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Texas and Argentina have cultures with a lot of things in common: big cattle ranches, workers on horseback and large shale reserves that contain oil and gas.

The Railroad Commission of Texas recently provided a briefing to a delegation of government officials and energy industry executives from Argentina. Hosted by the University of Texas at Austin Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law and Business and the UT Jackson School of Geosciences, the presentation focused on the regulation of oil and gas exploration and production in Texas.

The Argentine delegates, including the minister of energy, senators, representatives, academics and members of the American Chamber of Commerce Argentina, requested an opportunity to learn about the commission’s comprehensive rules and procedures that protect the public and natural resources.

 

Texas Lawyer, June 8, 2015


AUSTIN—The state will dedicate $4.5 million to the University of Texas at Austin Bureau of Economic Geology to study seismic activity in Texas under a supplemental budget bill approved by the House Thursday.

House lawmakers voted 145-1 to give final approval to the supplemental budget, money to address needs in the current state budget, which ends August 31. The bill now goes to Gov. Greg Abbott, who is expected to sign it.

Dallas Morning News, May 28, 2015

Dallas Morning News, May 23, 2015

Midland Reporter Telegram, June 1, 2015

Featuring: Bureau of Economic Geology


Drought_File_26013This spring ranks in the top ten when it comes to rain. The Austin area is more than six inches above normal. But what does that mean for the summer? A UT professor may have the answer. She’s devised a new forecasting method that could give Central Texas a more accurate look at the future.

Before, it was almost like flipping a coin. The larger-scale climate models had a 50 percent accuracy rate. But a new forecasting method is reported to be about 70 percent effective in predicting summer rainfall.

“There’s a good chance this summer will be wetter than normal,” said UT Austin Professor Rong Fu.

The professor at the Jackson School of Geosciences is the principal investigator in devising a new forecasting method that is said to be more accurate than traditional climate models. The statistical forecast model relies on more localized data rather than the larger-scale dynamic climate models traditionally used to predict summer weather.

KEYETV, May 21, 2015

The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2015

The Weatherford Democrat, May 25, 2015

The Gainesville Daily Register, May 23, 2015

The Austin American-Statesman, May 21, 2015

Featuring Rong Fu,  Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences

 

 


Solar-powered seismic instruments recorded data that SMU researchers now say points to disposal of wastewater from oil and gas drilling operations as the likely cause of earthquakes that rattled rural Parker County starting in November 2013. Image: Robert W. Hart/Special Contributor

Solar-powered seismic instruments recorded data that SMU researchers now say points to disposal of wastewater from oil and gas drilling operations as the likely cause of earthquakes that rattled rural Parker County starting in November 2013. Image: Robert W. Hart/Special Contributor

Oil and gas operations are the most likely cause of dozens of earthquakes that began rattling the North Texas towns of Azle and Reno in November 2013, a group of scientists has concluded.

The study, led by researchers at SMU and published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, presents some of the most conclusive evidence yet that humans are shifting faults below Dallas-Fort Worth that have not budged in hundreds of millions of years.

Cliff Frohlich, associate director of the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics, contributed to the research.

The Dallas Morning News, April 22, 2015

The Texas Tribune, April 22, 2015

 

Featuring: Cliff Frohlich, Associate Director, University of Texas Institute for Geophysics, Jackson School of Geosciences

 


Winter pattern for all neutral years that followed a  La Niña (1901-2004)

Winter pattern for all neutral years that followed a La Niña (1901-2004)

On average, La Niña—the cool phase of a natural climate pattern in the tropical Pacific—leads to somewhat dry winters in California.  But a new analysis of historical data from scientists in NOAA’s Climate Program Office suggests that dryness often deepens into drought the following year, even if the tropical Pacific has technically shifted back to “neutral” conditions.  Consistent with that pattern, California’s ongoing drought began in 2011-12, during the second year of a La Niña phase, and it persisted into the “neutral” years of 2012-2014. Yuko Okumura, a research associate at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics, contributed to the data analysis.

Climate.gov, April 20, 2015

Featuring: Yuko Okumura, Research Associate, University of Texas Institute for Geophysic, Jackson School of Geosciences


Jackson School professor Philip Bennett testing water wells in the rural village of San Antonio in Basey, Samar, two months after Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in November 2013. Image: Bayani Cardenas

Jackson School professor Philip Bennett testing water wells in the rural village of San Antonio in Basey, Samar, two months after Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in November 2013. Image: Bayani Cardenas

Storm surge thrown onshore by tropical systems can kill, destroy property and reshape coastlines.

Here’s another negative for the list: Depending on the makeup of the soil and local infrastructure, it can also contaminate water deep in the ground.

The people on the Philippine island of Samar are learning this the hard way 17 months after waves of seawater thrown onto the island by Typhoon Haiyan fouled groundwater with salt and bacteria, according to a paper published this week in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

 

 

 

Bloomberg Business, April 16, 2015

Futurity, April 16, 2015

Featuring: Bayani Cardenas, Associate Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences


An artist’s impression of the Chicxulub asteroid impacting the Yucatan Peninsula as pterodactyls fly in the sky above. Painting by Donald E. Davis

An artist’s impression of the Chicxulub asteroid impacting the Yucatan Peninsula as pterodactyls fly in the sky above. Painting by Donald E. Davis

The catastrophic asteroid crash blamed for the demise of the dinosaurs also left a gaping scar in the Earth. That sprawling crater made 65.5 million years ago may hold the answers to many mysteries surrounding the space-rock event.

Now, scientists plan to drill 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) below the surface of the Chicxulub crater in Mexico to bring up a giant core — and delve 10 million to 15 million years into the past. The endeavor would result in the first offshore core taken from near the center of the crater, which is named for a nearby seaside village located on the Yucatán Peninsula.

 

 

 

 

 

The Christian Science Monitor, April 12, 2015

The Austin American Statesman, April 12, 2015

Discovery News, April 12, 2015

Livescience, April 8,2015

redOrbit, April 7, 2015

The Texas Standard, April 7, 2015

 The Daily Mail, April 13, 2015

Gizmodo, April 14,2015

Featuring: Sean Gulick, Research Association Professor, Institute for Geophysics and Department of Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences


Night in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Analysts warn a sudden energy shortage in the Caribbean could create security problems not far from U.S. shores and even trigger mass migration. But thanks to its domestic energy boom, the U.S. has a rare opportunity to get out in front of the crisis and possibly build some goodwill of its own. Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images

Night in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Analysts warn a sudden energy shortage in the Caribbean could create security problems not far from U.S. shores and even trigger mass migration. But thanks to its domestic energy boom, the U.S. has a rare opportunity to get out in front of the crisis and possibly build some goodwill of its own.
Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images

President Obama is in Jamaica Thursday, meeting with Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and more than a dozen other leaders from throughout the Caribbean. It’s the first stop on a three-day tour that also includes a hemispheric summit meeting in Panama. Topping today’s agenda is a looming energy crunch in the Caribbean, and a chance for the U.S. to seize the initiative there from leftist leaders in Venezuela.

Unlike the United States, which is suddenly awash in cheap oil and natural gas, countries like Jamaica and the Dominican Republic are heavily dependent on imported oil, not only to run their cars but also to keep the lights on.

“The economic achilles heel for these small islands is really electric power generation,” says Jorge Pinon, who directs the Latin America and Caribbean Program at the University of Texas. “That’s very important for their tourism and for hotels. So affordable and reliable electricity has a very high economic value for those small islands.”

NPR, April 9, 2015

Featuring: Jorge Piñon, Director, Latin America and Caribbean Energy Program, Jackson School of Geosciences


Scott Tinker, Director, Bureau of Economic Geology

Scott Tinker, Director, Advanced Energy Consortium

The Texas Standard interviewed The University of Texas at Austin Bureau of Economic Geology Director Scott Tinker about the potential impact of Iran’s oil on the world market and the Texas economy. Tinker also addresses some larger oil and economy issues. It’s well worth a listen. The interview runs from about the 7:40 to the 11:40 mark.

The Texas Standard, April 2, 2015.

Featuring: Scott Tinker, Director, Bureau of Economic Geology


The University of Texas Tower

The University of Texas Tower. Photo courtesy of Allison Fang.

On Friday April 3, 2015 the UT Tower will be lit orange in honor of GeoFORCE Texas receiving a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. The award is among the highest honors a university can receive from the United States government.

GeoFORCE Texas, an outreach program of the university’s Jackson School of Geosciences, takes high school students from disadvantaged areas of the state in inner-city Houston and rural Southwest Texas on field trips each summer throughout high school to  geologically significant sites across the country. As a result, potential geoscientists are introduced to the profession, and students from disadvantaged areas find a path to college and rewarding careers.

The Presidential Award recognizes the crucial role that mentoring plays in the academic and personal development of students studying science and engineering — particularly those who belong to groups that are underrepresented in these fields. A GeoFORCE representative will receive the awards at a White House ceremony later this year, and the program will receive $10,000 from the National Science Foundation.

The Daily Texan, March 31, 2015

KVUE, March 30, 2015


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