Research Analyst

Jonathan Dowds is a Research Analyst at the University of Vermont Transportation Research Center and holds a MS in Natural Resources. His work focuses on transportation sustainability and especially the nexus between transportation and climate change. His research addresses transportation sector energy use, climate change mitigation and climate change adaptation. Within the climate change adaptation arena, Dowds has focused on best practices in adaptation planning and advancing criticality assessments to prioritize adaptation and other transportation investments. Much of his recent mitigation research has focused on opportunities to reduce transportation fuel consumption by institutional vehicle fleets. In a pair of projects for the Vermont Agency of Transportation, Dowds and his colleagues have worked to optimize the state’s snow plow fleet route system and quantifying the benefits of adding additional garage locations for these vehicles. Dowds has also studied the deployment of electric vehicles, including assessing the suitability of electric vehicles to meet individuals travel needs in a range of urban/rural settings and estimating the impact of vehicle charging on power systems infrastructure and emissions.

Selected Recent Projects

Title: Passenger Fleet Electrification & Electric Power Generation under Multi-sector Cap-and-Trade Systems
Funders: National Center for Sustainable Transportation (NCST) and the Joint Clean Climate Transport Research Partnership (JCCTRP)

Title: Vermont Transportation Energy Profile – 2019 Edition
Funder: Vermont Agency of Transportation

Title: Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Planning: Agency Roles and Workforce Development Needs
Funder: The National Center for Sustainable Transportation

Title: Snow and Ice Control (Sic) Performance Measurement: Comparing “Grip,” Traffic Speed Distributions and Safety Outcomes During Winter Storms
Funder: Vermont Agency of Transportation

Title: Identifying Best Practices for Snowplow Route Optimization
Funder: Clear Roads Research Consortium through the Minnesota Department of Transportation


  • Dowds, J., K. Sentoff, J. L. Sullivan, and L. Aultman-Hall. Impacts of Model Resolution on Transportation Network Criticality Rankings. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Vol. 2653, 2017, pp. 93–100.
  • Dowds, J., P. Hines, T. Ryan, W. Buchanan, E. Kirby, J. Apt, and P. Jaramillo. A Review of Large-Scale Wind Integration Studies. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol. 49, 2015, pp. 768–794.
  • Sullivan, J. L., J. Dowds, D. C. Novak, and D. M. Scott. Strategic Location of Satellite Salt Facilities for Roadway Snow and Ice Control. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Vol. 2482, 2015, pp. 32–40.
  • Dowds, J., and L. Aultman-Hall. Barriers to Implementation of Climate Adaptation Frameworks by State Departments of Transportation. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Vol. 2532, 2015, pp. 21–28.
  • Hilshey, A. D., P. D. Hines, P. Rezaei, and J. R. Dowds. Estimating the Impact of Electric Vehicle Smart Charging on Distribution Transformer Aging. IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2013, pp. 905–913.
  • Dowds, J., J. Sullivan, and L. Aultman-Hall. Comparisons of Discretionary Passenger Vehicle Idling Behavior by Season and Trip Stage with Global Positioning System and Onboard Diagnostic Devices. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, No. 2341, 2013, pp. 76–82.
  • Dowds, J., P. D. Hines, and S. Blumsack. Estimating the Impact of Fuel-Switching between Liquid Fuels and Electricity under Electricity-Sector Carbon-Pricing Schemes. Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Vol. 47, No. 2, 2013, pp. 76–88.
  • Aultman-Hall, L., J. Sears, J. Dowds, and P. Hines. Travel Demand and Charging Capacity for Electric Vehicles in Rural States. Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board, Vol. 2287, 2012, pp. 27–36.
Jonathan Dowds

Areas of Expertise and/or Research


  • Transportation energy use
  • Climate change adaptation and mitigation


  • Travel behavior
  • Roadway snow and ice control


  • M.S., University of Vermont
  • B.A., Carleton College


  • 802-656-1433
Office Location:

105 Mansfield House