Spatial Demography (3) This graduate course will expose students to spatial analysis tools and analytical methods applied to demographic research.
SOC (ANTH) 579 Spatial Demography (3)
The improved application of spatial data and methods to demographic research is a critical methodological challenge facing demographers today. This graduate seminar is designed to focus on substantive demographic research topics while exposing sociologists and demographers to challenges in, and opportunities for, using geographic information systems (GIS), spatial analysis, and spatial statistics in their own research. Substantive foci will include readings and discussions of spatial perspectives on topics such as racial/ethnic segregation, spatial mismatch/entrapment, poverty, crime/delinquency, migration, health inequalities, wellbeing, maternal and child health, environmental justice, and population and environment relations. Similarly, the seminar will highlight connections between spatial concepts and data availability (e.g., Modifiable Areal Unit Problem - MAUP; data privacy), other emerging methodological approaches to studying society (e.g., contextual modeling, multi-level modeling and the area of neighborhood effects) as well as the integration of different types of data (e.g. qualitative data and quantitative data). Throughout the course lectures and discussions will be complemented with lab sessions introducing spatial analysis methods and GIS and spatial analysis software. The lab sessions will include the use of among other software GeoDa, CrimeStat, R, and ArcGIS (including Geostatistical Analyst and Spatial Analyst extensions). These lab sessions will introduce many methodological and technical issues relevant to spatial analysis (e.g., error, data validation, data integration, cartography, exploratory spatial data analysis, spatial regression modeling, geographically weighted regression, point pattern analysis and geostatistics). Assignments for the courses include up to two writing assignments, up to four lab assignments, and a final project which will be presented as a short 15-minute presentation as well as submitted as a term paper. The writing assignments will include an annotated bibliography/brief literature review within a selected demographic theme area and a profile of a well-known demographer and their adoption of spatial thinking/perspectives/methods. The lab assignments will focus on building geospatial databases, basic spatial analysis, exploratory spatial data analysis, and spatial regression modeling. The courses will include other labs and assignements that will be completed for no grade; these are inteded as mechanisms/opportunities for developing and enhancing familiarity with selected software, data resources, and analytic methods.
Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.