Current and Recent Projects
AB 32 Implementation and Environmental Justice (On-going)
In this project, we examine the ways in which environmental justice organizations led to the passage of AB 32, California’s landmark climate change legislation. We are also conducting a survey that examines the ways in which EJ issues manifested in the development of the Scoping Plan.
Land Use History in the Sacramento Region (On-going)
The intent of this project is to gain a better understanding of the reasons why environmentally innovative developments are accepted, declined, or accepted after substantial alterations by conducting historic research and interviewing local developers who have a well-documented history of designing environmentally innovative projects.
Behavioral Analysis of Residential Energy Use
Understanding the mechanism of how household use energy is the purpose of this study. Correlations between locations of residency, types of dwelling, appliances ownership and usage of appliances are of our interest. Using residential energy survey conducted in Davis, CA, we are analyzing the impact of household decisions on energy use. Paper under review at Energy Policy.
Current locomotive emission models do not take into account important local factors (grades, different types of trains and locomotive fleets) which are known to impact emissions. This research has developed a new GIS based locomotive emission modeling framework which accounts for the spatial variation in factors which influence locomotive emissions. The new framework is being used to create a new locomotive emission model for the California Air Resources Board. See these journals articles for final results:
Capay Valley Sustainability Project
Working with the Capay Valley community, we identified how energy is used today in the Valley and assessing the potential for saving energy and money as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased use of renewables. Sac Bee article, Sep09. Final report.
Forecasting future sustainability using market data
The major difficulty in applications of the sustainability definition by the World Commission lays in the prediction and estimation of the “ability of future generations to meet their own needs”, which requires forecasting of availability of new effective technologies to the future generations. This research focuses on one critically important aspect of sustainability: the development of a theoretical structure that directly addresses the forecasting problem. See this ES&T paper for more details
Capital Outlay Support
The purpose of this research was to conduct an independent assessment of the cost of Caltrans engineering and related services as a percentage of the cost of physical construction, property acquisition and utility relocation relative to comparable agencies, and further, to place this comparison in the context of department-based performance and management practices. Final report
Prioritization of transportation projects with respect to GHGs (Jan 09-Jun 09)
The purpose of this project was to provide a new high level framework to aid in the selection of transportation infrastructure improvement projects that can help to reduce GHG emissions and enhance the existing infrastructure through strategic improvements in operations and in preservation and maintenance. Final report
Carbon Calculator Analysis
This research takes a close look at the methodologies and feedback mechanisms behind a wide range of carbon calculators to illustrate and explain the reasoning for varied calculation results between calculators. Initial findings show that calculator effectiveness is based on the depth and breadth of calculator question sets. A poster that shows results.
Mobile Source Air Toxics Emissions: Sensitivity to Traffic Volume, Fleet Composition, and Average Speed (Sep 08-Aug 09)
This study used a new emissions modeling tool, CT-EMFAC, to assess the sensitivity of mobile source air toxic (MSAT) emissions to changes in traffic volumes, speeds, and fleet composition. In addition, the impact of speed calculation (post-processing) techniques was analyzed. Under some scenarios, the choice of speed calculation method had a greater affect on MSAT emissions than 26 years of fleet turnover.