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The University of Texas at Austin

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A report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and The University of Texas at Austin urges the U.S. to¬†accelerate efforts to pursue carbon capture and storage (CCS) in combination with enhanced oil recovery (EOR), a practice that could increase domestic oil production while significantly curbing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). For decades the oil…

Mammals first evolved their characteristic large brains to enable a stronger sense of smell, according to a new study published this week in the journal¬†Science by paleontologists from The University of Texas at Austin, Carnegie Museum of Natural History and St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. This latest study is the first to use CT…

Traces in Time

When Peter Flaig returned home from Antarctica, he found it pretty amusing that the city of Austin was shut down by an inch of snow, a little bit of ice, and low temperatures in the 20s. The university was closed, as were public schools and many businesses and government agencies. But in what can be…

Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and colleagues will use a three-year, $1.5 million grant from NASA to develop computer models to study how changes in climate and land use affect watersheds and coastal ecosystems, seeking to improve understanding of the Texas coast, including dead zones that form in the Gulf of Mexico….

Craig Fulthorpe was a grad student when his advisor walked into his office and asked if he would like to be part of the first scientific expedition organized by the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP). As luck would have it, a sedimentologist who had been scheduled to be on that cruise had to back out just…

Highlights of Paleontology at UT Austin

2008: Early hominid Lucy CT-scanned 2001: Fossil fetus of an Elephant bird CT-scanned and reconstructed without breaking egg shell 1999: Non-vertebrate Paleontology Lab established 1997: High Resolution XRay CT Lab founded 1994: FAUNMAP, database of North American mammals for the last 40,000 years (E. Lundelius) 1971: Discovery of the largest known flying animal, Quetzalcoatlus, in…

Why Do We Need Paleontology?

Paleontology has been a central part of geology since British scientist William Smith first showed that geological strata could be identified based on the fossils they contained. Because they change through time, fossils put a date stamp on a particular layer of Earth in which they occur. “We are the time keepers for the Earth…

At a time when university paleontology programs are being downsized or eliminated, The University of Texas at Austin’s is thriving. The program recently added Julia Clarke, a rising star studying the evolution of birds and dinosaurs, and Matt Brown, a fossil preparator who honed his skills at Chicago’s Field Museum. Brown and others are pioneering…

Let’s say you’re a budding young paleontologist looking to make your mark. The first thing you have to do is pack up your shovel and pick, head out into some remote badlands, and find yourself a bunch of fossils that no one has ever seen before. Let’s say that doesn’t pan out. You might have…

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