Kenneth W. Umbach
(916) 733-2159
Web site:

Ken's work has ranged from the drafting and documentation of administrative regulations to the editing of departmental long-range plans and the researching, writing, and editing of  public policy pieces on widely varied topics and the editing of book manuscripts in varied genres.  He is currently a self-employed researcher, writer, editor, and consultant, and is a former policy analyst for the California Research Bureau.

Ken's column (2003-06) for Knowledge Quest, the journal of the American Association of School Librarians, focused on "Policy and Data Resources on the Web."  The column highlights "think tanks" and other public policy and data resources useful for curriculum purposes and discusses classroom applications of those resources. Ken also wrote a major review of Kiyo Sato's memoir Dandelion Through the Crack (later republished as Kiyo's Story) in the September-October 2007 issue of Knowledge Quest.

Ken writes a weekly column for Senior Spectrum (Sacramento, California, 2008 to date). He also provides writing services, including writing, editing, formatting, book design, and consulting for authors, and occasionally publishes books. Published books include, among others, Laurie Hoirup's memoir I Can Dance: My Life with a Disability; Mike Garner's memoir Behind the Badge: Thirty Years of Working the Streets; a compilation of his own Senior Spectrum columns and other essays, The Big Book of Ken's Corner With a Cat Named Boo; Chuck Myer's memoir Melanoma Melodrama; and two novels by Evelyn Luscher (writing as Evelyn Swift).

Previous experience:

California Research Bureau, California State Library, 1993-2003 and 2005-06.
  Publications included:
  • Defense base conversion (contributor)
  • Other projects at CRB included:
    Research analyst, State of California, Department of Developmental Services, 1991-93. Responsibilities included research, writing, and personal computer programming and support.

    Senior consultant, California State Senate, 1990-91. Responsibilities included research and writing on policy issues.

    Analyst, California Department of Developmental Services, Office of Planning and Policy Development, 1985-90. Responsibilities included: researching and editing the department's Long-Range Plan; organization of personal computer systems and development of database methods for managing periodic revision of the department's long-range plan and for coordinating other projects in OPPD; training staff in the use of personal computer software and hardware.

    Analyst, California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, 1974-85. Responsibilities and accomplishments included: policy-related research and writing; legislative analysis; drafting and management of regulations; creation and management of specialized library; public speaking on health planning laws and regulations; and organization and management of personal computer services within the Office, preparation of computer-aided presentation graphics, and training of staff in use of IBM PCs and software.

    Outside Thesis Reader for the University of Redlands/Institute for Professional Development, part-time 1977-81. Reviewed and recommended master's thesis proposals and literature reviews in Management and in Education for approval, revision, or disapproval. Advised students regarding research and writing. Developed and presented workshops on thesis research and writing. Participated in a team revising requirements for thesis.

    Selected Publications

    Papers published by California Research Bureau since 1996 are available online at Printed copies of earlier papers published by CRB are available from the Bureau.

    "Africanized Honeybees in California." CRB Note, vol. 6, no. 2, April 1999. Sacramento: California Research Bureau, 1999.   Agriculture, Water, and California's Drought of 1987-92: Background, Responses, Lessons. Sacramento: California Research Bureau, 1994.   California Military Base Closures (contributor). Sacramento: California Research Bureau, 1993.   Computer Technology in California K-12 Schools: Uses, Best Practices, and Policy Implications. Sacramento: California Research Bureau, 1998. (A version of this was also published in California Education magazine in 1998.)   "Ferrets: A Selective Overview of Issues and Options." CRB Note, vol. 4, no. 3, May 1997.

    Indoor Mold: A General Guide to Health Effects, Prevention, and Remediation.  (With Pamela J. Davis, R.N., P.H.N.)  Sacramento: California Research Bureau, 2006. 

    Learning-Related Outcomes of Computer Technology in K-12 Education. Sacramento: California Research Bureau, 1998.

    Long Range Plan 1988-93 (editor). Sacramento: California Department of Developmental Services, July 1988.

      The Many Faces of Mexico (contributor). Sacramento: California Research Bureau, January 1997.   "Mountain Lions and California State Parks." CRB Note, January 1994.

    San Joaquin Valley: Land, People, and Economy. Sacramento: California Research Bureau, 2005.

    San Joaquin Valley: Selected Statistics on Population, Economy, and Environment. Sacramento: California Research Bureau, 2002.   A Statistical Tour of California's Great Central Valley -- 1998. Sacramento: California Research Bureau, 1998. (This updated and replaced an edition published in 1997.)   "Teachers and Technology." Knowledge Quest, March/April 1998.   "What is Push Technology?" CRB Note vol. 4, no. 6, October 1997.
    Selected Unpublished Papers
     "Computer Fluency: Teachers and the New Technology," 1997.   "California Research Bureau Style Guide," most recently updated 2005.   "Low-Tech Research in a High-Tech World," 1997.   "Teachers and a New Educational Technology: A Fable of sorts (without talking animals)," 1998.
    Education: Ph.D. in Government, Claremont Graduate School (since renamed Claremont Graduate University), 1974.
    B.A. in Government, University of Redlands, 1969.


    Academy of Political Science
    Citrus Heights (CA) Regional Chamber of Commerce
    Northern California Publishers and Authors

    Revised March 12, 2013