Ph.D. student and TRC researcher, Brittany Antończak, was recently awarded a fellowship from the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program. The funds from the fellowship will support Brittany’s dissertation research, which investigates how paved transportation infrastructure contributes to urban heat micro-environments, including in Vermont’s smaller cities and rural communities.
Much of Brittany’s research is centered around the urban heat island effect: the phenomenon of urban areas experiencing higher air temperatures than rural areas in close proximity due to the influx of human activities, infrastructure and the built environment. Understanding the relationship between transportation infrastructure and warmer city temperatures is important because it can provide state Departments of Transportation and municipal transportation agencies with new information for mitigating undesirable heat impacts from transportation projects, improving the health and welfare of those experiencing excess heat.
Brittany’s interests in transportation include transportation planning and forecasting, transportation policy analysis and transportation economics. Through her work, Brittany is motivated to improve transit access, active travel opportunities, accessible transportation design and transportation policy.