University of Idaho leaders and researchers will bring together regional experts, elected officials and community members in the first local sustainable transportation conference Thursday, Sept. 22, and Friday, Sept. 23, at the Idaho Commons building.
The National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology's Sustainability Conference will present the opportunity for groups to work together on transportation problems of local and regional interest, said its director Michael Kyte. The conference features keynote speakers, workshops and discussions on integrating environmentally friendlier transportation at the UI and around the region.
The deadline for registration is Sept. 8. Cost is $50
including lunch and snacks Thursday and Friday. Reduced costs and scholarships
for students are available through NIATT.
Others are Will Toor, author of “Transportation and Sustainable Campus Communities: Issues, Examples, and Solutions;” Eva Matsuzaki, principle, Matsuzaki Wright Architects Inc., contributor to green building designs; Matthew St. Clair, sustainability specialist for the University of California’s Office of the President; and Mark Stemen, coordinator, Environmental Studies Program, California State University, Chico.
Workshops led by nationally recognized experts will cover campus and local transportation, integration of sustainability into curriculum, sustainable land-use issues, biodiesel fuel production and the possibility of creating a Sustainable Energy Laboratory and Transit Facility.
Advancing this regional "clean transit" facility is a targeted outcome of the conference. SELTF is intended to embrace research, production and demonstration of renewable, sustainable energy. Research at SELTF would focus on biofuels, bio-lubricants, clean vehicles, hydrogen production via hydro, nuclear or agricultural biomass.
Goals for this facility are to reduce transit costs for the UI and Palouse region, support the local agricultural economy, assist the state mandate for 20 percent alternative fuels, and to continue leadership in sustainable transportation research. NIATT at UI has raised nearly $1 million in Federal Transit Authority funds and is seeking additional funds for the project.
The Vandal Trolley and Bio-Bug, both biodiesel fueled
vehicles developed by the UI Department of Biological and Agricultural
Engineering, will be demonstrated at the conference. The trolley also
will provide transportation from the University Inn-Best Western and
around campus for conferees.