Tracy Kugler

Research Scientist

Research Interests and Project Expertise

Location-Based Data Integration; Population-Environment Interactions; Spatial Patterns of Metropolitan Development; Demographic & Geographic Data Infrastructure.


I joined the MPC in 2011 as the Project Manager for Terra Populus (now IPUMS Terra). I now work across all of the aggregate-spatial IPUMS products: Terra, NHGIS, GeoMarker, and managing a new project assembling international population and agricultural census data from published tables.

My educational background includes a B.A. in Theater Arts (Stage Management), B.S. and M.S. in Systems Engineering (Systems Modeling and Analysis), and PhD in Geography (GIS and Ecosystem Informatics). The unifying thread that runs through these disparate degrees is an interest in the big picture and how all the pieces of a system fit together and interact with each other. At the MPC, I leverage those skills to develop workflows and processes to bring different types of data together. I have developed workflows for boundary processing that meet requirements for confidentiality and harmonization over time, while providing the greatest possible level of geographic detail. I have also developed workflows for documenting and manipulating highly heterogeneous published census tables to conform to a standard data and metadata structure.

Selected Publications

Kugler, Tracy A., Catherine A Fitch. 2018. Interoperable and accessible census and survey data from IPUMS. Scientific Data. 5. DOI: 10.1038/sdata.2018.7

Kugler, Tracy A., Steven M. Manson, Joshua R. Donato. 2017. Spatiotemporal aggregation for temporally extensive international microdata. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems. 63: 26-37. DOI: 10.1016/j.compenvurbsys.2016.07.007

Nawrotzki, Raphael J., Allison M. Schlak, Tracy A. Kugler. 2016. Climate, migration, and the food security context in Burkina Faso and Senegal: Introducing Terra Populus. Population and Environment. 38(2): 164-184. DOI: 10.1007/s11111-016-0260-0

Kugler, Tracy, David C Van Riper, Steven M Manson, David A Haynes II, Joshua Donato, Katie Stinebaugh. 2015. Terra Populus: Workflows for integrating and harmonizing geospatial population and environmental data. Journal of Map & Geography Libraries. 11(2): 180-206. DOI:10.1080/15420353.2015.1036484