About the Population and Environment Research Network

Mission and Organization
Steering Committee

Mission and Organization

PERN's mission is to facilitate scientific analysis and dialogue about population environment relationships. It is an Internet-based network that is open and free to all who are interested in population environment research. PERN's activities include the collection and annotation of relevant web-links, recent publications, and syllabi in an online database, hosting cyberseminars, and the provision of information on meetings, grant and job opportunities and member research.

The Population Environment Research Network was launched in 2001 by the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP).  PERN is a scientific panel of IUSSP and is a sustained partner of Future Earth, a global research platform to accelerate our transformations to a sustainable world. PERN receives in-kind support from the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC), managed by Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at Columbia University, which hosts the website.  Additional funding sources since PERN's inception can be found on the bottom of this page.

PERN is managed by senior population-environment scientists, the co-Coordinators (Drs. Adamo and de Sherbinin), whose work is guided by a Steering Committee of internationally recognized experts and liaisons from the sponsoring institutions.

PERN is fully Internet based, which promotes efficiency and inclusiveness. Via the Internet, PERN does the following:

  • PERN collects and disseminates ongoing, new, and classic work in the population-environment field in an online eLibrary, which includes short abstracts and special keyword search terms. 
  • PERN facilitates global dialogue between scientists by holding regular cyberseminars on selected topics, and by promoting and archiving (on the Internet) real-time workshops and conference sessions.
  • PERN collects syllabi on population-environment courses from around the world and makes them easily available.
  • PERN provides member services such as a regular What's New with upcoming conferences, workshops, job and grant opportunities, and a keyword-driven searchable member database. Members sign up free online.

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Steering Committee

  • Dr. Landy Lizbeth Sanchez Peña , Associate Prof, El Colegio de México, Mexico (Chairperson)
  • Dr. Richard Bilsborrow, Research professor, University of North Carolina, USA
  • Dr. Andres Ignacio, Director for Planning and Geomatics, Environmental Science for Social Change (non-profit), Philippines
  • Dr. Leiwen Jiang, Project Scientist III, National Center for Atmospheric Resaerch and Asian Demographic Research Institute, Shanghai University, USA/China
  • Dr. Dominic Kniveton, Professor of Climate Science and Society, University of Sussex, UK
  • 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
  • Dr. David Wrathall, Assistant Professor, Oregon State University, USA
  • Dr. Leo C. Zulu, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Michigan State University, USA

Ex-Officio Members:

Former members with affiliations associated with their time of service on the steering committee: Dr. Rimjhim Aggarwal (Arizona State University, USA), Dr. Alisson Barbieri* (Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil), Dr. Simon Batterbury (University of Melbourne, Australia), Dr. Jason Bremner (Population, Health and Environment, Population Reference Bureau, USA), Dr. David Lopez-Carr (University of California at Santa Barbara, USA), Dr. Sara Curran (Univ. of Washington, USA), Dr. Roberto do Carmo (Dept of Demography and Population Studies Unit, University of Campinas, Brazil), Dr. Stephanie Dos Santos (Laboratory for Population, Environment, and Development, Institute for Development Research, France), Dr. Christophe Guilmoto (CICRED, France), Dr. Sabine Henry (Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix, Belgium), Dr. Daniel Hogan (NEPO, Univ. of Campinas, Brazil), Dr. Diana Hummel* (Institute for Social-Ecological Research, Germany), Dr. Lori Hunter* (University of Colorado at Boulder, USA), Dr. Haydea Izazola* (Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana-Xochimilco, Mexico), Dr. Jack Liu (Michigan State Univ., USA), Dr. Wolfgang Lutz (IIASA, Austria), Dr. Landis MacKellar* (Vienna Demographic Institute and IIASA, Austria), Dr. Robin Marsh (University of California at Berkeley, USA), Dr. Vinod Mishra* (Demographic and Health Survey, Macro Inc., USA), Dr. Kwasi Nsiah-Gyabaah (Sunyani Polytechnic, Ghana), Dr. Brian O'Neill (IIASA, Austria, and Brown University, USA), Dr. Maano Ramutsindela (Environmental and Geographical Science Department of the University of Cape Town, South Africa), Dr. Xizhe Peng (Fudan Univ., China), Dr. Atiqur Rahman (Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi, India), Dr. Ronald Rindfuss* (Univ. of North Carolina and Carolina Population Center, USA), Dr. Yan Tan* (University of Adelaide, Australia),  Dr. Michael Teitelbaum (Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, USA), Dr. Wayne Twine (University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa), Mr. Hamdou-Rabby Wane (UN Economic Commission for Africa, Ethiopia), and Dr. Yongyuan Yin (Adaptation and Impacts Research Group, Environment Canada and the UBC School of Forestry, Canada).

*Former chair persons of the SC.

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Network co-Coordinators:

  • Dr. Susana Beatriz Adamo, Research Scientist, Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), Columbia University, Palisades, New York.
  • Dr. Alex de Sherbinin, Associate Director for Science Applications, Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN), Columbia University, Palisades, New York.

Other Network Staff:

  • Senior Network Assistant: Ms. Lisa Lukang, Information Specialist, CIESIN, Columbia University.
  • Webmaster: Ms. Annie Gerard, Senior Web Designer, CIESIN, Columbia University.

Former PERN Staff:

  • Dr. Catherine Marquette (co-Coordinator 2000-2002)
  • Dr. Laura Murphy (co-Coordinator 2000-2002)
  • Dr. Annababette Wils (Coordinator 2002-2003)

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PERN was launched in February 2001 with initial funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur foundation. Since its inception PERN has received in kind technical support for web site development/maintenence and network management from the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC)

Over the years, the Network has received modest financial support from a number of donors (listed in alphabetical order):

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