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a research center of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Indiana University Bloomington


Understanding how and why some forests are fragmented, degraded, and losing species, while other forests are in good condition and even regrowing and expanding, is a puzzle to any thoughtful observer of the environment.

In a world which is experiencing unprecedented degrees of environmental change and degradation at a global scale, one sees evidence of restoration, suggesting that under certain conditions, people can self-organize and stem the steady loss of the ecological systems that sustain us.

At the Center for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Environmental Change (CIPEC) we are dedicated to understanding these processes and sharing this knowledge with the scientific community and the public.

What's New at CIPEC

August 6, 2014: Lee Alston is named the new Director of the Ostrom Workshop.

Graham Epstein, Jessica Vogt, Sarah Mincey, Michael Cox, and Burney Fischer have won the 2nd annual Ostrom Memorial Award for Most Innovative Paper of the Year from the International Journal of the Commons.

Fall 2013: OVPR Center and Institute Pooled Fund for Excellence grant awarded to Tom Evans, Burney Fischer, Rinku Roy Chowdhury, and Alan Ewert

Fall 2013: 2013–14 Graduate Grant Recipients from IU's Office of Sustainability: Jacob Bower-Bir and Ursula Kreitmair, Paul McCord and Jampel Dell’ Angelo, and Jess Vogt

June 13, 2013: 2013–14 recipients of Sustainability Course Development Fellowship: Dan Cole, Tom Evans, James Farmer, and Burney Fischer

May 22, 2013: Elinor Ostrom Award winners announced, congratulations to CIPEC colleagues Harini Nagendra, Charlie Schweik and Michael Cox

Elinor Ostrom Award

April 23, 2013: Dr. Burnell Fischer honored by Arbor Day Foundation

The IU News Room

Arbor Day

February 25, 2013: Search committee formed to name new director of IU's Ostrom Workshop

The IU News Room

November 16, 2012: CIPEC's Bloomington Urban Forestry Research Group awarded Excellence in Research from IUB's Campus Sustainability Awards

The IU News Room

October 23, 2012: IU researchers Dr. Burnell C. Fischer, Jessica M. Vogt, Sarah K. Mincey and Shannon Lea Watkins awarded funding to study neighborhood-level tree planting

The IU News Room

A memorial service for Vincent and Elinor Ostrom was held on October 15, 2012. Please visit the Ostrom Workshop website for more information.

The Vincent and Elinor Ostrom Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis

June 12, 2012: CIPEC colleagues mourn the loss of their co-founder and mentor, Elinor Ostrom

The IU News Room

Lin's IU page

New York Times

USA Today

Bangalore Citizen Matters


Research by IU professors   Tom Evans and Scott Robeson (Geography), Kelly Caylor at Princeton University and colleagues at the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature in Japan (RIHN), will study how smallholders in rural Zambia cope with climate variability in a new project funded by the National Science Foundation. Read more here...

Zambia research

Multidisciplinary team led by Tom Evans will research the impact of climate change and capacity for adaptation in a new project funded by the National Science Foundation. Read more here...

Courtesy of Indiana University