Guangqing Chi

Professor and Director
Pennsylvania State University


Guangqing Chi

Dr. Guangqing Chi is an environmental demographer with a focus on socio-environmental systems. His research seeks to understand the interactions between human populations and the built and natural environments and to identify important social, environmental, infrastructural, and institutional assets to help vulnerable populations adapt and become resilient to environmental changes.

Chi investigates community development and resilience in response to climatic and environmental changes, as well as the impacts of transportation and infrastructure on population change, inequality, and health at multi-scales over time and across space. His current research focuses on climate change impacts on coastal communities in the Arctic and the pasture–migrant system in Central Asia. He leads several NSF-funded projects, including the $3 million multi-institutional, transdisciplinary POLARIS project to investigate how environmental changes and the COVID pandemic impact social well-being, the subsistence way of life, food security, migration, and community infrastructure in Arctic rural communities.

In the methodological domain, Chi’s work has led to innovative methods for identifying and measuring human–environment hotspots relating to land developability, population stress, wildfire–population corridors, ecosystems–development stress areas, rural land vulnerable to abandonment, critical riparian zones, and urban areas with high heat risks. He also led the development of spatiotemporal regression methods and applied them in his research on migration, poverty, and fertility. Chi is lead author of the textbook Spatial Regression Models for the Social Sciences (SAGE 2019). His current methodological focus is to build an infrastructure for collecting, integrating, and analyzing multi-dimensional and multi-scale data, including big social data (60+ TB; Twitter, Facebook, mobile phones, credit cards, web scraping).

Chi has received more than $50 million through 60+ grants from NSF, NIH, NASA, USDOT, DOD, SSRC, and others. He has authored or co-authored more than 120 publications, including 70+ peer-reviewed journal articles, that contribute to foundational advances in environmental demography, spatial demography, and the population–infrastructure nexus. His gasoline price research has been highlighted more than 2,000 times by such news outlets as National Public Radio, Money, and Huffington Post. His work on developing spatial methods for small-area population forecasting was awarded the E. Walter Terrie Best Paper Award twice by the Southern Demographic Association.

Articles by Guangqing Chi

Demographic Research
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Pennsylvania State University

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