Sunday, December 28, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Sperling picks up environmental prize

Daniel Sperling.

By
From page A1 | June 19, 2013 |

Daniel Sperling, director of the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies, is one of two recipients of the 2013 Blue Planet Prize.

The prize, announced Tuesday by the Asahi Glass Foundation of Tokyo, has been described as the Nobel Prize for the environmental sciences.

Sperling is an international expert on transportation technology, fuels and policy, with a focus on energy and environment. His research is directed at accelerating the global transition to cleaner, more efficient transportation and energy, and mitigating climate change.

The prize, which comes with a $500,000 (50 million yen) award, recognizes Sperling for his unique ability to bring together the top thinkers and strategists in academia, government and industry to develop new vehicle- and fuels-policy approaches that are models for the world.

“I am deeply honored to receive the Blue Planet Prize, and I share it with my many brilliant and passionate collaborators,” Sperling said. “I hope to use this time in the spotlight to promote universities’ tremendous reservoir of policy-relevant knowledge — particularly policy that averts the pending disaster of global climate change. My primary goal is to bring science to policy.”

Sperling was chosen to receive the Blue Planet Prize from among 106 candidates representing 27 countries.

“UC Davis faculty work every day to bring sound science to the world’s most pressing problems, and Dan Sperling is a wonderful example of that,” said Chancellor Linda Katehi. “We are proud of his accomplishments and pleased that his efforts are being recognized through this prestigious prize.”

A professor of civil engineering and environmental science and policy, Sperling founded the Institute of Transportation Studies in 1991.

ITS-Davis is now the world’s leading academic program in transportation technology and policy, thanks to Sperling’s talent for building enduring partnerships with industry, government and the environmental community; integrating interdisciplinary research and education programs; and connecting research with public outreach and education.

Today, the institute has 60 affiliated faculty members and researchers, 120 graduate students and a $12 million budget.

ITS-Davis researchers pursue topics as diverse as consumer response to advanced vehicle technologies, such as hybrid and electric cars; biofuels production; hydrogen fuels infrastructure; telecommuting; and the potential for converting the globe to 100 percent renewable energy.

Sperling championed early research into lifecycle analysis, with his students going on to develop the world’s most widely used lifecycle-analysis models for transportation fuels, and led the effort to transfer lifecycle assessment from labs into policy. For transportation fuel, lifecycle assessment means accounting for the emissions that occur in every stage of a fuel’s production and use.

The lifecycle approach is a critically important tool used to calculate greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change, and other emissions that harm the environment. It forms the basis of many new climate and environmental policies around the globe.

Sperling noted that this year, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere exceeded 400 parts per million for the first time in human civilization. Still, he is optimistic.

“Solutions are all around us,” he said. “New technologies and new behaviors will transform our cities and energy systems. It is not easy, but with great effort we can recover our healthy blue planet.”

In 2007, then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Sperling to the California Air Resources Board. Sperling co-led the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard study, which formed the basis of the first standard of its kind to tackle carbon pollution from transportation fuel. The LCFS is in effect today in California and under consideration in other states. It is a model for similar polices in Canada and the European Union.

Sperling has authored or co-authored more than 200 technical papers and 12 books, including “Two Billion Cars.” In 2010, he received The Heinz Award for addressing global change caused by the impact of human activities and natural processes on the environment.

This year is the 22nd year of the Blue Planet Prize. Previous recipients include David R. Brower, chairman of the Earth Island Institute; Lester R. Brown, founder and president of the Worldwatch Institute; Paul R. Ehrlich, director of the Center of Conservation Biology at Stanford University; James Hansen, recently retired director of the U.S. NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies; and Jane Lubchenco, undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and administrator for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

— UC Davis News Service

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    Yolo makes hydrogen connection

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Sacramento man convicted for 2011 bar shooting

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Drugs, stolen car lead to women’s arrests

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

    NYC officer mourned at funeral as tensions linger

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    N. Korea uses racial slur against Obama over hack

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    AirAsia plane with 162 aboard missing in Indonesia

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Pedal around Davis on weekly bike ride

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Nominate teens for Golden Heart awards

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    USA Weekend calls it quits

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Supplies collected for victims of abuse

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sweet success: Cancer Center helps young patient celebrate end of treatment

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Reserve tickets soon for Chamber’s Installation Gala

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Holiday hours continue at The Enterprise

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Covell Gardens hosts New Year’s Eve dance

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    UC Davis debate team wins national championship

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Portuguese breakfast set for Jan. 25

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    At the Pond: It all started with kayaking on Putah Creek

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Find the first cabbage white butterfly, and win a pitcher

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    Does pre-eclampsia raise autism risk?

    By Phyllis Brown | From Page: A6

    Long will talk about value of hedgerows for adjacent farms

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    It’s a wonderful life — and a wonderful state

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    College sees benefits in loan guarantees

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Tickets for New Year’s Eve party going fast

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A12

    .

    Forum

    This cat is on life No. 7

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B4

     
     
    It was a busy, black-eye year for disease control

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    Say thanks to the caregivers

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Commission’s list needs vetting

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Rifkin’s statement is offensive

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Bombing is not the answer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    Just Us in Davis: Despair and hope for the new year

    By Jonathan London | From Page: A10

     
    Cuba policy changes highlight a momentous opportunity

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    Writer’s arguments fall flat

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A11

     
    .

    Sports

    Kings cruise past Sharks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Lady Blue Devils top Tigers to reach Ram Jam title game

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    DHS boys get good film in tournament loss

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Sacramento survives Knicks in OT

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: Republic FC to host camp series

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    College bowl roundup: Sun Bowl goes to the Sun Devils

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Rob White: Davis tech community is growing

    By Rob White | From Page: A9

     
    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A9

    First Northern adds Peyret to agribusiness loan team

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Kaiser’s trauma center in Vacaville earns verification

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    .

    Obituaries

    Ruth Allen Barr

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Charles ‘Bud’ Meyer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, December 28, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B8