With yet another busy season of holiday travel about to begin, Georgia Tech has experts who can help round out your travel stories. They can offer perspectives on air travel and traveler decision-making; the impact of weather and natural disasters on travel, including in areas that are continuing to recover from wildfires and hurricanes; the climate impact of travel and how travelers can offset that impact; and why the big online shopping days during the holidays might actually make roads more congested.


Steve French, dean of the College of Design and professor of city and regional planning

French can explore topics related to all of the things that can go wrong when weather or natural disasters complicate an already complicated travel day. He can talk about everything from how gas availability and hotel room prices are connected to the perils of rolling power blackouts and the domino effects of a cold snap on air travel.

French’s teaching and research activities focus on sustainable urban development, land use planning, GIS applications, and natural hazard risk assessment.


Laurie Garrow, professor of civil and environmental engineering

Garrow can talk about air travel on the busy holiday, especially airline passenger behavior and preferences and how airlines make decisions based on that behavior.

Garrow and her research group are working on ways to use online data and non-traditional data sources (like credit reporting data) to enhance our understanding of traveler behavior and model transportation decisions, particularly within the airline industry. 


Kim Cobb, professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and director of the Global Change Program at Georgia Tech

Cobb is available to explore the climate implications of all the traveling we do around the holidays, and perhaps even more interestingly, how we offset our holiday travel-related carbon footprint.

Cobb studies paleoclimate and climate change. Her lab's mission is to uncover the mechanisms of global climate change, both natural and anthropogenic, in order to inform projections of future climate change.


Catherine Ross, professor of city and regional planning and director of the Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development

Ross can cover a range of topics, including why the holidays lead to a spike in rail travel, which tends to be far more susceptible to delays than driving or flying; how all of our online shopping for Black Friday and Cyber Monday can actually lead to more congestion on the roads; and why travel issues don’t deter people as much during the holidays as they otherwise might.

Ross is an internationally recognized expert on transportation systems planning, urban planning and quality growth.