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  • Shell Center for Sustainability
  • Shell Center for Sustainability
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The Shell Center for Sustainability's mission is to foster an interdisciplinary program of research, outreach, and education to address actions that can be taken to ensure the sustainable development of communities' living standards, interpreted broadly, to encompass all factors affecting the overall quality of life.

Dr. Stephen L. Klineberg

Director, Institute of Urban Research
Department of Sociology
Rice University

Rice University  A graduate of Haverford College near Philadelphia, Professor Klineberg received an M.A. in Psychopathology from the University of Paris and a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Harvard. After teaching at Princeton, he joined Rice University's Sociology Department in 1972. The recipient of ten major teaching awards, including the George R. Brown Lifetime Award for Excellence in Teaching, he is a faculty associate and divisional advisor at Lovett College, where he twice served as Interim Master.
In March 1982, he and his students initiated the annual Houston Area Survey, now in its 29th year of tracking the changes in the demographic patterns, life experiences, attitudes, and beliefs of Harris County residents. The Houston region recovered from the collapse of the oil-boom in the 1980s to find itself squarely in the midst of a restructured economy and a demographic revolution. No other city in America has been the focus of a long-term longitudinal research program of this scope. None more clearly exemplifies the transformations that are refashioning the social and political landscape of urban America.
The project has attracted great interest and generous support from foundations, corporations, and individuals in the wider Houston community and beyond. That support has made it possible not only to fund these professional surveys, but also to expand the research each year with additional interviews in Houston's Anglo, African-American, and Latino communities. In 1995 and 2002, the surveys reached large representative samples from Houston’s Asian communities as well, with one-fourth of the interviews conducted in Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, or Korean.
Co-author of The Present of Things Future: Explorations of Time in Human Experience, Dr. Klineberg has written numerous journal articles and research reports, and appears frequently on radio and television. He is also the founding Co-director of Rice University’s “Institute for Urban Research.” Its mission is to provide a permanent home for the annual Houston Area Survey, stimulate other metropolitan research, sponsor educational programs, and engage in public outreach that advances understanding of pressing urban issues and fosters the development of more humane and sustainable cities.

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