About Dr. Traffic

(a.k.a. Nathan Belz)
Associate Professor – University of Alaska Fairbanks
Assistant Director  – Center for Safety Equity in Transportation
Director –  TRAP Lab

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My Vision

To build a transportation network and create a transportation culture in which a person choosing any mode of travel can reasonably expect to get where they need to go and return home in one piece.

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My Day Job

I am an assistant professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. My primary research interests are the overlapping area between driver behavior and traffic safety and operations, particularly at roundabouts, developing transportation solutions for rural areas, and applications of GIS in Civil Engineering.

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My Current Research

My active research projects include using spectroscopy to quantify migration and longevity of anti-icing and deicing chemicals and quantifying the use of off-highway vehicles on public roads.

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My Service

Currently, I serve on the TRB Roundabout Committee, the TRB Rural Public and Intercity Bus Transportation Committee, the Fairbanks North Star Borough Transportation Advisory Council and am the chair of the UAF Green Bikes Steering Committee and faculty advisor for the UAF Campus Community Garden.  I believe that incorporating sustainability into transportation is the only way we will be able to solve our infrastructure, mobility, and safety issues. I believe providing well-planned and executed transportation alternatives are key to a successful transportation system. Reliance on or planning of a system for a single mode makes it susceptible to failure. I believe that conservation-type practices alone will not solve the issues currently plaguing society and that it is critical we incorporate sustainable practices into all threads of our lives.

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My Academic History

I received my PhD in Civil Engineering from the University of Vermont in 2013 and M.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Maine in 2008. During this time I was involved with and managed projects related to using objective measures for identifying transit-supportive areas in rural areas, characterizing second-by-second driver behavior using in-vehicle instrumentation, using real-world data to characterize driver behavior typologies and model driver behavior at roundabouts using cellular automata, and evaluating a statewide deployment of advanced traveler information systems.

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My Extracurriculars

I love bikes. I love my dog . I love photography. I love maps.