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Virginia Lesser in front of shrubbery

Virginia M. Lesser

Director, Survey Research Center
Department of Statistics

Virginia M. Lesser

Director, Survey Research Center
Department of Statistics


  • Sampling Methods
  • Survey Methodology
  • Environmental Statistics
  • Applied Statistics
  • Ecological Monitoring

Teaching responsibilities

  • ST 431/531 Sampling Methods
  • ST 439/539 Survey Methods
  • ST 411/511 Methods of Data Analysis I
  • ST 412/512 Methods of Data Analysis II
  • ST 552 Statistical Methods I

Professional Societies

  • American Statistical Association (ASA), Fellow
  • International Statistical Institute (ISI), Elected Member
  • American Association of Public Opinion Research (AAPOR)


DrPh Biostatistics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1992

M.S. Statistics, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, 1987

College strategic research areas

Data Science


  • Lesser, V. M., Newton, L. D., Yang, D., and Sifneos, J. (2016), "Mixed-mode surveys compared with single mode surveys: trends in responses and methods to improve completion," Journal of Rural Social Sciences, 31(3):7-34.
  • Harding, A. K., Stone, D., Cardenas, A., and Lesser, V. M. (2014), "Risk behaviors and self-reported illnesses among Pacific Northwest surfers," Journal of Water and Health, 13(1): 230-242.
  • McCormick, M., Baker, D., Biemer, P., Carlson, B., DiezRoux, A., Lesser, V. M., McLanahan, S., Saada, G., Stokes, S. L., Trasande, L., and Duncan, G. (2014), "The National Children's Study 2014: Commentary on a Recent National Research Council/Institute of Medicine Report," Academic Pediatrics, 14.6: 545-546.
  • Hildreth, L. A., Genschel, U., Lorenz, F. O., and Lesser, V. M. (2013), "A permutation test for correlated errors in adjacent questionnaire items," Structural Equation Modeling, 20:226-240.
  • Lin, H. M., Kim, H. Y., Williamson, J. M., and Lesser, V.M. (2012), "Estimating Agreement Coefficients from Sample Survey Data," Survey Methodology, 38(1): 63-72.
  • Dorney, J.R., D.Tufford, V. Baker, F. Obusek, B. Munoz, R. Truesdalee, K. Matthews, V.M. Lesser. 2012. "Isolated wetlands in the Southeastern United States: A comparison of state regulatory programs and implications of recent research." National Wetlands Newsletter, Vol. 34, No. 3.
  • Lesser, V.M., L. Newton, and D.K. Yang. 2012. "Comparing Item Nonresponse across Different Delivery Modes in General Population Surveys." Survey Practice, April, 2012.
  • Lesser, V.M., Yang, D.K, and L. Newton. 2011. "Assessing Opinion’s Based on a Mail and a Mixed-Mode Survey." Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 16(3).
  • Munoz-Hernandez, B. V.M. Lesser, and Ruben Smith. 2011. "Applying Multiple Imputation with Geostatistic Models to Account for Item Nonresponse in Environmental Data." Journal of Modern Applied Statistical Methods, 9(2).
  • Munoz-Hernandez, B., V.M. Lesser, J. Dorney, and R.Savage. 2009. "Survey methodology for assessing the map accuracy of geographically isolated wetlands." Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 150: 53-64.
  • Munoz-Hernandez, B., V.M. Lesser, and F. Ramsey. 2008. "Design-based empirical orthogonal function model for environmental monitoring data analysis." Environmetrics, 19: 805-817.
  • Dillman, D.A., V.M. Lesser, J. Carlson, R. Mason, R. Robertson, and F. Willits. 2007. "Personalization Does It Improve Response in Mail Surveys?" Rural Sociology, 72: 632-646.
  • Munoz-Hernandez, B. and V.M. Lesser. 2005. "Adjustment procedures to account for non-ignorable missing data in environmental surveys." Environmetrics, 17(6): 653-662.
  • Mason, R., V. M. Lesser, and M. Trauggot. 2002. "Effect of item nonresponse on nonresponse error and inference" in Survey Nonresponse, Robert M. Groves, Don A. Dillman, John L. Eltinge, and Roderick J.A. Little, Editors. Wiley.
  • Lesser, V.M. 2001. "Applying survey research methods to account for denied access to research sites on private property." Wetlands, 21(4) 639-647.