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Kenneth M. Sylvester photo

Email Address
room: 2175 Perry


Google Scholar Profile

Kenneth M. Sylvester

Research Affiliate, Population Studies Center.

Research Associate Professor, Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research.

Ph.D., York University

Dr. Sylvester studies demographic and socioeconomic behavior in relation to environmental change. A historian by training, Sylvester uses census microdata, geo-spatial data, multivariate and simulation methods to study human-environment relationships, adaptive behavior, agrarian society and environmental impacts, mainly in western North America. Sylvester serves as PI and co-investigator on several awards (NIH, NSF and SSHRC), including the recently funded "Sustaining Populations and Landscapes at Risk." He also serves as incoming co-editor, with J. David Hacker, of the interdisciplinary journal Historical Methods.

Recent Publications


Gutmann, Myron, G.D. Deane, Kenneth M. Sylvester, and E.R. Merchant. 2011. Navigating Time and Space in Population Studies. New York : Springer. Abstract.

Journal Articles

Sylvester, Kenneth M., Myron Gutmann, and Daniel G. Brown. 2016. "At the margins: agriculture, subsidies and the shifting fate of North America's native grassland." Population and Environment, 37(3): 362-390. DOI. Abstract.

Sylvester, Kenneth M., Daniel G. Brown, Susan Hautaniemi Leonard, Emily Merchant, and Meghan Hutchins. 2015. "Exploring agent-level calculations of risk and returns in relation to observed land-use changes in the US Great Plains, 1870-1940." Regional Environmental Change, 15(2): 301-315. PMCID: PMC4340090. DOI. Abstract.

Sylvester, Kenneth M., Daniel G. Brown, G. Deane, and R. Kornak. 2013. "Land transitions in the American plains: Multilevel modeling of drivers of grassland conversion (1956-2006)." Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment, 168: 7-15. PMCID: PMC3634617. DOI. Abstract.

Maxwell, S., and Kenneth M. Sylvester. 2012. "Identification of "ever-cropped" land (1984-2010) using Landsat annual maximum NDVI image composites: Southwestern Kansas case study." Remote Sensing of Environment, 121: 186-195. PMCID: PMC3298121. DOI. Abstract.

Sylvester, Kenneth M., and E.S A. Rupley. 2012. "Revising the Dust Bowl: High Above the Kansas Grasslands." Environmental History, 17(3): 603-633. PMCID: PMC4185197. DOI. Abstract.


Field, S.A., Kenneth M. Sylvester, and R.P. Tucker. 2015. "Climate and North American History: The State of the Field." In Cultural Dynamics of Climate Change and the Environment in Northern America edited by Bernd Sommer. Leiden: Brill.

Sylvester, Kenneth M., and Susan Hautaniemi Leonard. 2015. "Revisiting wealth on the American frontier: the distribution of land in Kansas, 1875-1940." In Lives in Transition: Longitudinal Analysis from Historical Sources edited by P. Baskerville and K. Inwood. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press.

Leonard, Susan Hautaniemi, Myron Gutmann, Glenn D. Deane , and Kenneth M. Sylvester. 2010. "Drought and the Lifecycle/Landuse Trajectory in Agricultural Households." In Demographic Responses to Economic and Environmental Crises, Proceedings of the IUSSP Seminar May 21-23, 2009, Reitaku University edited by Satomi Kuroso, Tommy Bengtsson and Cameron Campbell. Kashiwa, Japan: Reitaku University.

View additional select publications of Kenneth M. Sylvester