researchguy's Journal

Ken Umbach
External Services:
  • researchguy@livejournal.com
By education, I am a political scientist (Ph.D. in Government, Claremont Graduate University, 1974), and by experience a researcher, writer, and policy analyst. My interests encompass a very wide range: history, science, philosophy, religion, mathematics, science fiction, mysteries, literature, chess, and more. Interests may go into remission, even for years, but they remain alive under the surface, and reappear after a period of dormancy.

I am retired from a little over 29 years of employment by the State of California. The last 10 years were with the California Research Bureau of the California State Library, as a policy analyst (primarily researcher and writer). I have written on topics as diverse as how farmers coped with a six-year drought, learning-related outcomes of computer technology in schools, mountain lions in state parks, "killer bees," and forestry law, among others. I have also written a style guide for the Research Bureau (based largely on University of Chicago style) and edited public policy bibliographies, as well as occasionally editing or consulting on research papers written by others.

Although I am retired from State service, I have simply moved on to self-employment as researcher, writer, editor, and consultant, with several projects in the pipeline and a view to occasional consulting and contract work as writer and editor. I have also been back at the Bureau as a "retired annuitant," completing some projects in 2005-06 and available for others if they arise.

More recently, I have become an independent publisher, focusing on selected books of local/regional interest by virtue of subject, author, or both.