Department of Human Ecology

The department of Human Ecology hosts the Empey Lecture yearly. The lecture focuses on research topics in aging, gerontology, family ecology, textiles, family relationships and human ecology.

Empey Lecture

Presenter: Dr. Thomas S. Weisner

What is the Most Important Influence in Child Development? 

Providing Greater Opportunity and Well-Being for Children and Families

When: Wednesday, March 13 at 5:00 pm; refreshments to follow.

Edmonton Clinic Health Academy (ECHA) 2-490
11405 87 Avenue NW, University of Alberta North Campus, Edmonton, AB

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Tom WeisnerThomas S. Weisner, PhD is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, Emeritus, Departments of Psychiatry and Anthropology at UCLA. His research and teaching interests are in culture and human development; sibling and nonparental care of children; ecocultural theory, medical, psychological and cultural studies of families and children at risk; mixed qualitative and quantitative research methods; and evidence- and context-informed policy that can improve the well-being of children and families. He has done fieldwork with the Abaluyia of Western Kenya and Nairobi, native Hawaiians, countercultural U.S. families, California families with children with disabilities and mental illness, families and children with autism in India, youth with ADHD in the U.S., Mexican-American adolescents and parents in Los Angeles, and working poor families in the U.S. (the New Hope study). He is the co-founder of the mixed methods software Dedoose ( He is the co-author of Higher Ground: New Hope for the Working Poor and Their Children (with Greg Duncan and Aletha Huston); Making it work (with Hiro Yoshikawa & Edward Lowe); and Discovering successful pathways in children's development (2005);   His publications and other information are available at