The complex interactions between population and the environment represent important arenas of inquiry for CU Population Center (CUPC) affiliates, and can be categorized into three broad arenas:
- Population, Natural Resources, and Social Institutions: Affiliates have been active in research on population and natural resources in the U.S., Brazil, Pakistan, South Africa, and Tanzania. An important analytical focus has been on how social institutions mediate human reactions to environmental change. As an example, work has been undertaken regarding the association between property rights and deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon.
- Population Dynamics and Environmental Hazards: Interactions between social, natural, and technological systems can produce environmental hazards, and both natural hazards (e.g., earthquakes, hurricanes) and technological environmental hazards (e.g., nuclear waste facilities, chemical spills) are on the rise. CUPC affiliates are involved in research to examine the associations between demographic processes and both natural and human-made environment hazards.
- Sociodemographic Variation in Environmental Perceptions: Although public environmental awareness and concern has increased over the past 2 decades, demographic variation exists. CUPC affiliates are engaged in scholarship to examine the ways in which social and demographic factors help understand variation in environmental perceptions.