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Nils Johnson

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Nils Johnson

Nils Johnson
Graduate Student

Phone: (530) 752-1934
Fax: (530) 752-6572


Nils is a graduate student within the Hydrogen Pathways Program in the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis.  He is primarily involved with the hydrogen infrastructure modeling project, which is an ongoing modeling effort to evaluate how a hydrogen infrastructure might develop through time.  In addition, he has significant professional experience in the realm of geographic information systems and acts as the lead in applying GIS to hydrogen modeling efforts at UC Davis.  Nils has a BA in political science from Haverford College and  a Master of Forestry and Master of Environmental Management from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University.

Research Interests

Spatial Analysis of Hydrogen Demand
Nils has developed a GIS-based tool for identifying potential regional hydrogen demand at static market penetration levels using U.S. Census population data.  This tool defines the magnitude and extent of hydrogen demand within study regions and the results are used to facilitate hydrogen infrastructure design.

Regional Analysis and Evaluation of H2 Infrastructure Design
Nils is working on understanding issues related to the evolution of the hydrogen economy in a regional and geographic context. Major work includes developing simplified H2 pathway models for production and distribution and optimizing the economics and location of production facilities and distribution networks using GIS. 

Nils is also interested in renewable energy resources as both alternative fuels and feedstocks for H2 production.

Conference and Technical Reports

Joan M. Ogden, Christopher Yang, Nils Johnson, Jason Ni and Joshua Johnson. Conceptual Design of Optimized Fossil Energy Systems with Capture and Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide. Final report for US DOE NETL project DE-FC26-02NT41623. September 2004.

Ogden, J., C. Yang and N. Johnson, Modeling Regional H2 Infrastructure Transitions: H2 Pathways Research Progress and Directions. ITS-Davis, October 2004.

Joan M. Ogden, Christopher Yang, Nils Johnson, Jason Ni, and Zhenhong Lin.  Technical and Economic Assessment of Transition Strategies Toward Widespread Use of Hydrogen as an Energy Carrier.  Report to US DOE Hydrogen, Fuel Cells, and Infrastructure Program for Phase I of NREL contract XCM-4-44000-01.  January 2005.

Nils Johnson, Christopher Yang, Jason Ni, Joshua Johnson, Zhenhong Lin, and Joan M. Ogden.  Optimal Design of a Fossil Fuel-Based Hydrogen Infrastructure with Carbon Capture and Sequestration: Case Study in Ohio.  Presented at the National Hydrogen Association Annual Hydrogen Conference, Washington, DC.  March 29 - April 1, 2005.

Michael Nicholas and Nils Johnson.  Rural Needs for Hydrogen Station Coverage.  Poster Presentation at the National Hydrogen Association Annual Hydrogen Conference, Washington, DC.  March 29 - April 1, 2005.

Jason Ni, Nils Johnson, Joan M. Ogden, Christopher Yang, and Joshua Johnson.  Estimating Hydrogen Demand Distribution Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS).  Poster Presentation at the National Hydrogen Association Annual Hydrogen Conference, Washington, DC.  March 29 - April 1, 2005.

Nils Johnson, Christopher Yang, Jason Ni, Joshua Johnson, Zhenhong Lin, and Joan M. Ogden.  Designing Hydrogen Infrastructure in Ohio Using GIS.  Presentation at the UC Davis Hydrogen Case Studies Workshop, Davis, CA.  June 28 – 29, 2005.

Nils Johnson, Christopher Yang, and Joan Ogden.  Build-Out Scenarios for Implementing a Regional Hydrogen Infrastructure.  Presented at the National Hydrogen Association Annual Hydrogen Conference, Long Beach, CA.  March 11-15, 2006.


Master of Environmental Management, December 1999
Master of Forestry, December 1999
Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC
Master’s project:  A landscape-level monitoring plan for the forested floodplain communities of the lower Roanoke River basin in North Carolina
Concentration:  Landscape ecology; GIS. 

Bachelor of Arts, May 1994
Haverford College, Haverford, PA
Major:  Political science with concentration in environmental policy.
Senior thesis:  Beyond anthropocentrism in environmental policy: ethics, risk analysis,and pesticides.
Study abroad:  Institut d’Etudes Politiques, University of Strasbourg, France, Spring 1993.

Professional Experience

Program Manager, Institute of Transportation Studies, University of California, Davis, CA

Managed the hydrogen infrastructure modeling project within the Hydrogen Pathways (H2P) program.  Responsibilities included coordinating student and staff research, conducting original research, and tracking and documenting the progress and accomplishments of the project.  Led the application of GIS to modeling efforts in the H2P program and acted as an adviser to students and researchers on the application of GIS to relevant projects.  June 2004 - December 2005

GIS Specialist, EIP Associates, San Francisco, CA

Managed a diverse array of GIS projects in the areas of watershed management, vegetation mapping, urban planning, and transportation;  performed the majority of technical work in the corporate office; acted as the primary contact for answering and solving technical issues encountered by satellite GIS staff; developed scopes, budgets, and proposals for existing and proposed projects; and supervised the development and maintenance of the data library.  April 2001 – September 2003

GIS Analyst, MFG, Inc., San Francisco, CA

Established the GIS department, provided GIS support for a large-scale watershed assessment for Pacific Lumber Company (including studies of surface erosion, fisheries, hydrology, riparian management, and mass wasting), database management, and AutoCAD drafting.   May 2000 – March 2001

GIS Analyst, The Nature Conservancy, Durham, NC

Designed and developed a GIS-based monitoring plan to evaluate the response of forested floodplain communities to changes in the hydrologic regime of the lower Roanoke River in North Carolina.  Used GIS extensively to describe the study area, identify environmental gradients, and optimize the sampling design.  Sept. 1998 – Dec. 1999

GIS/GPS Technician, National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park, WY

Utilized GIS to perform a park-wide watershed delineation, determine viewsheds, identify potential lynx habitat, and edit GPS data.  Mapped several park trails and vegetative study exclosures using GPS.  Acted as staff Arc/Info GRID module specialist.  Summer 1999

Research Assistant, Duke/The Nature Conservancy Program in Applied Conservation Biology, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC

Completed preliminary research on biodiversity monitoring and floodplain floral communities in the lower Roanoke River basin.  Wrote papers on selecting indicators for biodiversity monitoring and cypress regeneration.  Presented findings to a multi-institutional committee organized to guide land management of property under joint management by Georgia-Pacific Corporation and The Nature Conservancy. 1997-98

Activities and Interests

Nils enjoys a wide range of outdoor pursuits in his leisure time, including cycling, backpacking, skiing, and climbing.  He also plays bluegrass guitar (poorly) and loves to travel.


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