Makena Coffman

Makena Coffman, Faculty, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, UH Mānoa

Saunders 113
(808) 956-2890

Areas of interest

Environmental Planning, Energy and Climate Change Policy, Resource Management, System Modeling


  • PhD, Economics, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
  • B.A in International Relations, minor in Economics, Stanford University


  • College of Social Sciences Teaching Award, 2011


Makena serves in a dual capacity as the Director for the Institute for Sustainability and Resilience and a professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning. Her interests include greenhouse gas reduction strategies; renewable energy planning and policy; low-carbon transportation; and sea level rise response. She specializes in regional economy-environment modeling with expertise in energy and climate policy. Her current research assesses energy planning and regulatory mechanisms to help Hawai‘i and the U.S. meet their clean energy goals, including low-carbon transportation options, as well as research on the economic and social impacts of sea level rise in Hawaiʻi. Makena is also a Research Fellow with the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization.

Courses Instructed

  • PLAN 603 Urban Economics
  • PLAN 620 Environmental Policies and Programs
  • PLAN 625 Climate Change, Energy and Food Security in the Asia/Pacific Region
  • PLAN 650 Research Methods
  • PLAN 751 Planning Practicum Environmental Planning

Selected Publications and Publications

Coffman, M., Bernstein, P., Schjervheim, M., La Croix, S., and Hayashida, S. (2022). Economic and GHG Impacts of a US State-Level Carbon Tax: the case of Hawai‘i. Climate Policy, 22:7, 935-949. DOI: 10.1080/14693062.2022.2061405.

Bayham, J., Burkhard, J., Coffman, M., Hayashida, S., and La Croix, S. (2022). Does Air Pollution Increase Electric Vehicle Adoption? Evidence from US Metropolitan Areas, 2011-2018. Journal of Environmental Economics and Policy. DOI: 10.1080/21606544.2022.2059015.

Bremer, L., Coffman, M., Summers, A., Kelley, Lisa, and Kinney, W. (2022). Managing for Diverse Coastal Uses and Values Under Sea Level Rise: Perspectives from O‘ahu, Hawai‘i. Ocean & Coastal Management, 225, 106151.”

Wee, S., LaCroix, S., and Coffman, M. (2021). Understanding Changes in Electric Vehicle Policies in the U.S. States, 2010-2018. Transport Policy 103: 211-223.

Coffman, M. (2020). Air Pollution and the Pandemic: How Will COVID-19 Shape Hawai‘iʻs Response to Global Climate Change? Value of Hawai‘i, Volume 3. University of Hawai‘i Press.

Wee, S., Coffman, M., *Allen, S. (2020). EV Driver Characteristics: Evidence from Hawai’i. Transport Policy 80: 33-40.

Wee, S., Coffman, M., LaCrois, S. (2018). “Do Electric Vehicle Incentives Matter? Evidence from 50 U.S. States,” Research Policy, DOI 10.1016/j.respol.2018.05.003.

Bonham, C., Coffman, M. (2017). A New Perspective on Hawaii’s Economy: Understanding the Role of Clusters. UHERO Report.

Coffman, M., Bernstein, P., Wee, S. (2016). “Integrating Electric Vehicles and Residential Solar PV,” Transport Policy, 53: 30-38.

Coffman, M., Bernstein, P., Wee, S. (2016). “Electric Vehicles Revisited: A Review of Factors that Affect Adoption,” Transport Reviews, 37: 1, 79-93.

Coffman, M., Bernstein, P., Wee, S., and Schafer, C. (2016). “Economic and GHG Impacts of Natural Gas for Hawaii,” Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, 19: 3, 519-536.

Coffman, M., Wee, S., Bonham, C., and Salim, G. (2016). “A Policy Analysis of Hawaii’s Solar Tax Credit Incentive,” Renewable Energy, 85: 2036-1043.

Coffman, M., Bernstein, P., Wee, S., Arik, A. (2016). “Estimating the Opportunity for Load-Shifting in Hawaii: An Analysis of Proposed Residential Time-of-Use Rates,” UHERO Working Paper Series. 

Coffman, M., Bernstein, P., Wee, S., Arik, A. (2016). “Electric Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Assessment for Hawaii,” Electric Vehicle Transportation Center, University of Central Florida.

Coffman, M., Bernstein, P., Wee, S. (2015). Factors affecting EV Adoption: A literature review and EV forecast for Hawaii. Electric Vehicle Transportation Center, University of Central Florida.

Mochizuki, J., Coffman, M., and Yanagida, J. (2015). “Market, Welfare and Land-Use Implications of Lignocellulosic Bioethanol in Hawaii,” Renewable Energy, 76: 102-114.

Coffman, M., Bernstein, P. (2014). “Linking Hawaii’s Islands with Wind Energy.” Annals of Regional Science, DOI 10.1007/s00168-014-0644-y.

Coffman, M. (2014). “Energy,” The Value of Hawaii 2: Ancestral Roots, Oceanic Visions, Eds. Yamashiro, Aiko; Goodyear-Kaopua, Noelani.

Coffman, M., Bernstein, P., and Wee, S. (2014). Cost Implications of GHG Regulation in Hawaii. UHERO Working Paper Series. 

Coffman, M., Bernstein, P., Wee, S., and Frost, A. (2014). PURPA and the Impact of Existing Avoided Cost Contracts on Hawaii’s Electricity Sector. UHERO Working Paper Series. 

Coffman, M., Griffin, J., and Bernstein, P. (2012). “An Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions-Weighted Clean Energy Standards,” Energy Policy, 45: 122-132.

Coffman, M., Noy, I., (2012). “Hurricane Iniki: Measuring the Long-Term Economic Impact of a Natural Disaster Using Synthetic Control,” Environment and Development Economics, 17(2): 187-205.

Coffman, M., Noy, I., (2010). “A Hurricane Hits Hawai‘i: A Tale of Vulnerability to Natural Disasters,” CESifo Forum 11(2): 67-72.

Coffman, M, Umemoto, K. (2010). “The Triple-Bottom-Line: Framing of Tradeoffs in Sustainability Planning Practice,” Environment, Development and Sustainability, 10(5), 597-610.

Coffman, M. (2010). “Oil Price Shocks and Hawai‘i’s Economy: An Analysis of the Oil-Price Macroeconomy Relationship,” Annals of Regional Science 44(3), 599-620.

Coffman, M. (2009). “University Leadership in Island Climate Mitigation,” International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education 10(3): 239-249.

Coffman, M., Kim, K. (2009). “The Economic Impacts of Banning Commercial Bottomfish Fishing in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands,” Ocean and Coastal Management 52(3-4), 166-172

Coffman, M. (2008). “Concepts in Greenhouse Gas Regulation: A Primer on Meeting ACT 234,”A Publication of the University of Hawai`i Economic Research Organization (UHERO), September 29.

Coffman, M. (2008). “An Overview of U.S. Regional and National Climate Change Mitigation Strategies: Lessons for Hawai`i,” A Publication of the University of Hawai`i Economic Research Organization (UHERO), August 25.

Coffman, M., Surles, T., and Konan, D. (2007). “Analysis of the Impact of Petroleum Prices on the State of Hawai`i’s Economy,” prepared for the State of Hawai`i Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.