Department: Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning
Event Attendance: Transportation Research Board, 99th Annual Meeting
Location: Washington, D.C.
Megan Morrow is a 2nd year MA student in the Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning program. She came to Tufts with a background in environmental science and has since focused her studies and work on transportation planning. Her recent summer internship brought her to a transportation engineering firm in Oakland, CA, where she worked on a variety of projects with both public and private clients. This year, her thesis is focusing on developing a mapping methodology to better identify where transportation disadvantaged populations are located in the Boston area in relation to extreme weather risk. She hopes the results of her research will inform evacuation planning in the Commonwealth and beyond. Outside of Tufts, Megan enjoys commuting by bike, baking, and watching the Red Sox.
Attending TRB allowed me to connect with transportation professionals from around the country, to meet dozens of future coworkers from my new company, and to hear the most recent developments in the field. While I was initially overwhelmed by the vast number of sessions and workshops the conference offered, I tried to curate my conference with the research most related to my thesis and the topics I hope to focus on in my future career. These included sessions on transportation and land use, cycling and equity, and urban transportation challenges. I also thoroughly enjoyed sitting in on a few committee meetings, such as the Women's Issues in Transportation Committee or the Bicycle and Pedestrian Data Joint Subcommittee, each of which was focused on a different transportation topic.
In the future, I plan to become more involved in one or two committees and to hopefully fill one of the many volunteer positions available. In addition to providing incredible opportunities to learn, TRB allowed me to connect and reconnect with many former and future coworkers. Upon graduating, I will be starting as a Transportation Analyst with a transportation engineering firm called Kittelson & Associates. More than 40 Kittelson employees were in attendance at TRB and I was able to meet most of them and establish a connection before beginning work in June. I doubt this will be the last time I attend TRB. I hope to continue my involvement in the annual meeting over the next few years as either a presenter or a committee member. Thank you to TIE for providing me with the opportunity to attend this year and to see what the future holds for transportation.
I was drawn to TIE's travel grant because it supported both conference presenters and attendees. I also resonate with TIE's mission and hope to use my future position as a transportation professional to advocate for environmentally friendly solutions and more sustainable transportation options.