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Dr. Michael Irwin is Associate Professor and Chair of the Sociology Department. He joined Duquesne University's Sociology Department in 1995. His research interests include socio-spatial processes, urban & community studies, demography, and social ecology. He has published twelve academic articles including publications in American Sociological Review, Social Forces, Rural Sociology and Population. Additionally he has published twenty book chapters and reports, and received over twenty grants. These include funding from the National Science Foundation, United States Department of Agriculture's National Research Initiative and the US Environmental Protection Agency. He is past president and past secretary-treasurer of the Southern Demographic Association, and a long time board member of the Mount Lebanon Nature Conservancy. His latest research evaluates the impacts of hydro-fracturing on rural communities.


Ph.D., Sociology, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1988
M.A., Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1985,
B.A., Sociology, University of Alaska, Anchorage, 1981
My goal is to help students develop scholarly practices that engage community problems and then apply this understanding to the enhancement of academic knowledge. This community engaged scholarship expands traditional academic approaches by stressing how academic inquiry and disciplinary knowledge can be applied to pressing public problems. Using this approach in my classes, as a researcher, and as a thesis advisor, I seek to provide students with a solid academic foundation that also meets their professional goals and addresses pressing civic policy issues.

Irwin, Michael D. Forthcoming 2014. "Evolving communities: Evolutionary analysis in classical and neoclassical human ecology." Ch. 13 in Jonathan H. Turner, Richard Machalek and Alexandra Maryanski (eds.), Evolutionary Analysis in the Social Sciences. Seattle: Paradigm Press.

Irwin, Michael D. and Erin Pishke. Forthcoming 2014. "Socio-spatial holes in the advocacy umbrella and their implications for at risk populations: The spatial diffusion of risk and network response among environmental organizations in the Marcellus hydro-fracturing region." in Frank M. Howell, Jeremy R. Porter and Stephen Mathews (eds.), Recapturing Space: New Middle-Range Theory In Spatial Demography. Volume 1, Spatial Demography Series. Dordrecht: Springer.

"The Impact of the Marcellus Shale Gas Extraction Industry on Individual Health and Community Well-Being in Rural Pennsylvania. 2013-2015. Duquesne Faculty Development Fund Award. Michael Irwin (PI) and Lenore Resick (co-PI). $10,000.

"Interactive Planning Tool for Sustainable Urban Planning in a Built, Urban Community". 2006-2008. Michael Irwin (PI). EPA P3 Grant. $5,000.

"Rural Civic Community and Population Stability: Linking Civic Structure and Individual Migration Behavior". 2002-2008. Michael Irwin (PI) Charles Tolbert, Thomas Lyson and Troy Blanchard (Co-PIs). USDA NRI. $132,000.