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Dr. John F. Watkins is Professor, Chair, and Director of the Graduate Center for Gerontology. Trained as a mathematical demographer but armed with ethnographic skills associated with life history narratives, he applies his craft in critical and theory-based studies of the demographic processes of population aging and the aged, population growth and re-distributional impacts, and life course influences on later life health behaviors and notions of home.

John is past president of the Population Specialty Group and Aging Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers, served on the senior advisory panel of the National Science Foundation, is a Fellow of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, and has received numerous departmental, college, university, and national awards for his teaching and advising.


  • PhD, Geography - Formal/Mathematical Demography

    • University of Colorado, Boulder
  • MA, Geography - Population Sciences
    • University of Colorado, Boulder
  • BS, Geography and Environmental Planning
    • Elmhurst College

Research Interests

  • Later life health behaviors
  • Population growth
  • Demographics