Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Lisa Pearce at the Wolong Nature Reserve

I am here in the Wolong Nature Reserve of Sichuan, China with Prof. Jack Liu and some of his colleagues and graduate students from Michigan State University's Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability. They have been showing Scott Yabiku (Arizona State) and I around to get a feel for their study area and helping us interview elderly residents about social change over the years. We are getting descriptions of when and why the various roads, schools, health clinics, police stations, and other social institutions came to be. We are gathering ideas for how we might collect retrospective social context data via Neighborhood History Calendars in this setting. Of course, a major point of focus is the massive earthquake one year ago. The epicenter was not far from here and the damage was considerable. Most residents are living in temporary housing along the river in the valley and walking to their fields each day to tend the corn and cabbage. Although the last few decades have brought striking social change to this area, nothing has been so dramatic and so quick to alter the social organization of life as the earthquake. The plan is to relocate farmers from all the surrounding hillsides to the river valley in group housing and provide them vocational training to work in what the government officials hope to be a booming tourist industry for seeing Giant Pandas, taking in the beauty of the valley and its forceful, boulder-filled river, and escaping the heat of Chengdu or other urban areas in Sichuan and beyond.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Update from Beijing—Lisa Pearce

Nǐhǎo from China. Yesterday morning our research team met with Prof. Li Dihua and his graduate students in the Graduate School of Landscape Architecture at Peking University. They have designed the post-earthquake reconstruction plan for Wolong Nature Reserve in Sichuan Province.

Yesterday afternoon I gave a talk to students and faculty at the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. I presented some of my mixed method research on how household structure, economic strategies, and local agricultural practices shape environmental consumption in Nepal.

In our free time, I have visited the Great Wall, Olympic Park, and Tiananmen Square. Beijing is an amazing city--large and vibrant!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lisa Pearce is in China

Lisa Pearce (CPC Fellow) is in China as a part of her involvement in the NSF PIRE project "Collaborative Research and Training in Social Context, Population Processes, and Environmental Change." See for more details. She will post updates on her travels when possible.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

What I saw at PAA

  • a great presidential address by Kathie Harris
  • young and senior researchers with a genuine passion for their past and present work
  • a successful group of CPC alumni
  • excellent poster presentations
  • lots of smart people, except when navigating the hotel elevator
  • a tolerant group of photo subjects
  • an impressive group of CPC researchers, trainees, and staff

Friday, May 1, 2009

Margarita Mooney

presents her poster: Religion, Aging and International Migration: Evidence from the Mexican Health and Aging Survey, on Friday, May 1st.

Yingchun Ji

presents her poster: A Reasoned Choice Approach: How Economic and Ideological Factors Interact to Shape the Timing of Marriage, on Friday, May 1.
Publish Post

Andy Sharma

presents his poster: Examining Health Utilization in Later-Life Using Count Models on Friday, May 1.

Margarita Mooney is blogging, too

Margarita Mooney, CPC Fellow, is blogging about her experience at PAA at

On-site Support for NIH Public Access Policy

While at the APLIC conference in Ann Arbor earlier this week, I received an e-mail from an Information Core Director of another population center. He said he was “befuddled” by the NIH Public Access Policy and asked if I would be at PAA in Detroit and would be willing to meet to help him understand the policy. He had seen the CPC website about the policy here.

I met with him today and we talked about the big picture of the policy and the details about compliance. He ended our lunch meeting by saying that he has a lot of work to do before the May 15th deadline, but he has a better sense of what he needs to do.

By the way, if you are befuddled – or know someone who is – let me know, I can help.

Lori Delaney

Poster Sessions and Information Booth

Yesterday was my poster session. There were tons of fantastic posters examining child health and poverty. The people presenting the posters and those who came to view our work came from all over the country and the world. I asked the people presenting posters (that were near my poster) if I could take their pictures. Unfortunately, they were a bit camera shy. A lot of CPCers, including Kathie Harris, came by the poster session. I was able to get someone to snap a shot of the two of us in front of my poster.

I volunteered at the information booth after my poster session. PAA members asked a lot of questions. The Renaissance Center is a beautiful building, but it can be a little tricky to navigate. I did my best to direct people to the Ontario Exhibit Hall (where the poster sessions where being held) and to the People Mover. The Detroit Area bus tour was also very popular and many people were interested in attending the tour. My most interesting request was from a group of people from Asia, who wanted to know if they could go to Canada with a passport and an American visa.

One of the great things about PAA is that you see many familiar faces, but also get to meet new people at every meeting. I always look forward to coming to these meetings.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

PAA 2009 in Detroit

I arrived in Detroit this morning from Ann Arbor, where I attended APLIC's 42nd Annual Conference at the University of Michigan. It was a fantastic conference featuring Myron Gutmann of ICPSR as our keynote speaker.

I was in the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center no more than 10 minutes and I see Jodie Lee, which was a pleasant surprise. I knew she would be very visible because she has helped Kathie Harris to organize the whole conference, I just didn’t think I would see her right away!

I attended the session about The Future of Survey Research. Barbara Entwisle was one of the speakers. Barbara and the other presenters talked about how survey research has changed over the years and about some of the opportunities and challenges for the future. Some of the content expanded on what I heard at the APLIC conference including the strengths of linking data sets in population research and concerns about respondent confidentiality (especially with spatial data).

I forgot my personal digital camera in my hotel room across the skyway so I played sidekick to Nancy Dole as we tried to learn CPC’s fantastic new digital camera, the Canon PowerShot SD1100 (available for CPCers to use, contact the CPC library to reserve it). Thankfully, current and former CPCers are so willing to have their photos taken! And if they’re not, sometimes I just say Swasey said so.

Nancy and I stopped by the Measure Evaluation booth in the exhibit hall. The new “seamless” booth looks fantastic and Leah Gordon said that it’s easy to assemble, as long as it’s shipped to the hotel directly.

Photo is of the Marriott Hotel taken from my hotel. Note the People Mover at the station near the left and the Detroit River in the distance beyond/above the People Mover. I haven’t determined whether General Motors owns the Renaissance Center or whether the Renaissance Center is featuring the GM brand but for some reason “General Motors” appears on the front of the hotel.

Lori Delaney

PAA day 1

It's a rainy day in Detroit, but that hasn't interfered with all the PAA activities at the Marriott Detroit. I participated in a meeting of the computer directors of several of the other population centers yesterday afternoon and we shared ideas and issues that many of us are facing. It's a great way to meet research services counterparts from all over the country.

Many CPC alumni are here -- I've talked with Joe Rogers, Susan Newcomer, Ray Langsten, Craig St. John, Tom McDevitt, Jeff Edmeades, Martin Piotrowski, Yuying Tong, Bill Pan, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of our current and former folks.

Lori Delaney and I took some pictures of the poster session this afternoon, but I don't have the camera cable to upload at this time. Swasey may be able to help us when he arrives tomorrow.

Several of us are taking the tour of Detroit later today. Even with the rain, it should be an interesting view of the Motor City.

Hope all is well at CPC!


Detroit People Mover

I arrived in Detroit yesterday and had a chance to explore some of the interesting areas outside of the Renaissance Center by getting on the Detroit People Mover. The People Mover is an automated guide way transportation system that circulates around downtown Detroit. I used it to get to Greek Town. Even though Greek Town is a short walk away (.5 miles), you can see a lot of the downtown sights in the People Mover, since it is elevated. Some of the sites include the Detroit Riverwalk and Comerica Park. It only cots 50 cents to go on the People Mover and it is a great way to do some quick sight-seeing in between PAA sessions. The food in Greek Town was tasty and authentic. I am sure a lot of PAA attendees will find good places to eat there.

Monday, April 27, 2009

PAA Detroit 2009

Welcome to CPC's coverage of the Population Association of America's (PAA) annual meeting. The Population Association of America is a nonprofit, scientific, professional organization established to promote the improvement, advancement, and progress of the human race through research of problems related to human population. We hope that you can experience the important training and info sharing at this meeting either in person or from afar.