UTC GRA Scholars 2013-2014

2013-2014 UTC Scholars

Geoff Battista (Community Development and Applied Economics)
Geoff_bGeoff’s research examines health care accessibility among Vermont’s rural elderly. He is using geospatial analysis and interviews to examine the environmental and personal factors shaping access to care.



Jim Dunshee (Civil and Environmental Engineering)jimdunshee4
The EPA’s Motor Vehicle Emissions Simulator (MOVES) will need to incorporate advancing vehicle technologies and new pollutant emissions standards in order to remain an effective tool for transportation planning. The broad scope of Jim’s research explores implementing the most recent version of MOVES (2010b) with the ability to model hybrid-electric vehicle emissions, with a focus on particle number (PN) emissions. In order to evaluate MOVES modeling results against real-world data, this work utilizes on-board emissions data collected from comparable model conventional and hybrid-electric vehicles.

Daniel Stokes Hagan (Mechanical Engineering)
dan_hagueDaniel’s research focuses on understanding the effects of catastrophic scour on transportation infrastructure through the numerical analysis of repeat scour events using an Euler-Lagrange approach. To gain a better grasp of the effects of extreme weather events such as Hurricane Irene on catastrophic sediment erosion, or scour, on roadway infrastructure and bridge abutments, this work is focused on a first principle understanding of the mechanism(s) of scour. Using Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS), and a Lagrangian Particle Tracking (LPT) method to model the soil sediment, repeat impacts of a vortex dipole on a sediment bed are simulated and analyzed.

Chester Harvey (Rubenstein School for Environment and Natural Resources)Chester Harvey
Chester Harvey uses GIS and crowdsourced data to investigate how the physical design of streetscapes influences perceptions of them as safe and attractive environments. His thesis, Assessing Streetscape Design for Livability Using GIS-Based Quantitative Methods, will introduce an innovative method for batch-assessment of block level streetscape design characteristics. It will apply this tool to evaluate relationships between design and perception data in Boston and New York City.

Tim Pede (Rubenstein School for Environment and Natural Resources)
Tim_PedeLinking Land Use Change and Transportation Energy Modeling: Tim is using the land use change and transportation forecasting model, UrbanSim, for non-commercial transportation energy demand analysis in Chittenden County. The goal is to use this model to assess how factors such as growth boundaries, fuel economy, and mode choice will alter annual energy consumption in comparison to a business as usual scenario over an extended period of time.


Saghar Sadeghpour (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
SagharMany research groups have studied measuring vulnerability or robustness of a transportation network. The Network Robustness Index (NRI) and Network Trip Robustness (NTR) developed by UVM researchers has the advantage of using the road network and travel demand matrices that are typically available in a state or regional travel demand model. The objective of Saghar’s research is to development a “proxy” origin and destination (OD) matrix using E911 building data for the state of Vermont in order to calculate the NRI and NTR for all roads state-wide not just the more major roads currently in the travel demand models. This adaptation will allow researchers to identify critical road segments and measure the system-wide robustness in the transportation network based on capacity-reduction approach. In addition to estimating the NRI and NTR for the whole state of Vermont, she will compare the robustness measures for the full network with the robustness measures of the state-wide model to assess whether or not full road networks and OD matrices are needed for overall system robustness measures.

Paola Rekalde Aizpuru (Civil and Environmental Engineering)Paola Argazki 10-1-12
Paola is currently working on spatial analysis of Vermont crash data and Vermont road system characteristics, analyzing guardrail locations and both horizontal and vertical road curvatures where those crashes occurred in order to identify any relationships and provide with construction advice. In addition, she is working on understanding transportation opportunities and behavior among specific groups in Vermont, such as teenagers, disabled citizens and veterans. She is looking at their mobility options and habits in relation to the current state of public transit and transportation systems in Vermont.

Anna Schulz (Public Administration, Community Development and Applied Economics)
anna_schulzAnna’s research focuses on how transportation governance networks assess resilience, primarily as it relates to flooding. She is currently collecting and analyzing data on how New England states prioritize and fund bridge projects.


Phoebe Girouard Spencer (Rubenstein School for Environment and Natural Resources)Phoebe crop
Phoebe’s research effort employs American Time Use Survey data to measure pedestrian behavior between and among seasons and climatic regions while controlling for socio-demographic characteristics of the respondents and their household. Her research focus is continuing to narrow toward equity and social justice in active transportation systems, which will play a role in her next project, using GIS and geostatistical techniques to understand preferences in transportation and built environment by home location in Chittenden County.

Xiao Xiao (Rubenstein School for Environment and Natural Resources)
XiaoMy current research is focused on building the indicators and standards for Transportation Recreation Opportunity Spectrum (T-ROS), and the visitors’ perception of the diversity of transportation in recreational areas. I also engaged in the research project “Transportation as a barrier,” which focused on whether the transportation is a barrier for the minorities to visit national parks, and how to increase the visitation of minority groups.

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