“An Eye on Air Quality”
As a environmental economist focusing on transportation issues, Virginia McConnell knows a lot about cars and trucks – more specifically, the impact of policies to reduce air pollution through vehicle emissions regulations, inspection and maintenance programs, fuel regulations, emission taxes and land use changes. She became interested in the intersection of urban and environmental problems as a graduate student, and has taught and pursued research in these areas ever since. Her recent work is on differential fuel taxes for introducing cleaner fuels, and land use policy changes and their impact on air quality. She enjoys working on these projects with students in the Economics departments new M.A. in Economic Policy Analysis.
An economics department faculty member at UMBC since 1982, McConnell also serves as a senior fellow in the Quality of the Environment Division of Resources for the Future, where she works with other environmental economists on air pollution policies. She recently served on a National Academy of Sciences panel examining vehicle emissions policies, and is currently a member of several Environmental Protection Agency advisory committees.