Departments & Research Units
The Jackson School of Geosciences is made up of three research units: the Bureau of Economic Geology, the Department of Geological Sciences, and the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics. Each unit is its own research entity, as well as a partner to other Jackson School units. Collaboration happens frequently between units, and professors and research scientists often hold appointments in more than one unit. Research opportunities for both graduate and undergraduate students are available across units.
Bureau of Economic Geology, BEG
Established in 1909, the Bureau of Economic Geology is the oldest and second-largest research unit at The University of Texas at Austin. It also functions as the state geological survey of Texas. Research at the BEG focuses on questions at the intersection of energy, the environment and the economy. The bureau’s labs and offices are located at the J.J. Pickle Research Campus in North Austin.
Department of Geological Sciences, DGS
Founded in 1888, the Department of Geological Sciences is the main academic unit of the Jackson School. It’s among the largest and most academically diverse programs in the world, with a strong emphasis on global field work. Research in the department spans across the Jackson School’s nine research themes, with a particular focus on understanding fundamental geologic processes. The department’s labs and offices are located on the main UT Austin campus.
Institute for Geophysics, UTIG
Started in 1972, the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics is known for expeditionary-scale research. Scientists from the institute are leading ongoing research in the Arctic, Antarctic, and on missions to study other planetary bodies, including Mars and Jupiter’s moon Europa. Its research expertise is in climate, energy, marine geosciences, tectonophysics, and planetary and polar geophysics. The institute’s labs and offices are located at the J.J. Pickle Research Campus in North Austin.
Environmental Science Institute, ESI
Founded in 2000, the Environmental Science Institute is an interdisciplinary institute that serves as a focal point on campus for a wide scope research and teaching involving the complex interactions of the biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and lithosphere in the Earth system, as well as the human dimensions of these interactions. ESI coordinates the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, a cross-college environmental science degree; facilitates education and public engagement in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields; and disseminates advances in the area of environmental science that are important locally and globally. As an interdisciplinary institute, ESI reports to the Jackson School of Geosciences, the College of Natural Sciences, and the Provost’s Office.