5-8 April in Boston, Massachusetts. PERN co-coordinator A. de Sherbinin will be presenting during Session 2 of a two part session on Disruption or Displacement? Exploring the Complex Interactions between the Environment and Migration, as well as a panel session on Environmental Migration in an Era of Global Environmental Change, along with former SC chair Lori Hunter and current SC member, David Wrathall.

•    PERN will be also present at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America 27-29 April in Chicago, Illinois. SC Chairperson Landy Sanchez is co-authoring a paper in Session 708-1, UN Sustainable Development Goals: Frontiers in Measurement and Impact; SC member Richard Bilsborrow will present at Session 805-1, Linking Spatial and Population Data II: Climate Change and Health, chaired by SC member Leiwen Jiang, who is also co-authoring a paper in Session 601-1, Innovative approaches to urbanization and growth research. SC Raya Muttarak will be presenting at Session 805-2, Linking Spatial and Population Data III: Climate Change and Population Change.

Friday, 28 October 2016

•    PERN is organizing a cyberseminar in early 2017 on the topic of Aging and the Environment. The cyberseminar is co-organized with the Columbia Aging Center. Topics to be addressed include energy demand and consumption as they relate to changing household structures, aging and its relation to climate vulnerability and disaster resilience, aging populations and accessibility to parks, and aging in ways that are environmentally sustainable. Researchers conducting studies in these or other areas related to aging and the environment are invited to contact PERN at pernadmin @ciesin.columbia.edu to discuss potential presentation of results during the cyberseminar.

•    PERN is co-organizing an invitation-only workshop on climate change migration modeling from 5-6 December in Paris, France. A report of the workshop will be distributed to PERN members after the event. For more information contact the PERN coordinators at pernadmin @ciesin.columbia.edu.

•    During October 2016, there were several events related to migration and environment in Latin America. Jointly organized by the Regional Office of the International Organization for Migrations (IOM) and the Latin American Population Association, the International Seminar on Migration, Climate Change and Sustainable Development in South America took place on October 17-18 in Foz de Iguazu (Brazil). PERN co-coordinator Susana B. Adamo participated with a presentation on “Hogares migrantes en áreas rurales y urbanas: entendiendo la relación entre variabilidad/cambio climático, modos de vida y sistemas migratorios en América del Sur”, and she was also part of a round table on “Generation of information as the base for public policies” and delivered the summary, conclusions and recommendations of the Seminar.

•    Also in Foz do Iguazu the 7th Conference of the Latin America Population Association and the 20th National Meeting of Population Studies of Brazil (October 18-21) also took place. The Conference included several sessions devoted to population and environment topics, among them “Environmental vulnerabilities and conflicts, spatial mobility and inequalities”, “Spatial analysis data and methods in population and environment studies”, and “Population dynamics, space and environmental change”. S. Adamo was part of a round table on “Between vulnerabilities and building resilience: global, regional and local aspects of sustainable development in Latin America”.  For more information visit:

Friday, 03 June 2016

  • Call for Cyberseminar proposals: PERN is soliciting proposals from those interested in organizing cyberseminars around themes of relevance to this research community. We particularly welcome proposals from PhD candidates and post-doctoral fellows. This represents an opportunity to hold a discussion involving 600+ subscribers on topics that are relevant to the next generation of researchers. The topics could be thematic (e.g., population and the coastal zone), methodological (e.g., methods for integrated PE research), or theoretical (e.g., theoretical advances in PE research). With guidance from PERN staff, proponents will be expected to recruit expert panelists and facilitate the online discussion. To apply, please provide the following: the proposed title, a one-page summary of the topic and its relevance to the population-environment research community (including citations as necessary), possible timing for the cyberseminar, a list of possible expert panelists with their affiliations (PERN seeks gender and geographic diversity), and a list of potential additional research communities or existing research initiatives/academic societies that would potentially be interested in co-sponsoring the cyberseminar.  Proposals should be sent to pernadmin@ciesin.columbia.edu by 31 July 2016.  Proposals will be reviewed by the PERN steering committee and selected by 1 September 2016.
  • The list of themes and sessions for IUSSP’s International Population Conference (Cape Town, South Africa, 29 October to 4 November 2017) is now available at http://ipc2017capetown.iussp.org/scientificprogramme. Leiwen Jiang is the convener for Theme 16:  Population, Consumption and the Environment. The website will open for submissions starting September 2016.

Friday, 22 January 2016

  • The PERN cyberseminar on water and population dynamics was held from 5-16 October 2015. The background paper and expert contributions, along with a link to the discussion list (see “view postings”), can be found at https://www.populationenvironmentresearch.org/cyberseminars. We thank the expert panelists for their excellent contributions. A peer reviewed publication building on this cyberseminar is in process.
  • An Environmental Migration Portal has been set up by the International Organization for Migration. It seeks to be a knowledge platform on People on the Move in a Changing Climate by providing a one-stop service website to promote new research, information exchange and dialogue. See http://www.environmentalmigration.iom.int/.
  • Margaret Perkins, an adjunct faculty member of CUNY-SPS, has compiled a useful list of syllabi on population-environment courses. Click here to download.
  • A new museum, the Museu de Amanha (Museum of Tomorrow), has been launched in Rio de Janeiro. The museum, which features many exhibits on the “Anthropocene” of relevance to population-environment studies, has been launched to rave reviews. PERN co-coordinator Alex de Sherbinin visited the museum in early January and met with the curators to discuss the scientific content. For more information see https://museudoamanha.org.br/.

Tuesday, 09 June 2015

  • PERN is excited to announce the launch of its redesigned and updated Web site. The Web site is now on a Drupal platform to enable more frequent updates. The structure of the Web site is relatively unchanged, but Drupal allows some new approaches to search, and will change the way we approach What's New bulletins. Essentially the What's New emails will represent a periodic information "push" of content that is progressively added to the Web site over the previous months.
  • We are also pleased to announce that PERN has been accepted as a sustained partner of Future Earth, a program focused on research for global sustainability. Future Earth is the much larger and more encompassing successor to the International Human Dimensions Program (IHDP) which co-sponsored PERN until the program ended in June 2014. The Future Earth committee on partnerships found that PERN addresses a valuable community of researchers examining the demographic aspects of sustainability. Our status as a scientific panel of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP) remains unchanged.
  • PERN is planning a cyberseminar on the topic of water and population dynamics for September 2015. More details will be provided over the course of the summer.

Monday, 22 December 2014

  • PERN’s members have the opportunity to provide input and feedback to two UN-related initiatives on Sustainable Development. The UN High-level Political Forum is calling individual scientist and research institutions to contribute briefs highlighting issues, research findings or solutions, to be incorporated in the Global Sustainable Development Report 2015, currently underway. Also, the IUSSP is inviting its members to read and comment on its statement “Defining and successfully accomplishing the Data revolution – The Perspective of Demographers”, which was sent to the UN Secretary General’s Independent Expert Advisory Group on Data Revolution for Sustainable Development. Further details are provided below.
  • Stay tuned! PERN will be launching its redesigned Web site in January.

Friday, 05 September 2014

  • The International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP), a sponsor of PERN since its beginning, closed down as of June 2014. The work of IHDP will be carried forward by Future Earth, a a global research platform providing the knowledge and support to accelerate transformations to a sustainable world. IHDP has created a knowledge transfer database to help the community access the information that was generated by the project over nearly two decades. See http://www.ihdp.unu.edu.
  • PERN mourns the loss of Charles H. Teller. PERN Steering Committee member, Jason Bremner, wrote: "Charlie H. Teller, our mutual friend, colleague, and fellow lover of adventure passed away peacefully on August 28th, 2014 after suffering a heart attack. Charlie had a long and distinguished career in development, including a term as PRB Bixby Visiting Fellow, Senior Technical Advisor in the USAID Office of Population and Reproductive Health, director of the Peace Corps in Ethiopia and Visiting Professor at the Center for Population Studies at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. Charlie was a former steering committee member for PERN and a fixture at population environment sessions at IUSSP and PAA." For a sample of Charlie's work, see: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Charles_Teller.

Tuesday, 01 April 2014

  • PERN is pleased to announce the election of new steering committee members who will serve from 2014-2017: Richard Bilsborrow (Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina, USA), Dominic Kniveton (Dept. of Geography and Center for Migration Research, University of Sussex, UK), Landy Lizbeth Sanchez Peña (Population Studies, Colegio de Mexico, Mexico), and Leo Zulu (Dept. of Geography, Michigan State University).
  • We want to take this opportunity to thank our outgoing SC members – Diana Hummel (outgoing chair person), Maano Ramutsindela, Hamdou-Rabby Wane, and Yongyuan Yin – for their many contributions to the network. Steering Committee members help to provide overall direction to the network, and Diana and other former members have taken the lead on cyberseminars and the peer-reviewed publications that resulted from them.
  • Finally, we are pleased to announce that Dr. Yan Tan, ARC Queen Elizabeth II Fellow, Geography, Environment and Population, of the University of Adelaide, has accepted PERN’s invitation to become the next steering committee chair person. In addition, Dr. Sureeporn Punpuing of Mahidol University in Thailand will be the next IUSSP Council Liaison, replacing Dr. Alberto Paloni.
  • PERN co-Coordinator Susana Adamo co-edited with Adrian Hayes a special issue of Population and Environment on population and climate. Contributions were based on an IUSSP panel on the same topic.