Author: Alex de Sherbinin

Alex de Sherbinin is associate director for science applications at the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN). A geographer whose research interests focus on the human aspects of environmental change at local, national, and global scales, he is deputy manager of the NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) operated by CIESIN, chair of the CODATA Global Roads Data Development Working Group, and a coordinator of the Population-Environment Research Network, a network of more than 1,800 social and natural scientists around the world. Prior to joining CIESIN he served as a Program Officer with the Social Policy Program of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Gland, Switzerland, and a population geographer at the Population Reference Bureau (PRB), Washington, DC. He was also a Peace Corps volunteer in Mauritania, West Africa.

Science Journalists and the Data Revolution

by | 3.24.2015 at 2:15pm
SDG diagram

Journalist Cheryl Philips described using publicly accessible records of infrastructure assessments done by the Department of Transportation in Washington State to map the most vulnerable bridges and to tell the story behind a bridge that collapsed, killing several people. John Bohannon of Science Magazine used iPython coding to send a fake journal article to close to 200 open access journals in a sting operation to uncover the lack of peer review of a clearly flawed article.

Mekong Delta and Three Gorges Dam: World’s First Climate Change Resettlements?

by | 3.6.2014 at 12:40pm
display at Three Gorges Dam Museum in Chongqing

Many resettlers are economically better off, but the dislocations remain significant, especially for older resettlers, who have a harder time getting work in the newly developed industrial sector. Although the plight of some resettlers has been quite difficult (one older man competed fiercely to serve as a porter for us for the royal sum of $6), and there are stories of suicide in some resettler communities, it is hard to separate the problems they face from the larger dislocations that are so prevalent in 21st century China.

China’s Long March Towards Better Environmental Conditions

by | 1.6.2012 at 6:26pm
Image of report cover

The first independent analysis of China environmental data at the sub-national level by an international team aims to help guide the development of policies addressing environmental challenges created by China’s rapid growth.

Migration in the Face of Global Environmental Change

by | 10.24.2011 at 10:27am | 2 Comments
Map showing migration in dry ecosystems

Over the past 40 years, coastal and inland water ecosystems experienced the greatest levels of net in-migration, vs. mountain, forest, cultivated, and dryland ecosystems, which experienced the greatest levels of net out-migration, says a new report.

Major Spatial Data Collection Released

by | 10.3.2011 at 3:52pm | 1 Comment
global map of the world with points showing urban extent

Urbanization poses both challenges and opportunities for sustainable development and environmental management. Improved data on patterns of human settlement and trends in population can help researchers and policy makers better understand differences between urban and rural areas in terms of their impacts on the environment and vulnerability to environmental variability and change. The newly released []

The Pitfalls of ‘Saving’ the Rainforest

by | 12.16.2009 at 12:27pm | 5 Comments

For years, activists have sought to “save the rainforest.” Now, it looks like there could be a mechanism to do just that. It was announced yesterday that negotiators have reached a nearly final agreement on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation, or REDD, in which polluters in the north will pay rainforest countries to keep from cutting forests. Many forest-rich countries would like to benefit from […]