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Syllabus: SOCY 7017 - Population and the Environment

Course Syllabus.  This course is a graduate seminar providing an overview of social science theory and research relating population and the environment.  In general, the readings and discussions provide insight into different arenas of association between humans and the environmental context.  For instance, the explore the values and perceptions which individuals hold regarding the environment will be explored.  The course will also examine human population factors related to climate change, biodiversity, and the ways in which gender mediates human-environment associations.  Specific regional research allows the opportunity to consider the ways in which demographic processes exert influences on these environmental resources, as well as the ways in which environmental characteristics exert influence on demographic processes.  Finally, there will be a week spent examining the social distribution of environmental hazards, an issue often termed "environmental justice." The readings represent recent academic research from multiple social science disciplines including sociology, geography, economics, and political science.  Through the course of the semester, the clasee will examine theoretical and empirical work at local, national, regional, and international scales, examining a wide range of domestic and international issues which relate to human-environment interactions.

Hunter, Lori. Sociology 7017: Population and Environment. Fall 2014. Environment and Society Program, Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado at Boulder.

Educational Resources
Year: 2017

Environmental Change, Migration, and Conflict in Africa

This article examines how migration may act as an intervening and causal variable between environmental change and conflict by combining climate-conflict and environment-migration research. It argues that  to understand the potential propensity of environmental change to lead to conflict in Africa, close attention needs to be paid to local-level manifestations of conflict and (mal)adaptive forms of migration.

Freeman, L. 2017. Environmental Change, Migration, and Conflict in Africa. The Journal of Environment & Development, doi: 1070496517727325.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1070496517727325
Journal Article
Year: 2017

Climate-induced migration: Exploring local perspectives in Kiribati

The study using a questionnaire (n = 60) as the primary method of data collection, explores  how local community members have taken it upon themselves to respond to the impacts of climate change by utilizing a number of different strategies. The results show that: first, respondents consider climate change to be the most concerning issue for sustaining their livelihoods; second, respondents have built physical defences, relocated temporarily or permanently, and sought government assistance to adapt to localized climate-related impacts; and third, the majority of respondents indicated that they would migrate as a long term strategy to respond to the future impacts of climate change.

Allgood, L. and K. E. McNamara. 2017. Climate-induced migration: Exploring local perspectives in Kiribati. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 38(3): 370-385.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/sjtg.12202
Journal Article
Year: 2017

Four decades of urban sprawl and population growth in Teresina, Brazil

The paper seeks to discuss trends of urban expansion and population growth with their social and environmental implications in the city of Teresina, the capital and largest city of the Brazilian state of Piauí over the last four decades (1974–2014).  

Espindola, G. M. d., E. L. N. d. C. Carneiro and A. C. Façanha. 2017.  Four decades of urban sprawl and population growth in Teresina, Brazil.  Applied Geography 79: 73-83.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeog.2016.12.018
Journal Article
Year: 2017

Syllabus: WWS 594-0 - Urbanization, Migration and Climate Change

This course will examine two hallmark demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the 21st century: urbanization and migration. It will place those changes in the context of climate-change adaptation and mitigation, and consider policy and programs that address these issues. The course will focus on changes in a developing-country context. Students will learn to examine theory and evidence (data and methods) that is used at the local, national and international level to understand populations at risk in the short and long-run, internal and international migration flows, city-growth and urban dynamism in the context of short and long-term climate-change related hazards (e.g., increased storms and associated flooding, sea-level rise, drought, changes in disease vectors, and so on).

Balk, Deborah. 2017. WWS 594-0 - Urbanization, Migration and Climate Change. Princeton University

Educational Resources
Year: 2017

Environmental inequality and pollution advantage among immigrants in the United States

The authors combine sociodemographic information from the American Community Survey with toxicity-weighted chemical concentrations (Toxics Release Inventory) to model the relationship between toxin exposure and the relative population of recent immigrants across Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs, n = 2054) during 2005–2011 to investigate whether new international migrants in the U.S. are exposed to environmental hazards and how this pattern varies among immigrant subpopulations (e.g., Hispanics, Asian, European).

Bakhtsiyarava, M. and R. J. Nawrotzki. 2017. Environmental inequality and pollution advantage among immigrants in the United States. Applied Geography 81: 60-69.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeog.2017.02.013
Journal Article
Year: 2017

Climate-influenced migration in Bangladesh: the need for a policy realignment

The paper focuses on an analysis of climate and development policies covering those dealing with development notably the country’s Sixth Five Year Plan (2011-15) and Outline Perspective Plan (to 2021), as well as its Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) progress report; and policies that deal with disasters, notably the National Plan for Disaster Management (2010-15).

Martin, M., Y. h. Kang, M. Billah, T. Siddiqui, R. Black and D. Kniveton. 2017. Climate-influenced migration in Bangladesh: the need for a policy realignment. Development Policy Review, doi: 10.1111/dpr.12260

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/dpr.12260
Journal Article
Year: 2017

Exploring short-term and long-term time frames in Australian population carrying capacity assessment

The author developed an Australian-orientated model, the Carrying Capacity Dashboard to explore temporal flexibility in resource-based carrying capacity modelling. The model offers users the ability to choose projected time frames of between one and 150 years for a variety of landscape scales and consumption patterns.

Lane, M. 2017. Exploring short-term and long-term time frames in Australian population carrying capacity assessment. Population and Environment 38(3): 309-324.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11111-016-0264-9
Journal Article
Year: 2017

Syllabus: SOC 4312.Population and Environment

Course Syllabus.  This course focuses on the relationship between human population and the environment. Students will learn about diverse populations, recent dynamics of world population, their effects on the global environmental systems, and reciprocal effects of environment on population growth and spatial distribution. In order to understand the current patterns of population growth, students will study the history of human populations and how characteristics of humans led to increased abundance of resources and high population growth. The course will also include case studies of human groups/societies that thrived or disappeared when faced with specific environmental conditions.  Future changes in population and environmental conditions will be also studied so students will be able to understand and work with the idea of global, sustainable human society.

SOC 4312.Population and Environment. Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work, texas Tech University

Educational Resource
Year: 2017

Climatic conditions and human mortality: spatial and regional variation in the United States

The study answers threee three research questions: (1) Are the effects of climatic conditions on mortality independent from those of social conditions? (2) If yes, do these climatic effects vary spatially in the US? (3) If there are spatial variations of climatic associations in the US, how are they distributed?

Yang, T.-C. and L. Jensen. 2017. Climatic conditions and human mortality: spatial and regional variation in the United States. Population and Environment 38(3): 261-285

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11111-016-0262-y
Journal Article
Year: 2017

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