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The University of Texas at Austin

2014 Newsletter

Welcome to the Jackson School of Geosciences 2014 Newsletter. A tradition since 1950, the Newsletter highlights research, news and achievements by Jackson School faculty, students, scientists and alumni.


As Mexico deregulates its state-run oil industry, UT-Austin expertise could play a significant role By Tracy Idell Hamilton The Congreso Mexicano del Petróleo, or Mexican Petroleum Congress, bills itself as the most important forum for scientific exchange for oil and gas exploration and production in Mexico. For years it has gathered engineers and executives to...

Jackson School geologist trains astronauts for a trip to the International Space Station and maybe, someday, beyond By John Williams In a training room this June at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Johnson Space Center near Houston, members of the new astronaut class huddled around images of the Rio Grande Rift in New Mexico...

A decade of research on Thwaites Glacier has greatly advanced knowledge of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet’s potential contribution to sea level rise By Tim Green About a decade ago, a de Havilland Twin Otter aircraft flew back and forth over an area the size of New Mexico in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, sending radar...

Jackson School researchers are unlocking the mighty impacts of tiny technology for energy development and recovery By Joshua Zaffos The difference between boom and bust in the field of energy development is often a matter of inches and guesswork: An abundant reserve can be tapped—or overlooked—depending on the location of a well and properties of...

Analysis reveals how limited natural buffering of Mississippi River pollution is likely contributing to Gulf of Mexico “dead zone” By John Williams “For whatever we lose…, it’s always our self we find in the sea,”the poet E.E. Cummings once wrote. Cummings was no water-quality expert, but his line unintentionally touches upon a major environmental problem:...

Texas researchers have gained an eagle-eyed view of the world thanks to a premier digital mapping tool By Joshua Zaffos Halloween was particularly scary in the Texas capital in 2013. An intense storm over south Austin caused Onion Creek to top its banks and flood hundreds of homes. In just 15 minutes, the creek rose...

Unbreakable ice alters research plans for UTIG researchers By Terry Britt Even when uncontrollable circumstances keep an expedition from reaching its intended landmark, it does not mean the participants come away empty-handed. Such was the case for those involved in the Totten Expedition, a collaborative scientific research voyage into East Antarctica for about six weeks...

Building a diverse workforce and changing young lives By Angela Curtis At first glance, the two problems may seem unrelated: The geosciences are facing a growing labor shortage, and many talented high school students in underprivileged areas of Texas aren’t realizing their full potential. The Jackson School of Geosciences is addressing both issues with a...

A journey to the Arctic, where polar bears outnumber people, the sun never sets, and the frozen tundra is a geologist’s paradise By Rose Cahalan There’s a pair of binoculars in my backpack, but I don’t need them. The slick head of a ringed seal breaks the water just a stone’s throw from the Zodiac...


Sharon MosherAs you browse this year’s alumni Newsletter, I think you will agree that it has been another tremendous year of scientific discovery at the Jackson School of Geosciences... read more

Briefsmore →


Field Experiences

Summer Field Camps

In the News

Awards & Honorsmore →

Alumni Notes

Library Report

Geology Foundation Advisory Council
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