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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

Scott Tinker, Director, Bureau of Economic Geology

Scott Tinker, Director, Bureau of Economic Geology

“Earlier this year, the government shutdown stalled two crucial policy decisions in the United States involving the movement of energy: the Keystone pipeline and liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals. Rather than allow extreme arguments to dominate, Americans should demand lawmakers move toward the radical middle on both of these vital issues.”

Austin American-Statesman, Jan. 7, 2014
Featuring: Scott Tinker

Methane HydratesShale has the spotlight for now. But there’s another, lesser-known substance with the potential to yield even greater quantities of natural gas: methane hydrate. “A lot of geoscientists are fascinated by hydrates because of how odd it is that you can take methane gas and add water and have it result in something with such a concentrated store of energy,” said Peter Flemings, a member of the Energy Department’s methane hydrate advisory committee and professor at the University of Texas (Austin).

National Journal (Canada), Dec. 24, 2013
Featuring: Peter Flemings

W.A. Parish Electric Generating Station
While criticized as a water-intensive technique for producing oil and natural gas, hydraulic fracturing  ultimately cuts overall water use  in Texas and makes the state less vulnerable to drought, according to a new study from the University of Texas at Austin. “The bottom line is that hydraulic fracturing, by boosting natural gas production and moving the state from water-intensive coal technologies, makes our electric power system more drought resilient,” said Bridget Scanlon, senior research scientist for the University of Texas Bureau of Economic Geology.

FuelFix (Houston Chronicle), December 20, 2013
Featuring: Bridget Scanlon

Stony Brook University research vessels
Hurricane Sandy last year did more harm to coastal cities and homes than any hurricane in U.S. history, except Katrina. Most of that damage has been repaired. But there’s other damage that people can’t see to the underwater coastline, known as the shoreface. Apparently, Long Island’s shoreface did remarkably well against the storm of the 21st century.

National Public Radio (NPR), RedOrbit, Dec. 11, 2013
Featuring: John Goff, Jamie Austin, Institute for Geophysics

Artist's conception of Europa's surface and subsurfaceCurrents and circulation patterns in the subsurface ocean on Jupiter’s moon Europa may create heat and energy capable of sustaining life, U.S. scientists say.  U.S. and German researchers have used magnetometer data and observations of Europa’s icy surface to reveal oceanic conditions below the ice. Regions of disrupted ice on the surface, known as chaos terrains, could result from convection in Europa’s ice shell, they said.

UPI, New Scientist, Discovery News, French Tribune, Tehran Times, io9, Nature World News, et al.
Featuring: Krista Soderlund, Don Blankenship, Britney Schmidt


Map of Earthquakes and Gas Injection Near Snyder TexasA cluster of 18 small earthquakes in western Texas was likely triggered by the injection of carbon dioxide into oil wells, according to a study published Monday in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of SciencesThe study is the first to link carbon dioxide injections to actual earthquakes, and may help scientists evaluate the risks of storing greenhouse gas emissions deep underground, a fledgling technology for managing climate change known as geologic carbon sequestration.

National Geographic, Nature, Fuel Fix Blog (Houston Chronicle), Climate Central/Huffington Post, LiveScience, AFP, Reuters, Environment & Energy Publishing, The Australian, and Dallas Observer (blog)
Featuring: Cliff Frohlich

Doug LawsonNobody had any idea just how gigantic a pterosaur could be until the spring of 1971. Douglas A. Lawson, MA ’72, was a 22-year-old graduate student in geology that year working under the supervision of professor Wann Langston. Lawson announced the discovery of his pterosaur in a 1975 article in Science. In that pre-Jurassic Park era, when public fascination with paleontology was at a slow burn, he encountered an unexpected micro-burst of celebrity. He was getting ready to give a lecture at UT’s Thompson Conference Center on the paleoecology of the Late Cretaceous in Big Bend when he noticed something strange: reporters and TV crews were lining the walls of the conference room.
Alcalde, Nov. 1, 2013
Featuring: Wann Langston, Doug Lawson

Svalex Norway TripTake the trip of a lifetime in this interactive online feature from the Alcalde magazine. The feature follows dozens of UT Austin geology and petroleum engineering students to Svalbard, Norway for a field trip hosted by Statoil.
Alcalde Magazine, November/December 2013
Featuring: Scott Tinker, Ron Steel, Daniel Stockli, Rong Fu, Isaac Smith

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