The University of Texas at Austin has 100-year history of education and research throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. As a result, the University has a vast array of resources that can be utilized to assist in understanding and addressing issues of importance to the region. These internal assets are force-multiplied by the fact that many of our graduating international students have returned to their home countries, achieved prominence in government, industry and academia, and can be easily engaged in cooperative discussions and projects.
Innovative technologies have unlocked new conventional and unconventional hydrocarbon resources along with renewable sources of energy throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. The region is on the threshold of revitalizing its economies and has an opportunity to build energy and environmental policies and programs that will result in sustainable growth long into the future. The area includes countries that have already achieved high living standards, efficient governments and educational institutions, and a superior quality of life for their citizens. It also includes countries that are struggling to achieve the same level of development, many of which have newly discovered energy resources that can, if properly managed, lead to improved education, health and welfare.
The Jackson School of Geosciences Latin America and Caribbean Energy and Environment Program will create, foster and maintain a regional outreach network that will nurture cooperative and frank discussions of issues related to sustainable development of energy resources and environmental stewardship. The network will include representatives from governments, universities, private sector, multilateral agencies, industry and professional associations and other stakeholders.
The program will facilitate, through targeted outreach events and publications, the transfer of knowledge and best practices throughout the network, thus providing developing countries the opportunity to become fast learners, to avoid mistakes made by others, and to have access to existing processes, research and best practices that may be beneficial to their specific needs. The five key messages that the program will focus on and deliberate within its outreach network through conferences, publications, policy papers, academic and research partnerships and other outreach activities are; good governance, environmental stewardship, resource development best practices, STEM education, and sustainable energy policies.
The program will pursue an interdisciplinary collaborative approach among the Jackson School of Geosciences, Cockrell School of Engineering, LBJ School of Public Affairs, McCombs School of Business, the School of Law, the College of Liberal Arts, the School of Architecture, the College of Natural Sciences and the Energy Institute; and will act as an enabler by identifying and facilitating research and academic opportunities among the program’s stakeholders and UT’s faculty, researchers and students. Externally the program will also collaborate with interdisciplinary organizations that include the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA), the Organization of American States, the Atlantic Council, and conferences such as the La Jolla Energy Conference and the Border Energy Forum. In this effort both our program and our program friends will strive to pursue avenues of collaboration and participation to enhance our mutual goals. The program calendar year will culminate with the annual Jackson School of Geosciences’ Latin American Forum on Energy and the Environment, an event created to revitalize the university’s ties to the energy sectors of Latin America while creating a space for stakeholders to explore balanced stewardship of energy and environmental resources.