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At a meeting just miles from the U.S.-Mexico border, Texas legislators heard a range of benefits their state can look forward to as Mexico remakes its energy sector – and also a stiff warning that capturing the windfall won’t be easy.

Over the past year, the Mexican government has approved a historical overhaul opening its energy industry to private investment after decades as a state-owned monopoly.

Houston Chronicle, Sept. 28, 2014

Featuring: Jorge Piñon, director of the Latin America and Caribbean Energy Program at the University of Texas at Austin’s Jackson School of Geosciences

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas has selected William Fisher, inaugural dean of UT-Austin’s Jackson School of Geosciences, to receive its Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award for 2014-2015. The award is the highest recognition the College bestows upon its graduates.

UT Professor Zong-Liang Yang was at a conference on extreme weather in the Netherlands. It was 2012, just one year after the worst single-year drought in Texas history. When it came to discussing extreme weather, Texas seemed like a good place to be.  He suggested to colleagues that their next conference should take place in the Lone Star State. Two years later, he and dozens of some of the world’s leading climate experts from 10 different countries have descended upon UT-Austin to talk about improving our ability to forecast and prepare for extreme weather.

StateImpact Texas (KUT/NPR), Sept. 9, 2014


Zong-Liang Yang, professor in the Department of Geological Sciences and director of the Center for Integrated Earth System Science

Michael Young, associate director for Environmental Systems and senior research scientist at the Bureau of Economic Geology

The Mexican Congress approved a massive overhaul of the country’s energy industry that will open it up to international oil companies and allow competition in Mexico’s stagnant energy sector. The legislation is part of President Enrique Peña Nieto’s plan to improve the country’s economy.

New York Times, Aug. 6, 2014

Featuring: Jorge Pinon

Chile Energy Minister Máximo Pacheco Matte

Chile’s energy sector is focusing its efforts on developing renewables, with a goal of meeting 20 percent of the country’s power needs with renewable energy by 2025. Chile Energy Minister Máximo Pacheco Matte discussed the issue at an event sponsored by the University of Texas-Austin Latin America and Caribbean Program.

Houston Chronicle, July 2, 2014

Featuring: Jorge Pinon

By day, Phil Bennett is a geology professor in the Jackson School of Geosciences. But he’s always on call as a volunteer with Travis County Search and Rescue.

Alcalde, April 28, 2014

Dr. Suzanne Pierce

Dr. Suzanne Pierce

Dr. Suzanne Pierce, Assistant Professor of Research, has won an award from the Sustainability Course Development and PLUS Awards Program to convert her Decision Pathways course to a Peer-Led Undergraduate Studying (PLUS) model.

The Sustainability Course Development and PLUS Awards competition is designed to incentivize the development of new sustainability courses or course conversions to a Peer-Led Undergraduate Studying (PLUS) model. To be eligible for either award, a course must address issues related to sustainability and fulfill the requirements for one or more flags.

The winner of the William Smith Medal, Martin Jackson, delivers a talk on the “Origin and Evolution of Allochthonous Salt Sheets”.

Colored dinoNew research points to an explosion of color in early paravians and maniraptors, but the research also suggests the genes that control the colors of skin, hair and feathers are part of the body’s melanocortin system, which also influences metabolism, inflammation and sexual function. “We hypothesize,” says Clarke, “that what we’re seeing is a big physiological shift in dinosaurs, a change that has other implications than just the color of feathers.”

Time, Feb. 12, 2014

Researchers at the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin, who earlier released a comprehensive study of the Barnett Shale, on Thursday said they estimate the Fayetteville Shale in Arkansas has about 38 trillion cubic feet of natural gas that can be recovered with current technology.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Jan. 10, 2014

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