Climate & the Environment

From land-water-atmosphere-biosphere interactions and climate dynamics to the carbon cycle, our research covers all aspects of climate from past to present. Our geobiology research ranges from biotic changes through time and evolutionary morphology and systematics to geomicrobiology.

Research in the Climate & the Environment theme focuses on the following subthemes:

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Faculty

Jay L Banner

Jay L Banner

Isotopic methods, sustainability, groundwater, oceans, ancient oceans, climate change, aquifers, caves, environmental science, geochemistry, paleoclimatology, urbanization
Christopher J Bell

Christopher J Bell

Vertebrate paleontology, North American Pliocene and Pleistocene small mammal biostratigraphy and biochronology, osteology, anatomy, and systematics of squamate reptiles and turtles, Impacts of climate change on vertebrate communities
Philip C Bennett

Philip C Bennett

Aqueous geochemistry, geomicrobiology, environmental and microbial geochemistry, hydrogeology
Daniel O Breecker

Daniel O Breecker

The Breecker Group studies biogeochemical processes occurring at or near the land surface. We study soils and paleosols, caves and stalagmites, and other materials, such as volcanic glass, that give us insight into ancient Earth. We study timescales ranging from seasonal cycles to hundreds of millions of years. We use ...
M Bayani Cardenas

M Bayani Cardenas

Hydrology and Hydrogeology
Ginny Catania

Ginny Catania

Ice sheet mass balance, ice dynamics, subglacial hydrology, ice sheet stratigraphy, radar, GPS methods, uncertainty in ice sheet response to climate, satellite observations, remote-sensing observations, outlet glaciers, Greenland, glaciology, Antarctica, sea level, ice-ocean interactions.
Julia A Clarke

Julia A Clarke

Evolution of morphology, vertebrate paleontology, systematic biology, avian anatomy and the evolution of flight, fossil birds. Dinosaurs.
Kerry H Cook

Kerry H Cook

Climate dynamics, atmospheric dynamics, global climate change, paleoclimate, climate and weather of Africa and South America, climate system modeling, climate change in Texas
Sergey Fomel

Sergey Fomel

Computational and exploration geophysics; seismic imaging; wave propagation; seismic data analysis; inverse problems; geophysical estimation
Omar  Ghattas

Omar Ghattas

Computational geoscience and engineering, simulation and optimization of complex solid, fluid, and biomechanical systems, inverse problems, optimal design, and optimal control
Patrick  Heimbach

Patrick Heimbach

Heimbach's research group (Computational Research in Ice and Ocean Systems -- (CRIOS)), in the Oden Institute is engaged in a number of projects, with main funding from NASA, NSF, and ONR. (1)
Jung-Fu  Lin

Jung-Fu Lin

Mineral physics, physics and chemistry of planetary materials, solid-Earth geophysics and geochemistry, high-pressure diamond anvil cell, X-ray and laser spectroscopy
Rowan C Martindale

Rowan C Martindale

Triassic and Jurassic reef paleoecology, mass extinctions (Triassic-Jurassic, 201 Ma), carbon cycle perturbation events in deep time, ocean acidification in deep time, Oceanic Anoxic Events, invertebrate paleontology (corals, sponges, algae, microbes), Mesozoic marine communities and ecosystems, exceptional fossil preservation (Lagersttten), paleoecology, carbonate petrography, warm-water and cool-water carbonate (eco)systems, low-temperature ...
Ashley M Matheny

Ashley M Matheny

Ecohydrology, Bio- and Micro-meteorology, Vegetation Hydrodynamics, Watershed Hydrology, Land-Atmosphere Interactions, Biogeochemistry, Water and Carbon Cycles, and Modeling
Dev  Niyogi

Dev Niyogi

Research Group: The University of Texas Extreme weather and Urban Sustainability "TExUS" Lab. Research seeks to significantly contribute to our understanding of the Earth system, particularly the urban and agricultural landscapes, and the dynamic role of coupled land surface processes on regional hydroclimatic and environmental extremes. An important ongoing and ...
Geeta  Persad

Geeta Persad

Atmospheric Aerosols, Climate Change, Climate Modeling, Air Pollution, Global Hydrologic Cycle, Monsoon Systems, Western U.S. Climate Impacts, Climate Policy and Decision-Making
Mary F Poteet

Mary F Poteet

karst ecosystems, biotic response and vulnerability to climate change, invasive species
Terrence M Quinn

Terrence M Quinn

Paleoclimate, climate, climate change, climate dynamics, paleoclimatology, paleoceanography, sedimentary geology and geochemistry
Daniella M Rempe

Daniella M Rempe

Hydrology, Geomorphology, Ecohydrology, Catchment Hydrology, Near-surface Geophysics, Hydrogeology
Timothy B Rowe

Timothy B Rowe

Vertebrate paleontology, evolution and development of the vertebrate skeleton, phylogenetic systematics, the early history of mammals and their extinct relatives among Synapsida, the history of birds and their extinct relatives among Dinosauria, the history of other amniotes, high-resolution X-ray computed tomography, CT scanner, DigiMorph, informatics
Timothy M Shanahan

Timothy M Shanahan

The Shanahan research group uses a combination of geochemical and stable isotopic proxy reconstructions of past climate, in combination with climate model simulations, to understand past and future climate change. Our primary focus is the use of organic geochemical and stable isotopic techniques applied to marine, lacustrine and terrestrial sediment ...
Scott W Tinker

Scott W Tinker

Global energy supply and demand, Technology Administration, Multidisciplinary reservoir characterization, Carbonate sedimentology, Sequence stratigraphy, 3-D reservoir modeling, Resource assessment.
Zong-Liang  Yang

Zong-Liang Yang

Dr. Yang's primary research interest is to understand the exchanges of momentum, radiation, heat, water, carbon dioxide, and other materials between the atmosphere and the Earth surface spanning from small (short) to very large (long) scales. This includes analysis of in-situ and remotely-sensed data for the Earth's surface, and modeling ...

Lecturers

Marcus Gary

Marcus Gary

Karst Hydrogeology
Staci L Loewy

Staci L Loewy

Christopher  Lowery

Christopher Lowery

Micropaleontology, Stratigraphy, Paleoceanography, Geochemistry
Nathaniel R Miller

Nathaniel R Miller

Sedimentary geochemistry, isotope geochemistry, Earth system evolution, Q-ICP-MS, microanalytics, GIS, Neoproterozoic climate [link: http://www.jsg.utexas.edu/news/2018/05/new-research-suggests-that-dawn-of-plate-tectonics-could-have-turned-earth-into-snowball/]
Jeffrey G Paine

Jeffrey G Paine

Near-surface geophysics in hydrogeology and environmental and Quaternary geology; coastal geology; Quaternary geology and geomorphology; computer applications in the geological sciences
Judson W Partin

Judson W Partin

Paleoclimate, Stable and Radiogenic Isotope Geochemistry, climate change
Edward

Edward "Ned" K Vizy

climate dynamics, atmospheric dynamics, climate change, extreme weather events, climate system modeling, hurricanes, paleoclimate, mesoscale modeling

Affiliated Faculty

Kathy Ellins

Kathy Ellins

Geoscience education; Discipline Based Education Research (DBER); teacher professional development; geoscience curriculum development; undergraduate geoscience teacher preparation; climate literacy; geoscience, art and design engagement

Emeritus

Robert E Dickinson

Robert E Dickinson

Climate, Global Warming, Land Surface Processes, Remote Sensing, Hydrological Cycle, Carbon Cycle, and Modeling.
John M Sharp

John M Sharp

Hyrdogeology; flow in fractured rocks; thermohaline free convection; fracture skin effects; regional flow in carbonate rocks; hydrology of arid and semi-arid zones; subsidence and coastal land loss; effects of urbanization; alluvial aquifers; hydrogeology of sedimentary basins;hydrological processes in ore deposit formation; and hydrogeophysics.
Paul L Stoffa

Paul L Stoffa

Multichannel seismic acquisition, signal processing, acoustic and elastic wave propagation, modeling and inversion of geophysical data
Clark R Wilson

Clark R Wilson

Geophysics, including gravity, space geodesy, and applied seismology

Postdocs

Jingxuan  Wei

Jingxuan Wei

Marine geology and geophysics, active-source seismology, physical oceanography, coastal processes.
Enze  Zhang

Enze Zhang

Glacier dynamics, ice-ocean interaction, remote sensing, deep learning

Research Scientists

Shuvajit Bhattacharya

Petrophysics, Formation Evaluation, Quantitative Seismic Interpretation, Machine Learning, Integrated Subsurface Characterization, Carbon Sequestration
Pedro  Di Nezio

Pedro Di Nezio

climate change
Ian J Duncan

Ian J Duncan

Expertise in geomechanic and geochemistry applied to: risks associated with CO2 sequestration; hydraulic fracturing for shale gas production; environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing; and the water-energy nexus. Current research focuses on the scientific, environmental and public policy aspects of unconventional natural gas production, the water-energy nexus, and carbon capture and ...
Seyyed Abolfazl Hosseini

Seyyed Abolfazl Hosseini

Research interests are mainly topics related to fluid transport in porous media. Current research includes: Enhanced Oil Recovery - Enhanced Gas Recovery - Upscaling and Upgridding - Above Zone Monitoring Interval - Reservoir Simulation and History Matching - Unconventional Reservoirs
Susan D Hovorka

Susan D Hovorka

Geologic carbon sequestration in deep sedimentary environments as part of carbon capture and storage. PI of the Gulf Coast Caron Center (www.gulfcoastcarbon.org) focused on research relevant to commercial development of geologic sequestration in regions where it is both needed and possible. Monitoring field projects. Petrography and sedimentology supporting ...
Lawrence A Lawver

Lawrence A Lawver

Marine geophysics, plate tectonics, magnetics, gravity, heat flow, seismic studies, paleogeographic reconstructions of Gondwana, the Polar Regions, East Asia, and the Western Pacific
Robert G Loucks

Robert G Loucks

Research in carbonate, sandstone, and mudrock stratigraphy, sedimentology, diagenesis, reservoir characterization, and pore network analysis.
Kitty L Milliken

Kitty L Milliken

Petrography and geochemistry of siliciclastic rocks; diagenesis; electron microbeam methods: X-ray mapping, cathodoluminescence imaging; micro-scale reservoir characterization
Jean Nicot

Jean Nicot

Subsurface hydrology, numerical modeling and optimization of groundwater resources, multiphase flow and contaminant transport in both the unsaturated and saturated zones, geochemistry modeling and subsurface reactive transport, Mathematical geology, geostatistics, inverse modeling, optimization, risk assessment and risk analysis
Yuko M Okumura

Yuko M Okumura

Climate dynamics, climate variability and change, large-scale ocean-atmosphere interactions, atmospheric teleconnections, paleoclimate and thermohaline circulation, climate change
Judson W Partin

Judson W Partin

Paleoclimate, Stable and Radiogenic Isotope Geochemistry, climate change
Stephen C Phillips

Stephen C Phillips

methane hydrates, sediment biogeochemistry, environmental magnetism, paleoceanography
Katherine D Romanak

Katherine D Romanak

Geochemistry and isotope systematics of carbon cycling in the vadose zone and in freshwater aquifers; soil-gas monitoring and surface gas flux measurements at CO2 sequestration sites; microbial influences on carbon geochemistry in the shallow subsurface; fate and transport of organic contaminants.
Bridget R Scanlon

Bridget R Scanlon

Evaluation of the impact of climate variability and land use change on groundwater recharge, application of numerical models for simulating variably saturated flow and transport, controls on nitrate contamination in aquifers
Alex  Sun

Alex Sun

Subjects: Carbon sequestration, hydrological modeling, computational geoscience, fracture/fault modeling Skill sets: Geostatistical modeling, inversion and optimization algorithms, numerical modeling, web-based decision support systems Programming: Matlab, Python, Fortran, C, ArcGIS
Frederick W Taylor

Frederick W Taylor

Tectonic geomorphology, stratigraphy, and paleogeodesy/paleoseismology at convergent plate margins Paleoclimate, fossil corals as a proxy for past sea-surface temperatures. Corals as recorders of relative sea level for vertical tectonics and sea-level history.
Michael H Young

Michael H Young

Ecohydrology of arid and semiarid landscapes; groundwater recharge in both managed agriculture and natural (arid and semi-arid) systems; influence of soil structure and vegetation on water cycling; design and implementation of monitoring systems for above-ground and near-surface below ground environments.
Duncan A Young

Duncan A Young

Polar remote sensing (especially areogeophysics), glaciology and geoscience. Member of the Europa Clipper project science group, a mission to Jupiters ocean world Europa. Lead for the Europa Clipper's radar instrument's (REASON) Science Data System and science requirements validation and verification. Ice-rock physical interactions in an ice ...
Tongwei  Zhang

Tongwei Zhang

Gas geochemistry and isotope geochemistry; Petroleum and gas generation kinetics and basin modeling; Fluid transport processes in basins and reservoirs; Organic-inorganic interactions; Unconventional gas reservoir characterization; CO2 sequestration and H2S risk prediction.

Research Staff

Mohsen Ahmadian

Program Manager for the Advanced Energy Consortium Managing multidisciplinary nanosensor, miniaturized electronics, and smart materials research for the assessment of subsurface properties in various applications, including energy exploration, geothermal, CCUS, etc. https://www.beg.utexas.edu/aec/
Lisa D Boucher

Lisa D Boucher

Paleobotany, Evolutionary Biology, Paleoecology, Biogeography, Plant Anatomy
Marcus Gary

Marcus Gary

Karst Hydrogeology
Carey W King

Carey W King

Energy and renewable energy generation, usage, conservation, policy, and education; energy systems approaches; energy return on energy invested, net energy; carbon capture and sequestration; nexus of water and energy; renewable energy and electricity integration
Jay P Kipper

Jay P Kipper

Personnel management, fiscal reporting, budget management, contract negotiation, management of geological samples
Staci L Loewy

Staci L Loewy

Christopher  Lowery

Christopher Lowery

Micropaleontology, Stratigraphy, Paleoceanography, Geochemistry
Nathaniel R Miller

Nathaniel R Miller

Sedimentary geochemistry, isotope geochemistry, Earth system evolution, Q-ICP-MS, microanalytics, GIS, Neoproterozoic climate [link: http://www.jsg.utexas.edu/news/2018/05/new-research-suggests-that-dawn-of-plate-tectonics-could-have-turned-earth-into-snowball/]
Rebecca C Smyth

Rebecca C Smyth

Current: Design and oversight of monitoring for CO2 at geologic sequestration sites; hydrogeologic characterization of industrial sites where subsurface materials and groundwater have been contaminated or have the potential of becoming contaminated, including environmental assessment of sites impacted by petroleum exploration and production activities. Past: Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) ...
Ramon Trevino

Ramon Trevino

Sequence stratigraphic interpretations (well logs, 3-D seismic), integrated reservoir characterization, subsurface correlation and mapping (using workstation and PC) and subsurface structural interpretation (using 3-D seismic), project management, CO2 sequestration
Edward

Edward "Ned" K Vizy

climate dynamics, atmospheric dynamics, climate change, extreme weather events, climate system modeling, hurricanes, paleoclimate, mesoscale modeling

Graduate Students

Patrick C Andrews

Patrick C Andrews

My research centers on Africa's Congo Basin and modifying our understanding of the processes that underlie its rainfall from the synoptic to the climatic scale, especially in relation to MCS's, such as to evaluate the potential for future change to the climate.

Emily Bamber

I am a PhD student in the Planetary Surface Processes lab My current research addresses the past evolution of impact crater lakes on Mars, Earth, and elsewhere with fieldwork, satellite observations and landscape modelling.

Lillian Beaman

Sarah N Davis

Sarah N Davis

I study avian evolution and drivers of avian diversity both in the present and deep time. My research focuses on how the expression of bright coloration changes across modern birds and how physical aspects of integument structure change with different pigmentation.

Kyle W Fouke

Kwun Yip (Samuel) Fung

Sophie A Goliber

Sophie Goliber has been a Geological Sciences PhD student at UTIG since August 2017. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Buffalo where she got into remote sensing and glaciology research. Her fascination with the cryosphere drew her to UTIG and working with Ginny Catania who shared her interests ...
Evelin G Gutierrez

Evelin G Gutierrez

My current research is focused on sediment routing systems at various temporal and spatial scales. I am interested on elucidating how these systems respond to allogenic controls in sedimentary basins as well as understanding the impact on the structural setting, stratigraphy and hydrocarbon systems of the basin.
Scarlette  Hsia

Scarlette Hsia

My PhD Research is focused on constraining the timing and amplitude of Marine Isotope Stage 5a deposits across the Western Atlantic Ocean. I am an English as a Second Language (ESL) and First Gen PhD student and from San Antonio, Texas. My primary interests include carbonate facies mapping, sedimentology, paleo-sea ...
Katherine L Jones

Katherine L Jones

I use remote sensing and modeling tools to quantify the land use and ecosystem services impacts of renewable energy (wind and solar) expansion, with a focus on the west Texas region. My broader research interests include remote sensing, applications of modeling tools to geologic problems, and aqueous geochemistry.

Harsh Kamath

Urban Climate and Renewable Energy

Erin M Keenan Early

My research explores the use of geomolecular and biomolecular methodologies to address paleoenvironmental and paleoecological questions. Specifically I am researching the use of proteomics as applied to faunal material as a means of species identification and I am exploring the applications of brGDGTs recovered from various sources to aid in ...
Evan King

Evan King

Evan is a MS student advised by Dr. Daniella Rempe. Evan's research focuses on understanding subsurface hydrological processes, primarily in the vadose zone. Her study area is the Eel River Critical Zone Observatory (ERCZO), where she uses field measurements and geochemical data to understand how water flows change seasonally in ...
Bryan  LaBissoniere

Bryan LaBissoniere

Nicholas J Montiel

Neelarun Mukherjee

Neelarun Mukherjee

My primary research interest lies in modeling transport and flows in the subsurface. My goal is to address the growing drinking water crisis due to groundwater contamination around the world by developing robust models to explain complex transport phenomena in the subsurface, primarily in the vadose and the critical zones ...
Ana Maria  Restrepo Acevedo

Ana Maria Restrepo Acevedo

I am interested in studying the potential effects of ecological stresses, specifically drought, disturbance, and salinity, in forest ecosystems at tree-level scale and how can this understanding informs a global perspective. Moreover, I want to determine how forests' ecosystems react to more frequent and severe ecological stress events due to ...
Kevin W Shionalyn

Kevin W Shionalyn

ice-ocean interactions, glaciology, geophysics
Sinjini Sinha

Sinjini Sinha

Sinjini Sinha is a Ph.D. candidate in the Martindale lab. Her doctoral research is about assessing the impacts of environmental changes on Early Jurassic exceptional preservation, extinction, and recovery. She uses Scanning Electron Microscopy and Energy Dispersive X-Ray spectroscopy to investigate the taphonomy of Lagersttten deposits from the ...
Stacie  Skwarcan

Stacie Skwarcan

Travis N Stone

Travis N Stone

Travis Stone is a first year PhD student working in the Martindale lab. He received his B.S. in Geological Sciences in 2018 from California State University, Fullerton, where he studied Triassic reefs and their recovery following the End-Permian mass extinction in the Panthalassic Ocean. Travis is interested in ecosystem reconstruction ...
Victoria L Todd

Victoria L Todd

Anna Turetcaia

Anna Turetcaia

Steven J Wedel

Steven J Wedel

Clean Energy Finance, Clean Energy Technology, Sustainability, start-ups focused on saving the planet

Graduate and undergraduate research in geologic sequestration of CO2

Graduate
Gulf Coast Carbon Center supports a team of students and post docs working in geologic sequestration (deep subsurface long-duration storage) of the major greenhouse gas CO2, as a method to reduce release to the atmosphere. Student projects are wide ranging, from sedimentology to policy, linked in that they are 1) multidisciplinary and 2) applied to current issues. Students are typically jointly supervised by faculty in geology or petroleum geosystems engineering and staff at the GCCC. A class in geologic sequestration is offered in the fall some years.
Posted by: Susan Hovorka

PhD Student Opportunity in Climate Research

Graduate
A PhD student is recruited to conduct modeling and observational study of Pacific decadal variability and its relation to decadal modulations of El Nino-Southern Oscillation at the University of Texas at Austin. Background in oceanic and atmospheric sciences is preferred but not required. General information on the graduate program at the UT's Jackson School of Geosciences can be found at http://www.jsg.utexas.edu/. The deadline for Fall 2014 application is January 1st, 2014. Interested candidate should contact Yuko M. Okumura (yukoo@ig.utexas.edu) for more information.
Posted by: Yuko Okumura

MSc or PhD Student

Graduate
Our team is almost always interested in recruiting new graduate students who are interested in paleoecology, marine communities, carbonate sedimentology, and/or geobiology.
Posted by: Rowan Martindale

High Resolution 3D marine seismic for fluid studies

Graduate
Opportunities exist to become involved in the design, acquisition, processing, and interpretation of high-resolution 3D marine seismic data. Current applications include characterization for subsurface storage of carbon dioxide and natural fluid migration studies. We anticipate development into imaging modern systems as reservoir analogs.
Posted by: Tip Meckel

Postdoctoral Fellow

Graduate
Purpose of position: To conduct research in numerical simulation of fluid flow using both traditional Darcy flow simulators as well as Invasion Percolation methods, sandbox flow modeling, and development of a strong publication record on the topic. Essential functions: Develop numerical simulations of fluid flow CO2 in mm to m scale models informed by geologic depositional heterogeneity. Assist in designing and implementing laboratory validation experiments of sandbox flow modeling to support theoretical and numerical simulations. Publish results in peer reviewed outlets, assist in project reporting and make presentations, as needed to support project. Required qualifications: PhD in hydrogeology, environmental engineering, or closely related geoscience field earned within the last three years. Relevant laboratory experience with sandbox scale flow experiments. Demonstrated research interest in forward and inverse modeling of subsurface flow and transport pertaining multi-phase flow. Preferred qualifications Demonstrated strong oral and written communication skills. Demonstrated ability to conduct experimental studies. Demonstrated experience in presenting and publishing results, including CO2 or CCS.
Posted by: Tip Meckel

Stable isotopes as hydroclimatic indicators

Undergraduate
I am looking for an undergraduate student researcher to work on the analysis of stable isotopes in natural waters and plant materials. No experience necessary. The student researcher will be trained in extracting water samples on a vacuum system and analysis of stable isotopes using a laser spectrometer. Depending on progress, there may be opportunities to publish this research
Posted by: Timothy Shanahan

Paleoclimate reconstructions in the southern Rocky Mountains

Undergraduate
I am looking for one or more undergraduate student researchers to work on paleoclimate reconstructions in the southern Rockies using geochemical indicators in lake sediments. No experience necessary. Depending on progress, there will be opportunities to publish.
Posted by: Timothy Shanahan

Urbanization and water resources

Graduate
Our group studies the impacts of urbanization on hydrologic systems using geochemical, field, laboratory, and modeling methods. New opportunities for graduate research in this area are available for students applying for Fall admission. Contact Jay Banner at banner@jsg.utexas.edu.
Posted by: Jay Banner

Paleoclimate reconstructions and modern hydrology of karst systems

Graduate
Our group reconstructs regional climate change in response to global change using speleothems and tree rings. These studies are advanced by analysis of modern karst hydrologic systems in which the speleothems are found. New opportunities for graduate research in this area are available for students applying for Fall admission. Contact Jay Banner at banner@jsg.utexas.edu.
Posted by: Jay Banner

NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates

Undergraduate
This summer program trains and supports undergraduates to undertake environmental science research. Details may be found at https://www.esi.utexas.edu/education/summer-research-experience-for-undergraduates-reu/.
Posted by: Jay Banner

NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates

Undergraduate
This summer program trains and supports undergraduates to undertake environmental science research. Details may be found at https://www.esi.utexas.edu/education/summer-research-experience-for-undergraduates-reu/.
Posted by: Jay Banner

Undergraduate Research: Inclusive Geoscience Education and Research Environmental Reconstruction in Holocene Estuaries on the Modern Texas Continental Shelf

Graduate - 1 year
Sea level rise is one of the most pressing impacts of climate change facing coastal communities. A variety of mitigation efforts on the local and regional level (beach nourishment, marsh restoration, coastal barriers, etc.) can provide some measure of protection for coastal communities. These large engineering projects require huge quantities of sand to complete, and sand is not as common on the seafloor as you might expect. On northern Texas shelf, offshore Galveston Bay, a few sand banks exist, but much more material is buried in drowned river valleys, which were carved by rivers when sea level was ~120 meters lower and dry land extended all the way to the edge of the continental shelf. These rivers deposited sand in point bars, which were then buried in estuarine mud as sea level rose and the river valley became a bay. Sand was also deposited in this estuary as bay head deltas, flood tide deltas, and over wash fans. UT is currently involved in an extensive project to find and map (using seismic surveying and sediment cores) the extent of Holocene sand deposits in the Trinity and Sabine river valleys offshore modern Galveston Bay. For this project, the REU student will conduct grain size analysis on sediment cores collected offshore Galveston Bay to determine the overall sedimentology and stratigraphy of these environments. This student will also use marine microfossils (benthic foraminifera) to determine the depositional environment of the muds deposited in between the sand deposits to determine the overall environmental evolution of the Holocene estuary system. This work will help identify sand resources for future coastal protection projects in the Galveston area. This work will also help reconstruct the history of the Holocene estuary and barrier island system; understanding how ancient barrier island systems responded to different rates of sea level rise during the Holocene can help constrain how barrier islands will respond to similar rates of sea level rise today. This project will involve work on a Malvern Mastersizer laser grain size analyzer, managing grain size datasets, and microfossil picking on a microscope. Prior experience with any of these things is not required. Apply through the Champions of Diversity website: https://jsg-gen.squarespace.com/mentee-application
Posted by: Christopher Lowery

Environmental Reconstruction in Holocene Estuaries on the Modern Texas Continental Shelf

Undergraduate - 1 year
Sea level rise is one of the most pressing impacts of climate change facing coastal communities. A variety of mitigation efforts on the local and regional level (beach nourishment, marsh restoration, coastal barriers, etc.) can provide some measure of protection for coastal communities. These large engineering projects require huge quantities of sand to complete, and sand is not as common on the seafloor as you might expect. On northern Texas shelf, offshore Galveston Bay, a few sand banks exist, but much more material is buried in drowned river valleys, which were carved by rivers when sea level was ~120 meters lower and dry land extended all the way to the edge of the continental shelf. These rivers deposited sand in point bars, which were then buried in estuarine mud as sea level rose and the river valley became a bay. Sand was also deposited in this estuary as bay head deltas, flood tide deltas, and over wash fans. UT is currently involved in an extensive project to find and map (using seismic surveying and sediment cores) the extent of Holocene sand deposits in the Trinity and Sabine river valleys offshore modern Galveston Bay. For this project, the REU student will conduct grain size analysis on sediment cores collected offshore Galveston Bay to determine the overall sedimentology and stratigraphy of these environments. This student will also use marine microfossils (benthic foraminifera) to determine the depositional environment of the muds deposited in between the sand deposits to determine the overall environmental evolution of the Holocene estuary system. This work will help identify sand resources for future coastal protection projects in the Galveston area. This work will also help reconstruct the history of the Holocene estuary and barrier island system; understanding how ancient barrier island systems responded to different rates of sea level rise during the Holocene can help constrain how barrier islands will respond to similar rates of sea level rise today. This project will involve work on a Malvern Mastersizer laser grain size analyzer, managing grain size datasets, and microfossil picking on a microscope. Prior experience with any of these things is not required. Apply through the Champions of Diversity website: https://jsg-gen.squarespace.com/mentee-application
Posted by: Christopher Lowery

Center for Integrated Earth System Science

The Center for Integrated Earth System Science (CIESS) is a cooperative effort between the Jackson School of Geosciences and the Cockrell School of Engineering. The center fosters collaborative study of Earth as a coupled system with focus on land, atmosphere, water, environment, and society.

Center for Integrated Seismicity Research

The TexNet Seismic Observatory and the Center for Integrated Seismicity Research (CISR) at The University of Texas at Austin are multidisciplinary, trans-college research centers managed by the Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG) and are two vital parts of a whole. The overall goals of the TexNet-CISR collaborative are to collect high-quality data on earthquakes in Texas and conduct fundamental and applied research to better understand naturally occurring and potentially induced earthquakes and the associated risks. Our thoroughly integrated research program is studying the subsurface processes that may influence seismicity that will lead to better quantification of the associated hazards and risks to the citizens and infrastructure of Texas. A primary application of the data and research is to improve standards of practice resulting in the mitigation of seismicity that may stem from industrial activity. The highest priority is fact-based communication with stakeholders and rapid response to public concerns regarding seismicity.

Center for International Energy & Environmental Policy

In 2005, the University of Texas at Austin chartered the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy (CIEEP), to join the scientific and engineering capabilities of the University's Jackson School of Geosciences and the College of Engineering with the LBJ School of Public Affairs. The University's first center dedicated to energy and environmental policy, CIEEP will seek to inform the policy-making process with the best scientific and engineering expertise.

Gulf Coast Carbon Center

The Gulf Coast Carbon Center (GCCC) seeks to apply its technical and educational resources to implement geologic storage of anthropogenic carbon dioxide on an aggressive time scale with a focus in a region where large-scale reduction of atmospheric releases is needed and short term action is possible.

TexNet Seismic Monitoring Program

In its 84th and 85th legislative sessions, the Texas Legislature tasked the Bureau with helping to locate and determine the origins of earthquakes in our state and, where possibly caused by human activity, with helping to prevent earthquakes from occurring in the future. The TexNet Seismic Monitoring Program was established to accomplish these goals.

High-Resolution X-ray Computed Tomography Facility

The High-Resolution X-ray Computed Tomography Facility at The University of Texas at Austin (UTCT) is a national shared multi-user facility supported by the Instrumentation and Facilities Program of NSF's Earth Sciences (EAR) directorate. UTCT offers scientific researchers across the earth, biological and engineering sciences access to a completely nondestructive technique for visualizing features in the interior of opaque solid objects, and for obtaining digital information on their 3D geometries and properties.

Land, Environment & Atmospheric Dynamics

The LEAD group consists of graduate research assistants, postdoctoral fellows, research scientists and visiting scholars. We view the earth system in a holistic way, linking the atmosphere, ocean, biosphere, cryosphere, and solid earth as an integrated system. We use powerful methodologies such as satellite remote sensing and supercomputing simulations which are now profoundly changing research in earth system sciences. We place a strong emphasis on the societal impact of the research in earth system sciences.

Latin America & Caribbean Energy Program

The Latin America & Caribbean Energy Program will create, foster and maintain a regional outreach network that will nurture cooperative and frank discussions of issues related to sustainable development of energy resources and environmental stewardship. The network will include representatives from governments, universities, private sector, multilateral agencies, industry and professional associations and other stakeholders.

Non-vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory

NPL was created in 1999 as an answer to the increasing conservation and curation issues developing with the huge increase in collection size. Collections placed in the care of TNSC mainly were derived from research at the BEG, the UTDGS and the Museum (TMM) itself. Other material came from orphaned collections within Texas. Numerous other collections have been contributed as donations. Although an exact count has never been made, the collection is estimated to contain about 4 million specimens.

Remote Sensing of Earth and Planetary Surface and Environment Program

This program will bring visibility to satellite remote sensing research at JSG among funding agencies and peers, and attract students with strong physics and engineering background and interests in using satellite remote sensing technology to study earth-atmosphere processes.

Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory

The mission of the Vertebrate Paleontology Laboratory is three-fold, involving research, conservation, and education pertaining to the history of vertebrates. In particular, VPL focuses on the history of vertebrates in Texas and adjacent regions, but much broader studies are also conducted to establish a national and global context for Texas vertebrate history.

Affiliated UT Programs & Centers

Center for Frontiers of Subsurface Energy Security

CFSES is one of only two centers out of 46 EFRCs with focus on subsurface energy. Our goal is a scientific understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological subsurface processes from the very small scale to the very large scale so that we can predict the behavior of CO2 and other byproducts of the energy production that may need to be stored in the subsurface. At this aim, we need to integrate and expand our knowledge of subsurface phenomena across scientific disciplines using both experimental and modeling methodologies to better understand and quantify the behavior at conditions far from equilibrium. The unique aspect of our research is the approach of the uncertainty and of the complexity of the fluids in the geologic media from the molecular scale to the basin scale and their integration in computational tools to better predict the long term behavior of subsurface energy byproduct storage.

Center for Space Research

The University of Texas at Austin, Center for Space Research was established in 1981 under the direction of Dr. Byron D. Tapley. The mission of the Center is to conduct research in orbit determination, space geodesy, the Earth and its environment, exploration of the solar system, as well as expanding the scientific applications of space systems data.

Environmental Science Institute

The Environmental Science Institute is a multi-disciplinary institute for basic scientific research in environmental studies founded by The University of Texas at Austin. The Institute serves as a focal point on campus for a wide scope of interdisciplinary research and teaching involving the complex interactions of the biosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere in the Earth system, as well as the human dimensions of these interactions.

Texas Advanced Computing Center

The Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at The University of Texas at Austin is one of the leading centers of computational excellence in the United States. Located on the J.J. Pickle Research Campus, the center's mission is to enable discoveries that advance science and society through the application of advanced computing technologies.

UT Austin Energy Institute

The Energy Institute has been established at the University of Texas at Austin to provide the State of Texas and the Nation guidance for sustainable energy security through the pursuit of research and education programs - good policy based on good science. The Institute will determine the areas of research and instruction in consultation with an Institute Advisory Board, faculty and staff at the University of Texas at Austin, the private energy sector, public utilities, non-governmental organizations, and the general public. The economic future of the State of Texas, and our Nation, depends upon the viability of sustainable energy resources. The mission of the Energy Institute is to provide the transformational changes through research and instruction that are required for this State's and Nation's sustainable energy security.

Research Groups

ENCOMPASS: Research for Earth-Society Systems