delware environmental institute

UD Department of Applied Economics and Statistics' new tuk tuk supports mobile research efforts

UD Department of Applied Economics and Statistics' new tuk tuk supports mobile research efforts

The University of Delaware’s Kent Messer was looking for something that would allow him and his research team from the Center for Experimental and Applied Economics (CEAE) to stand out in a crowd and drum up participation when they travel to locations for their experiments, while at the same time, being able to serve all of their research needs.

Upon returning from a recent trip to Thailand, Messer, the Unidel Howard Cosgrove Chair for the Environment, director of the CEAE and co-director of the Center for Behavioral and Experimental Agri-Environmental Research (CBEAR) in the University’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR), found the vehicle that would be truly unique to the state of Delaware: a tuk tuk.

“Social scientists always want to recruit a representative sample of participants for their research, but recruiting has become increasingly difficult as people’s lives have become so busy.  We needed something that was attractive and instantly welcoming. People smile when they see our tuk tuk and they approach us wanting to learn more,” said Messer.

UD’s tuk tuk is a sort of three-wheeled motorized rickshaw decked out in UD colors and logos that arrived the night before Ag Day and made its debut at the event where it garnered much attention.