Special Announcements

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.

Friday, 20 December 2013

  • Many online networks for researchers or other communities of interest were begun around the year 2000, but PERN is one of the few to have stood the test of time. For more than a decade PERN has been serving the research community focused broadly on population-environment studies. PERN now has more than 2,000 members from all over the world, divided evenly between low- and high-income countries. It has hosted 20 online seminars that resulted in five articles in high impact journals such as Population & Environment and Global Environmental Change. PERN’s online eLibrary of peer-reviewed and gray literature, which has customized key word search capabilities to get at the literature most desired, features close to 3,000 citations. To celebrate these achievements, PERN was featured recently in CIESIN’s “In the Spotlight”. More on PERN’s history can be found at http://populationenvironmentresearch.org/aboutus.jsp.
  • PERN co-coordinators Susana Adamo and Alex de Sherbinin have a chapter on “Migration and Environmental Change in North America” in the book People on the Move in a Changing Climate: The Regional impact of Environmental Change on Migration by Etienne Piguet and Frank Laczo, editors. Each chapter in this volume addresses a world region. For more information visit: http://www.springer.com/us/book/9789400769847.
  • PERN wishes to thank the facilitators, Leiwen Jiang and David Wrathall, and invited experts for the two cyberseminars held in October on Shared Socioeconomic Pathways and Loss and Damage, respectively. The expert contributions and a complete archive of the discussions are available at http://populationenvironmentresearch.org/seminars.jsp.