The University of New Mexico’s Geospatial and Population Studies hosts the Second Biennial Population and Public Policy Conference on Feb. 8-9 at Hotel Albuquerque in  Old Town.

Two featured speakers are planned. Dr. Douglas Massey will speak during Saturday’s lunch, on “Doubling Down on a Bad Bet: Immigration Policy Before and After Trump.” Massey is the Henry G. Bryant Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Timothy P. Olson will speak during Friday’s lunch, on “U.S. Census Bureau: “What You Can Do to Make Sure the 2020 Census Reflects Who We Are.” Olson is the associate director for field operations at the U.S. Census Bureau.

The 2020 Census will take center stage with another plenary, chaired by Robert Rhatigan, associate director of UNM’s Geospatial and Population Studies. Local issues will be the focus of the plenary “A la Merced: New Mexico’s Historic Rural Populations, Economic Distress, and Public Policy Challenges,” chaired by Dr. L.M. Garcia y Griego, UNM associate professor of history and Chicana and Chicano Studies.

Demographers, researchers, students and others will be able to choose from dozens of sessions, offered by speakers from several countries. Local speakers will also address issues such as health geography, refugee resettlement, intersectionality and social justice policy, the relationship between language and health and the intersection between immigration policy and higher education.

The admission charge covers sessions, breakfasts, lunches, a welcoming reception, which is sponsored by Cropper GIS (Delaware, Ohio), McKibben Demographics (Rock Hill, S.C.) and the Social Science Research Center, Mississippi State University (Starkville, Miss.) and more. Credentialed members of the press can observe the conference freely at no cost. 

Also, a number of students have submitted papers to the conference that will be considered for the inaugural Guillermina Jasso Student Paper Award. The award comes with a certificate and $500 for the best paper. Runners-up receive certificates and smaller cash awards.

The conference is presented by the International Association of Applied Demographers and hosted by the University of New Mexico Geospatial and Population Studies and the University of Houston Hobby Center for Public Policy.

Dr. David Swanson (University of California Riverside), a program organizer, along with Dr. Dely Alcantara (UNM) and Dr. Nazrul Hoque (University of Houston), notes that the conference is the latest in a series of application-oriented population conferences that began at Bowling Green State University (Ohio) in 1986.

To register or learn more, see