Joan Ogden, Ph.D.

  • Professor Emerita, Environmental Science and Policy
  • Technical and economic assessment of new energy technologies
  • Modeling hydrogen infrastructure development
Graduate Group TTP


Dr. Joan Ogden is Professor of Environmental Science and founding Director of the Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPS) Program at the Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis. Prior to joining UC Davis in 2003, she was a research scientist at Princeton University’s Environmental Institute. Her primary research interest is technical and economic assessment of new energy technologies, especially in the areas of alternative fuels, fuel cells, renewable energy and energy conservation. She has written extensively on energy topics, including two books, twenty-seven book chapters, and numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, technical reports and conference papers.

Over the past 20 years, she has conducted a number of technical and economic assessments of hydrogen and fuel cell systems. Her recent work centers on the use of hydrogen as an energy carrier, particularly hydrogen infrastructure strategies, and applications of fuel cell technology in transportation and stationary power production. Her research has been supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, private foundations, and private sector companies, particularly the automotive and energy industries.

Ogden has served on a number of high-level committees and working groups convened by the U.S. Department of Energy on future energy technologies and strategies. In 2007-8, she served on a National Academies Panel that assessed research needs for hydrogen and fuel cell technologies and in 2009-2010 on a National Academies panel assessing these needs for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. In 2007-2009, she served on a California state panel to advise the state on implementing its greenhouse gas law AB32, the DOE’s Hydrogen Technical Advisory Committee, and is a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2011 Special Report on Renewable Energy, examining the future role of renewable energy.

She received a Ph.D. in theoretical plasma physics from the University of Maryland in 1977, with a specialization in numerical simulation techniques. She joined the faculty of UC Davis in September 2003.

Member of National Academies Board on Energy & Environmental Systems (BEES), Committee on Resource Needs for Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technologies, 2007-2008.

Member of Technical Advisory Panel on Greenhouse Gas Technologies (ETAAC Panel) for the state of California (2007-2009)

Member Hydrogen Technical Advisory Committee of the US Department of Energy July (2008-present)

Lead author Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, special report on Renewable Energy (2009-2011)

Member California Commission on Science and Technology Committee on California’s Energy Future, 2009-2010.

Member of National Academies Board on Energy & Environmental Systems (BEES), Committee on Resource Needs for Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle Technologies, 2009.

ESP 167 Energy Policy (4)

Lecture—4 hours; term paper. Prerequisite: Economics 1A, Mathematics 16B, or consent of instructor. Survey of primary energy resources (fossil, renewable, nuclear), energy conversion methods, future energy demand scenarios, and environmental impacts of energy. Overview of energy policy in the U.S. Analysis of policy alternatives for addressing energy-related environmental and national security issues.


ESP 168A Methods of Environmental Policy Evaluation (5)

Lecture—3 hours; discussion—1 hour; term paper. Prerequisite: Statistics 13; Economics 100 or Agricultural and Resource Economics 100A; Mathematics 16B or 21B; course 1; upper division standing. Evaluation of alternatives for solution of complex environmental problems; impact analysis, benefit cost analysis, distributional analysis, decision making under uncertainty, and multi-objective evaluation.

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