I joined the faculty of the University of Washington‘s Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies and the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy & Governance in 2005.

I am Professor of International Studies, Professor of Public Policy & Governance & Professor of Sociology.   I am an Adjunct Professor of Global Health and affiliate faculty of the Center for Global Studies and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies.

I hold degrees from the University of Michigan (B.S., Natural Resource Management), North Carolina State University (M.S., Sociology and Economics), and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Ph.D., Sociology).

Currently, I serve as director of the UW’s Center for Studies in Demography & Ecology.  Recently and delightedly, I was selected to join the Executive Council of UW President Ana Mari Cauce’s new Population Health Initiative.  This exciting endeavor provides an outstanding opportunity to amplify UW’s substantial health research, training, and applications across the entire campus on behalf of local and global healthy outcomes.

I research gender, migration, and environment in developing countries.  Current projects include social change and migration, climate change and migration, and disaster disparities. I have authored work that appears in ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social SciencesDemography, Population and Development Review, Social Science Research, Social ForcesTeaching Sociology, Journal of International Women’s Studies, Ambio, Population & Environment, and Journal of Marriage and the Family.

Most recent c.v. [July 2017]

Call for Papers

I am editing a special issue of Social Sciences.  Please consider submitting a paper by October 1, 2017.

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor

Professor Sara R. Curran

Special Issue Information

Ever since Ehrlich and Holdren proposed the IPAT model in the early 1970s, social scientists have sought to provide elaborations and evaluate the evidence against their model. However, the onset of global climate change research has overtaken much of the nuanced understandings associated with earlier empirical and theoretical work about population, development, and environment linkages. In this Special Issue, we seek to publish papers that reinvigorate this earlier line of inquiry with data and theories that can do so in the context of also understanding the current and future impact of global climate change. Innovative methodologies and a greater array of data sources at multiple levels of analysis should facilitate the observation and evaluation of linkages across these three domains. This Special Issue welcomes research papers at any scale, from global to local, but these should explicitly observe factors in each domain and the mechanisms linking across domains. Papers should conform to basic social science research expectations and include a theoretical framework and systematic evaluation of evidence.

Recent Talks


On March 14, 2017, I delivered the 10th D.B. Doran Annual Lecture on Population, Resources and Development at the Hebrew University.  You can view the talk here.  The program is hosted by Hebrew University’s Department of Sociology and Glocal MA Program .


Recent Publications

Fussell, Elizabeth, Sara R. Curran, Matthew Dunbar, Michael A. Babb, and Jacqueline Meijer-Irons. 2017. “Weather-Related Hazards and Population Change: A Study of Hurricanes and Tropical Storms in the United States, 1980-2012.” ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences. Volume 669 (1): 146-167.

Curran, Sara R. 2016. “Migration and Development: Virtuous and Vicious Cycles.” in Hooks, Gregory (editor). The Sociology of Development Handbook. Berkeley, CA: UC Press.  Pp. 311-339.

Curran, Sara R., Jacqueline Meijer-Irons & Filiz Garip. 2016. “Economic Shock and Migration: Economic Effects, Migrant Responses, and Migrant Cumulative Causation.” Sociology of Development. 2 (2).

Current Grants

PI, NICHD-R24 Population Research Infrastructure grant

PI, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant to study family planning progress.

Current Service


Officer, Association of Population Centers

University of Washington:

Member, Executive Council, Population Health Initiative

Founding Faculty Advisor, Jackson School Journal of International Studies, 2009-present

Founder, JSIS Applied Research Projects, 2009-present

Member, Carnegie Corporation Grant team, Bridging the Divide. 2014-present.

Member, Admissions Committee, MAIS, Jackson School of International Studies

Member, Admissions Committee, PhD, Department of Sociology

Member, Thomas Francis and Stergachis Fellowship Committee, Department of Global Health