“Experience VT” Through Glass

19 10 2014

This morning, Emily Van Houweling and I presented the results from the impact evaluation our team undertook of an MCC-funded rural water supply project in Nampula, Mozambique, at the “Experience Virginia Tech: Learn, Explore, Engage” event. During the event, I recorded (using Glass) a number of the presenters talking about their research and work at the university. The video below captures these comments and provides some insight into the breadth and depth of research that is underway at Virginia Tech.

Posters for “Experience VT” Event

18 10 2014

This weekend I will be taking part in the “Experience Virginia Tech: Learn, Explore, Engage” event that was commission by President Sand’s to showcase the university’s impact on the world around us. From 9am to noon tomorrow at the VT Inn, I will be presenting the three posters below that document the research and main findings from an impact evaluation I led of an MCC-funded rural water supply project in Nampula, Mozambique. I plan to capture key moments from the event using Google Glass and will post some images and video to this blog and to my Google+ account during the day.

Poster_1 Poster_2 Poster_3

New Perspectives on Resilience

13 10 2014

This afternoon, the Global Forum on Urban and Regional Resilience began its inaugural conference on Normative Aspects of Resilience. Click on the image below to view the conference agenda. Follow the conference via Twitter (on Oct 13 and 14) using the hashtag #GFURR. 2014-10-12_2238

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Hokie BugFest

11 10 2014

2014-10-11 11.44.36One of the great things about living in Blacksburg are the events that the university hosts. I spent this morning at the 4th Annual Hokie BugFest held at the VT Inn. This extension outreach event is hosted by the Department of Entomology in cooperation with Virginia 4-H and the W. B. Alwood Entomological Society. The images below (taken through Glass) provide a sample of the event’s installments and activities.

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Conversation with Prof. Misra on the IITK-VT Partnership

8 10 2014

I had the pleasure of spending today with Prof. Sudhir Misra (Co-PI of the IITK-VT Partnership), during which we held a number of meetings with senior faculty at Virginia Tech focused on the future activities of the IITK-VT Partnership. Prof. Misra also provided a guest lecture in the graduate course on Advanced Urban Infrastructure Planning (UAP5854) – the first course at VT to be associated with the IITK-VT partnership. In between these events, we were able to find ten minutes during which I asked Prof. Misra several questions about what the IITK-VT partnership has accomplished and where we plan to take the partnership in the future. The video below captures our conversation that I recorded using Google Glass and edited in Camtasia.

New Paper in Water Alternatives on MUS

2 10 2014

The Productive Use of Rural Piped Water in Senegal

Ralph P. Hall, Eric A. Vance, and Emily van Houweling

Abstract: Over the past decade there has been a growing interest in the potential benefits related to the productive use of rural piped water around the homestead. However, there is limited empirical research on the extent to which, and conditions under which, this activity occurs. Using data obtained from a comprehensive study of 47 rural piped water systems in Senegal, this paper reveals the extent of piped-water-based productive activity occurring and identifies important system-level variables associated with this activity. Three-quarters (74%) of the households surveyed depend on water for their livelihoods with around one-half (54%) relying on piped water. High levels of piped-water-based productive activity were found to be associated with shorter distances from a community to a city or paved road (i.e. markets), more capable water system operators and water committees, and communities that contributed to the construction of the piped water system. Further, access to electricity was associated with higher productive incomes from water-based productive activities, highlighting the role that non-water-related inputs have on the extent of productive activities undertaken. Finally, an analysis of the technical performance of piped water systems found no statistically significant association between high vs. low levels of productive activity and system performance; however, a positive relationship was found between system performance and the percentage of households engaged in productive activities.


Encyclopedia of Transportation Entry

1 10 2014

The chapter I coauthored with Henrik Gudmundsson, Greg Marsden, and Josias Zietsman on Sustainable Transportation was recently published in Mark Garrett’s Encyclopedia of Transportation: Social Science and Policy.2014-10-01_1323


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