About Us

The Center for the Study of Institutions, Population, and Environmental Change is a center funded by the National Science Foundation that studies processes of change in forest environments as mediated by institutional arrangements, demographic factors, and other major human driving forces. CIPEC is directed by Tom Evans.

CIPEC uses three broad questions to organize its diverse research agenda:
  1. How are regional and global political and economic processes linked to human behaviors at household and community levels?
  2. How can macro-scale physical and biological processes observed and modeled at a global scale be linked to meso and micro human organizational and decision-making processes?
  3. How do institutional arrangements influence the direction and size of the impact of human driving forces, such as population density and transportation networks, on ecosystems and global change?

CIPEC activities include interdisciplinary training and research on these questions focusing primarily on the Western Hemisphere while at the same time working interactively with other HDGC centers. Sustained training efforts directed toward the conduct of new fieldwork will include research methods ranging from (a) the interpretation of data collected by satellite and aerial photographs based on detailed studies of woody vegetation composition and condition in a sample of sites at diverse latitudes, (b) the use of GIS and relational databases to integrate vector and raster data obtained from various scales, (c) the use of household surveys to obtain data about family and farm-level decision making, (d) the use of group interviews and forest mensuration techniques to obtain insight into the decisions made by user groups and their impact on local forest resources, and (e) use of archival and census data from diverse jurisdictional levels, time periods, and countries to give estimates of the population dynamics involved.

CIPEC was originally funded as part of the Human Dimension Program of the National Science Foundation (NSF).

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Related Academic Programs at Indiana University:
Non-Governmental Organizations

Social Science Research Centers