Shawn Dorius standing in a river waving a stick

Shawn F. Dorius

  • Associate Professor of Sociology & Demography
  • Co-Director, Public Science Collaborative
  • Dean's Faculty Fellow in the CALS Office of Research and Discovery
My research practice sits at the intersection of social demography, community studies, and computational social science methods. Linking these streams of research together is an interest in moving sound social science data into action within the context of individual and community health and wellbeing. I give special attention to population health and the rural context, where both people and places are conceptual units of analysis. Working at the intersection of applied social demography, rural health policy, and computational social science creates unique and impactful collaborations.

My work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health.

I teach courses in social demography, community sociology, and social innovation, and I have previously taught courses in international development, research methods, and social inequality. I occasionally lecture or lead research teams in data science summer training programs, such as Data Science for the Public Good and the NSF funded Midwest Big Data Summer School. I also supervise undergraduate interns, graduate students, and new professionals working at the Public Science Collaborative.

Prior to arriving at Iowa State University, I was a postdoctoral scholar at the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan and a research associate at the Survey Research Center in the Institute for Social Research, studying the role of culture on demographic processes under the direction of Dr Arland Thornton.


Contact Info

317C East Hall
510 Farm House Ln.
Social Media and Websites


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Population Studies Center, University of Michigan, 2010-13
  • PhD, Sociology & Demography, Pennylvania State University, 2010
  • MS, Sociology, Brigham Young University, 2005
  • BS, Sociology, Brigham Young University, 1998