In the longer term, research should also examine interrelationships of global change with human fertility and mortality processes.
The International Union for the Scientific Study of Population has a committee on population and the environment, which has been active with other international organizations in sponsoring research seminars. For example, in October 1994 it will hold a conference on population and the environment in arid regions, cosponsored with the International Geographic Union and the Population Division of UNESCO.
The HDP has identified research on demographic changes as an element of its research focus on Social Dimensions of Resource Use. Its plans include developing and experimenting with models of global scale that include population variables and developing methods for analyzing population-environment dynamics within particular countries. The research directions we identify here are quite compatible with the international plans for HDP, making it likely that U.S. research and international efforts will be mutually reinforcing.
The research program should represent a mix of institutional support and investigator-initiated research. Appropriate use of the advances being made in the general area of geographic information systems requires specialized hardware, software, and personnel that could not be funded on any single investigator-initiated research grant. This type of infrastructure should be made available through institutional support. At least 75 percent of the research funding in this area, however, should be made available through investigator-initiated research grants. Because this is a new area requiring multidisciplinary teams, it will be necessary at first to rely on Requests for Applications to generate high-quality proposals.
Much of the federally funded scientific research in the population area is funded through the Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Coordination between that agency and USGCRP is essential.