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Sustainable Transportation Center
This page is part of an archival record of the STC website (2005 - 2012). It was last updated in April 2012.

Welcome to the UC Davis Sustainable Transportation Center


April 20th UC Davis Will Host the 2012 UCTC Student Conference

The _ annual conference is an opportunity for students to present their work and to discuss the work of their peers. This year's one-day conference is open to graduate students engaged in transportation research at the following universities: UC Davis, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Barbara, UC Los Angeles, UC Irvine, UC Riverside, Cal State Pomona, Cal State Sacramento, Cal State San Bernardino and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. The conference will highlight more than 20 student presentations as well as a student poster session and the annual Mel Webber lecture.

Please visit the conference website for information about registration, lodging, conference schedule and the call for abstracts for student research presentations.

ITS-Davis shares in $3.5M transportation research grant

The UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS-Davis) will share in a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced this week.

The $3.5 million will go to a consortium of five University of California and four California State University campuses, led by UC Berkeley. It is part of a total of $77 million in grants to 22 University Transportation Centers (UTCs) to advance research and education programs that address critical national transportation challenges. Each consortium must raise $3.5 million in matching funds from non-federal sources.

The University of California Transportation Center consortium will focus on the themes of environmental sustainability, economic competitiveness and livability, and the connections between them.  ITS-Davis will receive over $600,000 from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to support faculty research, dissertation fellowships, student fellowships, transportation courses, and outreach on these themes. 

Full Press Release

2010-2011 Annual Report Released

The Sustainable Transportation Center recently released our annual report which highlights our continued commitment to supporting the highest quality research and education in the sustainable transportation field. Please take a moment to read about the impressive work that our faculty and students are producing.

STC Honors Two Outstanding Students of the Year

We are pleased to announce Kristin Lovejoy and Alex Karner as co-recipients of the 2011-12 Outstanding Student of the Year Award. The STC Outstanding Student of the Year award is given to a student who excels in research, academic performance, and professionalism and leadership.

Kristin is a PhD Student in the Transportation Technology and Policy program at the University of California, Davis.  She received a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Studio Art from Wellesley College in 2001 and a master’s degree in Transportation Technology and Policy from UC Davis in 2006 before entering the PhD program.   For her dissertation, she is studying the mobility of carless households.  She has created an innovative approach for addressing an important limitation of conventional travel surveys, namely that they provide data on trips made but not on trips not made. Her results will provide important insights into policies for better serving the needs of the not-insubstantial segment of the population without cars and may point to strategies for reducing car use among the substantial segment of the population with access to cars.  As described by her advisor, she is “the kind of student we desperately need more of in the transportation field, and whether she pursues a career as an academic or a professional, she will contribute in notable ways to our efforts to address our pressing transportation problems.” 

Alex is a PhD Student in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Davis.  He received a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Toronto in 2006 and a master’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from UC Davis in 2008 before entering the PhD program.   For his dissertation, he is evaluating the influence of environmental justice concerns on transportation planning and the implementation of climate change policy in California.  His work has taken him well beyond the traditional boundaries of civil engineering and into the theories and methods of many different disciplines.  As described by his advisor, he is “an exceptional scholar with a critical eye towards improving practice.”  His research has the potential to help state, regional, and local agencies in better connecting their policies to their goals.

2011-2012 Research Grants and Fellowships Awarded

The Sustainable Transportation Center awarded three faculty research grants and three dissertation fellowships for students for the 2011-2012 academic year.

Faculty Research Grants

Patricia Mokhtarian, Civil and Environmental Engineering and Institute of Transportation Studies
“Activities Conducted While Traveling: An Empirical Examination of Their Impact on the Value of Travel Time Savings”

This grant will support the administration, data management and analysis of a survey of California commuters. The study will help researchers better understand the travel choices people make – particularly how the ability to multitask while traveling influences those choices (potentially in favor of public transportation) – which will inform and improve policies and lead to more realistic models and forecasts.

Cynthia Lin, Agricultural and Resource Economics, and Environmental Science and Policy
“Optimal Gasoline Taxes and the Elasticity of Demand for Gasoline”

This project seeks to estimate and analyze the elasticity of demand for gasoline and calculate the optimal gasoline tax for various regions of the world, including the United States, China and Latin America. Elasticity of demand is a measure of how responsive consumers are to changes in the price of gasoline. The higher the elasticity in magnitude, the more consumers will decrease gasoline consumption in response to an increase in gasoline price. Understanding the factors that affect the elasticity of demand for gasoline is important for the design of transportation and energy policy.

Mark Lubell, Environmental Science and Policy
“Social Networks and Travel Behavior”

This proposal draws on the theory and methods of network science to understand how social networks influence travel behavior, specifically that of UC Davis students. Network science has found that social networks exert a profound influence on individual behavior, yet its application to transportation research is relatively new. This project will improve our understanding of the social factors involved in individual transportation behavior and provide insight into how social networks may be a tool for policies encouraging the use of sustainable transportation choices.

Dissertation Fellowships

Hui Li, Civil and Environmental Engineering
“Improving Outdoor Thermal Environment in Hot Climates Through Cool Pavement Design Strategies”

Kristin Lovejoy, Transportation Technology and Policy
“The Landscape of Carelessness in the U.S. and the Factors that Flatten its Topography”

Alex Karner, Civil and Environmental Engineering
“Evaluating Public Participation in California’s Climate Change and Transportation Policies: A Mixed Methods Approach”



Faculty Research Grants Request for Proposals Now Available

STC will be awarding Faculty Research Grants in 2012 as a member of the University of California Transportation Center consortium. Proposal deadline is March 15, 2012. Please go to the Research Opportunities page for updated information about this year's process and requirements.

Year 6 Annual Report

STC Report Cover