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Nighttime lights energy use urban areas infrastructure planning sustainability US


Urban areas contribute to about 75% of global fossil fuel CO2 emissions and are a primary driver of climate change. If greenhouse gas emissions for the top 20 emitting urban areas were aggregated into a one country, it would rank third behind China and the US. With urban areas forecasted to triple between 2010 and 2030 and urban population expected to increase by more than 2.5 billion, sustainable development will require a better understanding of how different types of urbanization affect energy use. However, there is a scarcity of data on energy use at the urban level that are available globally. Nighttime light satellite data have been shown to be related to energy use, but to date there has not been a systematic comparison of how well different sources of nighttime light data and their derived products can proxy electricity use. This paper fills this gap. First, we perform a comparative analysis of different types of nighttime light satellite data to proxy for electricity use for US cities. Second, we examine how the different types of nighttime light satellite data scale with the size of urban settlements and connect these findings to recent theoretical advances in scaling. We find that (1) all measures of nighttime light and urban electricity use in the US are strongly correlated and (2) different nighttime light-derived data can measure distinct urban energy characteristics such as energy infrastructure volume versus energy use. Our results do not show a clear best nighttime light proxy for total electricity consumption, despite of the use of higher spatial and temporal resolution data.

Michail Fragkias
Boise State University, USA

José Lobo
Arizona State University, USA

Karen C Seto
Yale University, USA

Read the Full Article by Michail Fragkias here

Prestigious International Scholarship Awarded to COBE Student

Rachel Gallina is one of two undergraduates students from Boise State University to have received the Boren Scholarship. The Boren Scholarship, an initiative of the National Security Education Program, is designed to fund opportunities for undergraduates to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests. This is the first time Boise State students have been awarded the highly competitive scholarship.

Student Rachel Gallina poses before a flowering bush.

Rachel Gallina, portrait, Photo by Allison Corona

Gallina is a sophomore pursuing her bachelor of arts in economics with a minor in political science and a certificate in Arabic. She was offered a year-long scholarship to study Arabic at the University of Haifa in Israel for this coming fall semester.

“The University of Haifa is the most ethnically diverse campus in Israel, perhaps the whole of the middle east, which is a strong pull for me,” Gallina explained. “The history of what I’ve done has revolved around ethnic tension. I want to work on peace-building through economics.” Gallina will graduate in spring 2018 with a bachelor or arts in economics, a minor in political science and a certificate in Arabic.

A component of the scholarship includes working for the federal government in the national security arena – the departments of Defense and Homeland Security, for instance, or within the intelligence community – within three years of graduation. After graduation, Gallina hopes to work with the Office of Transition Initiatives, a department that supports U.S. foreign policy objectives by helping local partners advance peace and democracy. Specifically, Gallina would like to work with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on economically empowering women in war-torn countries. Her interest in working with women in predominantly Muslim countries stems in part from her personal history.

“I was born and raised in Kosovo,” Gallina explained. “It’s a Muslim country, but they don’t speak Arabic, they speak Albanian. Still, it was definitely around me in my childhood and I was fascinated by it, and that led me to study Arabic in Jordan after high school. I am eager to immerse myself in speaking the language but my long-term goal is to be able to listen. I think if you want to be an instigator of change, you have to start by listening. With the acquisition of Arabic comes the ability to really hear the heart of a culture and hear the people who can’t advocate for themselves. A lot of people aren’t given the opportunity to have a voice or have their voice heard. Eventually, I’d like to facilitate change in postwar countries that allows women to rise out of poverty and extreme conflict.”


Omicron Delta Epsilon Initiates a New Member

Ryan Wallace and Zeynep Hansen, Department of Economics chair

Ryan Wallace and Zeynep Hansen, Department of Economics chair

The Department of Economics held an initiation ceremony to Omicron Delta Epsilon (ODE), the International Economics Honor Society. The society initiated Ryan Wallace as a new ODE member with an honor cord that may be worn at graduation as well as a certificate of membership.

Undergraduate candidates for election to membership in ODE must have an overall GPA of at least 3.0 with at least 12 credits in economics with a B-average or better and have a class ranking in the upper third of economics majors.

The Department of Economics at Boise State University established the Beta Chapter of ODE in Idaho in 1976. ODE’s mission is to encourage excellence in economics. Membership in ODE confers recognition of scholarly achievement in economics, the opportunity to publish in The American Economist, the opportunity to participate in academic meetings sponsored by ODE and the opportunity to compete for The Frank W. Taussig Article Award — the award given to the best article submitted by an undergraduate member of ODE.

Students Chosen to Attend APEE Conference

Two Boise State Economics students were given the opportunity to attend the 41st Annual Meeting for The Association of Private Enterprise Education (APEE). APEE is an association of scholars from colleges and universities, public policy institutes, and industry with a common interest in studying and supporting the private enterprise system. Students are nominated to attend the conference where they present their research to various professors for the duration of the conference. The nominate Boise State students were Ceci Thunes and Kyle Johnson, and they were accompanied by Professor Allen Dalton. The conference was held in Las Vegas, Nevada April 3-5, 2016.

Kyle Johnson

Kyle Johnson

Ceci Thunes

Ceci Thunes









Samia Islam quoted in Idaho Business Review

image Samia Islam, associate professor of economics at Boise StateIdaho Business Review quoted Samia Islam on February, 4 2016 in regards to the three percent pay increase for public sector as proposed by Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter.

See article  here.

Michail Fragkias co-authors interdisciplinary research paper

Michail Fragkias co-authored an interdisciplinary research paper published in the journal ‘Urban Climate’. The paper is titled ‘A conceptual framework for an urban areas typology to integrate climate change mitigation and adaptation’ ( and is part of a Special Issue on ‘Building Capacity for Climate Change Adaptation in Urban Areas’
From the abstract:
“Urban areas are key sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and also are vulnerable to climate change. The recent IPCC Fifth Assessment Report illustrates a clear need for more research on urban strategies for climate change adaptation and mitigation. However, missing from the current literature on climate change and urban areas is a conceptual framework that integrates mitigation and adaptation perspectives and strategies. Because cities vary with respect to development histories, economic structure, urban form, institutional and financial capacities among other factors, it is critical to develop a framework that permits cross-city comparisons beyond simple single measures like population size.”

Undergraduate Research Competition – Las Vegas – April 3-5, 2016

Undergraduate Research Competition
Las Vegas

Research in Economics, Business, Political Science, Philosophy, History, Sociology, and Law
Association of Private Enterprise Education (APEE) Conference at Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel and Casino
Las Vegas – April 3-5, 2016

Boise State University Competition Submission Deadline: December 30, 2015

Submission priority will be given to topics consistent with the themes of political economy, private enterprise, entrepreneurship, economic education, and this year’s conference theme: Capitalism: Free-Market or Crony? In The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith described the economy of his day as the “mercantile” system. It consisted of government privileges for favored sectors, and onerous burdens on others. In the 20th century, Ludwig von Mises updated the Smithian analysis to deal with the modern version of the mercantile system, which he called interventionism. Mises identified corruption as “the regular effect of interventionism.” In today’s vernacular, and especially since the early 21st century financial crisis, the system has been dubbed crony capitalism. Crony capitalism is frequently linked to corruption. Free-market capitalism may be an ideal, but crony capitalism is all too real around the globe.

Boise State students are eligible to compete for a trip to Las Vegas to present their research results and attend conference activities at the Association of Private Enterprise Education Conference, April 3-5, 2016.

Information about the Boise State University Research Competition: The top three entries in the Boise State University Competition will be nominated to present their research at the APEE Conference and the three students will have their airfare, hotel accommodations, conference registration, and meals covered by a generous grant from the Charles Koch Foundation. Students will be expected to participate in conference activities. Student entries will be judged by a committee chaired by Allen Dalton (Dept. of Economics). Other committee members are Charlotte Twight and Scott Yenor (Dept. of Political Science). Any topic in Economics, Business, Political Science, Philosophy, History, Sociology, and Law are welcome. Priority will be given to entries on the conference theme of Capitalism: Free-Market or Crony?

Eligibility Requirements: (1) Applicants must be registered students at Boise State University during the fall 2015 semester. (2) Applicants must be 21 or older by April 3, 2016 (a copy of a driver’s license or other official document showing proof of age must accompany the Boise State competition submission). (3) Applicants must either possess a valid US passport through the dates of the conference, or undertake arrangements to possess one by February 12, 2016 (proof of valid passport at time of the submission deadline or proof of submission of application for a passport after selection must be received by the committee). (4) Applications, along with a 600-word abstract, the complete research paper, and a provisional poster must be submitted by December 30, 2015. Applications and additional information may be obtained from Allen Dalton ( Winning students will be selected and announced by January 30, 2016.

Information about the Association of Private Enterprise Education (APEE): APEE believes that individual understanding of a society based on freedom in enterprise and one’s personal life can provide an environment within which people can fulfill their greatest potential. The Association acts as a network to provide members with information, interaction, and support in their efforts to put into action an accurate and objective understanding of private enterprise systems. APEE sponsors yearly conferences, newsletters, membership directories, consultation among members, and other programs and publications. APEE publishes the Journal of Private Enterprise. For more information about APEE and past conferences, visit APEE Undergraduate Research Competitions: APEE encourages professors to nominate outstanding undergraduate research projects. Undergraduates are invited to present their research at a poster session, set up like a science fair. Participants each have an easel for a poster or other visual display highlighting their research; they talk to professors about their research as professors circulate about the room during the plenary session/reception. Awards for top undergraduate papers are presented during the general meeting luncheon.

Michail Fragkias interviewed by BBC

Is the world running out of space?

Spring 2015 Graduates honored

Economics faculty and staff celebrated the accomplishments of their Spring 2015 graduates at a reception held on May 8, 2015.  Student attendees were Andrew Williams, Bre Perrone, Mason Harp, Chris Felt, Colby Scott, Ethan Lopez, Mark Coyne, Ravyn Farber, Stephen Gustafson.  There were also many family members  and friends in attendance.

L-R (Back): Mason Harp, Stephen Gustafson, Chris Felt, Colby Scott, Andrew Williams, Mark Coyne. L-R (front): Ethan Lopez, Ravyn Farber, Bre Perrone.

L-R (Back): Mason Harp, Stephen Gustafson, Chris Felt, Colby Scott, Andrew Williams, Mark Coyne. L-R (front): Ethan Lopez, Ravyn Farber, Bre Perrone.

L-R (back): Scott Lowe, Michail Fragkias, Mason Harp, Stephen Gustafson, Chris Felt, Colby Scott, Andrew Williams, Mark Coyne, Allen Dalton, Don Holley.  L-R (middle): John Martin, Samia Islam, Zeynep Hansen. L-R (front): Charlotte Twight, Ethan Lopez, Ravyn Farber, Bre Perrone, Chris Loucks.

L-R (back): Scott Lowe, Michail Fragkias, Mason Harp, Stephen Gustafson, Chris Felt, Colby Scott, Andrew Williams, Mark Coyne, Allen Dalton, Don Holley. L-R (middle): John Martin, Samia Islam, Zeynep Hansen. L-R (front): Charlotte Twight, Ethan Lopez, Ravyn Farber, Bre Perrone, Chris Loucks.

2015-2016 Jordan Scholarship announces recipients

The recipients of the 2015-2016 Jordan Scholarship have been announced.  They are Jennifer Moore and Christopher Daigle.  These two individuals are committed to their pursuit of degree completion and in maintaining their high academic standards, working diligently and with high integrity.  Congratulations to Chris and Jennifer.

2015-2016 Jordan Scholarship recipients, Christopher Daigle and Jennifer Moore shown with Tammy Ota and Sue Lovelace, Jordan family members.

2015-2016 Jordan Scholarship recipients, Christopher Daigle and Jennifer Moore shown with Tammy Ota and Sue Lovelace, Jordan family members.

2015-2016 Jordan Scholarship Reception

2015-2016 Jordan Scholarship Reception