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Research & Initiatives

After Copenhagen: Climate Governance and the Road Ahead

The Copenhagen conference provides important lessons for future international cooperation on climate change. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting showed that global conferences (with hundreds of... More
Degree Plans & Curricula

Air Resources Emphasis - Environmental and Water Resources Engineering (MSE/PhD)

Research in the Air Resources emphasis area, within the EWRE program, is an interdisciplinary effort that encompasses atmospheric chemistry, ambient air quality monitoring and modeling, indoor air quality, and air pollut... More
Research & Initiatives

An Inverse Model Study of Abrupt Climate Change

A leading theory of abrupt change invokes the susceptibility of the meridional overturning circulation (MOC) and zonally- and depth-integrated heat flux (Fh) in the Atlantic, to glacial meltwater discharges from northern... More
Research & Initiatives

Bench-Top Modelling of Ice Dynamics

Analogue models have been used extensively in the Earth sciences to improve understanding of natural processes. Here we apply these techniques to simulate water flow under ice sheets and glaciers. Ice deformation is repr... More
Faculty & Staff

Blankenship, Donald

Dr. Blankenship's current research vision centers on laying the scientific foundation for diagnosing how properties and processes at the basal interface of ice sheets characterized by beds lying well below sea level (i.e... More
Courses

Building a Sustainable Region (CRP 384)

This course will be organized as a reading and research seminar concentrating on planning and policy interventions aimed at reducing green house gasses (GHG) and other environmental externalities. A primary goal will to ... More
Courses

Carbon Finance (PA 188G)

The focus of this course is on carbon finance contributed by governments and companies in developed countries to purchase project-based greenhouse gas emission reductions in developing countries and countries with econom... More
Faculty & Staff

Catania, Ginny

Ginny Catania's research interests include understanding ice sheet and glacier changes both from natural variability and climate forced variability, improving the observational data sets, improved understanding of the dy... More
Courses

Chemistry and the Environment (UGS 303)

Designed for students with only high-school background in the subject of chemistry. Topic description: Elementary topics in environmental chemistry: essential chemical and physical processes in the earth's atmosphere; in... More
Courses

Climate Change (GRG 333K)

Examines changes in climatic systems over both short and long time periods in relation to impacts on physical and ecological systems. Discusses past, present, and future changes in climatic conditions and the methods use... More
Courses

Climate Change and Cultural Theory (ARC 386M)

Application of theories from philosophy, political ecology, science and technology studies, discourse theory, anthropology, and sociology in order to sketch approaches to climate change beyond the divisions of nature and... More
Courses

Climate Change Law and Policy (PA 188G)

PA 188G Climate Change Law and Policy is an intensive introduction to international and national debates on the appropriate responses to global warming. More
Research & Initiatives

Climate Change Working Group, ESI

UT's Environmental Science Institute's Climate Change Working Group has members focused on all aspects of Climate Change such as history, modeling, impacts, process studies, remediation, and education and outreach. More
Courses

Climate Change: Current Literature (GEO 391)

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Courses

Climate Dynamics (GEO 387D)

The purpose of this course is to develop a physical understanding of the climate system. Processes that determine climate and contribute to its change are discussed, and applications to contemporary climate variability a... More
Courses

Climate System Modeling (GEO 387G)

Studies the basic theory of climate system modeling using state-of-the-art regional climate models in a variety of applications. Subjects may include paleoclimate study and future climate prediction based on greenhouse g... More
Courses

Climate System Physics (GEO 371; GEO 391)

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Courses

Climate Systems Discussion (GEO 391)

This class helps advanced graduate students in climate to improve their critical reading of current literature, with topics emphasized changing from year to year. This year, the course is emphasizing the impacts of clima... More
Degree Plans & Curricula

Climate Systems Science - Geological Science (MA, MS, PhD)

Modern climate change may be the single most important problem humanity has ever faced. The new Climate Systems Science program at the Jackson School of Geosciences is poised to answer some of the most pressing questions... More
Research & Initiatives

Climate Systems Science Research Group

The Jackson School of Geosciences Climate Systems Science group includes researchers from diverse geoscience disciplines coming together to improve our understanding of the Earth\'s climate system. The group is involved ... More
Courses

Climate: Past, Present, Future (GEO 302C)

Designed for nonscience majors. Principal factors that determine Earth's climate, evidence of climate change, causes of climate change, natural climatic variations and human-induced changes, prediction of climate in the ... More
Research & Initiatives

Collaborative Research: Calibrating the Paleosol Carbonate CO2 Barometer for Vertic Paleosols by Monitoring Soil CO2 in Modern Vertisols

Intellectual Merit: A calibration of the paleosol carbonate CO2 barometer is proposed in order to improve estimates of the concentration of CO2 in Earth\'s ancient atmosphere. The concentration of CO2 in the soil during ... More
Faculty & Staff

Dickinson, Robert

Dr. Robert Dickinson joined the Department of Geological Sciences in August of 2008. For the previous 9 years, he was Professor of Atmospheric Sciences and held the Georgia Power/ Georgia Research Alliance Chair at the G... More
Research & Initiatives

Dynamics of Ice Sheets: Advanced Simulation Models, Large-Scale Data Inversion, and Quantification of Uncertainty in Sea-Level Rise Projections

Simplified ice sheet models in current use are incapable of accounting for the dynamics of flow transitions that are key to how ice sheets respond to environmental change. It is these regions that are now rapidly changin... More
Courses

Earth, Wind, And Fire (GEO 302E)

Geologic phenomena that affect everyday life, including global warming, earthquakes, volcanism, desertification, river and coastline flooding and erosion, groundwater, mineral resources, and plate tectonics. More
Courses

Environmental Change and Sustainability (BDP 101; GEO 101)

This Forum Seminar will explore the range of environmental problems that have been created by human activity and population growth.  Among the major issues to be addressed are water resources, climate change, biodiversi... More
Courses

Environmental Economics (PA 693L)

This course seeks to develop student capabilities for analysis and decision-making in the area of environmental economic policy. The course will also provide international perspectives on climate change policies in the U... More
Courses

Environmental Isotope Geochemistry (GEO 376E; GEO 388H)

The application of the isotope and trace element geochemistry of natural waters and sediments to studies of the hydrologic cycle. Stable, radiogenic, and cosmogenic isotopes are used as tracers of the evolution of ground... More
Faculty & Staff

Fu, Rong

Dr. Fu's research aims at understanding the role of the atmospheric hydrological cycle in determining the stability of the Earth's climate. She uses satellite and in situ observations and numerical models to identify the... More
Courses

Glaciology (GEO 371C; GEO 391)

This course addresses the fundamentals of glacier and ice-sheet flow and the key surface- and subsurface processes that drive them. Course content includes a brief review of tensor analysis, glacier mass and energy balan... More
Courses

Global Warming (GEO 347D; GEO 371C)

Discussion of the fundamental sciences of global warming, including an active investigation of contemporary climate change issues. More
Faculty & Staff

Haragan, Kelly

Kelly Haragan is a clinical professor and Director of the Environmental Clinic. Kelly joined the faculty in 2008. Prior to joining the Clinic, Kelly worked as legal counsel for national nonprofits including: the Environm... More
Faculty & Staff

Holt, Jack

Dr. Jack Holt employs geophysical techniques to study ice-covered regions of Earth and Mars. He has led or co-led seven field expeditions to Antarctica since 1998 to map the ice and features buried beneath the ice. Hol... More
Research & Initiatives

Hot Science - Cool Talks/Outreach Lecture Series

Leading researchers communicate their research to the public, and in particular to the K-12 community. The talks are interactive educational experiences, lively discussion, and a live webcast. More
Research & Initiatives

Ice-Flow History of Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica

This project has a sharply focused scientific goal: to understand the response of Thwaites Glacier to recent changes at its grounding line within the context of any possible long-term variability in mass balance. To this... More
Research & Initiatives

ICECAP: Investigating the Cryospheric Evolution of the Central Antarctic Plate

The Aurora Subglacial Basin and the Wilkes Subglacial Basin represent the weak underbelly of the East Antarctica Ice Sheet. The ICECAP project, supported by the Australian Antarctic Division, the U.S. National Science Fo... More
Research & Initiatives

ICESat-2 Science Definition Team

This effort provides input to the Science Definition Team for NASA's ICESat-2 (Ice Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2) which is scheduled to be launched in 2015. One of four top-priority missions listed in the National... More
Research & Initiatives

Improved Prediction of Climate Impacts on Migratory Pathways Through Machine Learning, Hydrologic Modeling and Network

Climate change is predicted to have profound effects on precipitation regimes worldwide. Wetlands and wetland-dependent spaces may be strongly impacted by increases and decreases in rainfall. We propose to model hist... More
Courses

Introduction to Risk Management and Insurance (RM 357e)

The Introduction to Risk Management & Insurance course is designed for upper division students interested in Enterprise or Strategic Risk Management decision-making. The course of study includes work with public policy c... More
Faculty & Staff

James, Eric

James studies a wide range of geologic phenomena using geochemical methods. His work has been on the sources of metals in mineral deposits in West Texas and New Guinea using Sr, Nd, and Pb isotope ratios, Sr isotope rati... More
Faculty & Staff

Kimmel, Troy

One of the Austin's best-known broadcast meteorologists, Kimmel regularly teaches Weather and Climate and Severe and Unusual Weather. Kimmel holds full membership and has earned certifications through the American Meteo... More
Research & Initiatives

Land Environment and Atmospheric Dynamics Group

The LEAD group consists of graduate research assistants, postdoctoral fellows, research scientists and visiting scholars working to answer a variety of research and science questions such as: How does land shape climate,... More
Research & Initiatives

Linking ICESat Observations to Cryosat-2: Elevation Change Detection, Waveform Analysis, and Cross-Calibration

The ICESat (Ice Cloud and land Elevation Satellite) and Cryosat-2 missions both make global elevation measurements, both with a critical emphasis on the polar regions (Greenland, Antarctica, and sea ice). This research c... More
Courses

Living With A Planet (GEO 302P)

Environmental change on local and global scales, as a result of natural and anthropogenic causes. The human dimension of global change, including air and water pollution, desertification, deforestation, use of resources,... More
Faculty & Staff

McGarity, Thomas

Professor McGarity is a leading scholar in the fields of both administrative law and environmental law. More
Courses

Physical Climatology (GEO 387H)

Investigates the nature of Earth's climate and examines the physical processes that maintain the climate system. Topics include the energy balance, the hydrological cycle, general atmosphere circulation, and how they all... More
Courses

Plants, Environment and Human Affairs (BIO 305E)

Designed for nonscience majors. Plants and the environment, including basic ecological principles and major issues such as global warming and the biodiversity crisis; plants and society, including foods, beverages, medic... More
Research & Initiatives

Pre-Industrial Land Use and Anthropogenic Climate Change

An ongoing research collaboration that seeks to quantify the climatic impacts of pre-European and post-European contact land use change in the Americas. Current research seeks to reconstruct land use change using paleoco... More
Research & Initiatives

Quantifying Ecosystem Integrity Under Climate Change Using Meta-Analysis

The objectives of this research are (1) To conduct quantitative syntheses of biotic responses to climate change contributing to alterations in the structure, function and distributions of terrestrial ecosystems in the US... More
Courses

Renewable Energy and Environmental Sustainability (CE 397)

The objectives of this course are to understand causes and consequences of global climate change, Estimate ecological footprints, Solve environmental sustainability problems using mass and energy balances, Apply input-ou... More
Research & Initiatives

Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) and Teachers (RET): Global Change and Its Impacts

ESI's NSF funded REU/RET program on Global Change and Its Impacts provides research experience for Undergraduates and Teachers to learn and do research in the environmental sciences. More
Courses

Research in Climate Change Science (GEO 394)

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Courses

Research in Climate Dynamics (GEO 394)

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Courses

Research in Geoclimatology (GEO 394)

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Courses

Research in Paleoclimatology (GEO 394)

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Research & Initiatives

ROGUE: Real-time Observations of Greenland's Under-ice Environment

Our goal in this project is to examine the nature and cause of short-term ice velocity changes near Swiss Camp, Greenland. Our work will focus on the interactions between the ice sheet, the atmosphere and the bed through... More
Faculty & Staff

Shanahan, Timothy

Research Interests I am interested in understanding the nature and cause of past climate changes, and their impact on the environment, particularly as they pertain to future climate change. To do so, I focus primarily on... More
Courses

Spatial Data Analysis for Climate Science (GEO 391)

The course will provide concepts in statistical analysis appropriate for assessing the reliability of interpretations of phenomena that evolve in time and space common to the atmosphere, ocean, ice and solid earth system... More
Research & Initiatives

Synthesis of Thwaites Glacier Dynamics: Diagnostic and Prognostic Sensitivity Studies of a West Antarctic Outlet System

This is a three-year study to isolate essential physical processes affecting Thwaites Glacier (TG) in the Amundsen Sea Embayment (ASE) of West Antarctica using a suite of existing numerical models in conjunction with exi... More
Faculty & Staff

Taylor, Frederick

Taylor is involved in using the geochemistry of the annual density bands in living and fossil corals to infer late Quaternary paleoclimate. His main geographic research area is the western tropical Pacific, known as t... More
Courses

The Engineered World -- Energy (UGS 302)

Topics of this course include global and regional energy supply and demand, energy conversion and power production, energy use in buildings, transportation and industry, outlook for global energy resources, environmental... More
Research & Initiatives

The Hidden Half of Ecosystem Responses to Climate Change: What Happens Belowground?

Our goal is to understand how soils and soil microorganisms will respond to climate change and how these responses will feedback to ecosystem carbon cycling. Saprophytic fungi responsible for decomposition and mycorrhiza... More
Research & Initiatives

The Importance of Meltwater to the Peripheral Thinning of Greenland

Our goal in this proposal is to study the importance of short-term ice velocity changes near Swiss Camp, Greenland to the stability of the ice sheet interior. Several areas in Greenland are thinning (particularly those b... More
Courses

The Scientific Basis of Environmental Issues (UGS 302)

Environmental issues ranging from global warming to invasive species are often in the news. The political issues are difficult to evaluate but the scientific ones should not be because science should be objective and tes... More
Research & Initiatives

Understanding Grounding Line Dynamics

Understanding ice streams is a long-standing objective of West Antarctic glaciology. This field of study has progressed from recognizing ice streams' unique geologic setting and associated dynamics; to concern over the ... More
Faculty & Staff

Urban, Timothy

Dr. Urban's research includes the design, application, and analysis of a variety of satellite and other geodetic techniques. Global sea level research includes radar altimetry (TOPEX/Poseidon, Jason, etc.), tide gauges, ... More
Research & Initiatives

Using Satellite Data and Fully coupled Regional Hydrologic, Ecological and Atmospheric Models to Study Complex Coastal Environmental Processes

This proposal seeks to improve our understanding of how linked upland and estuarine ecosystems respond to combined changes in the hydrological and nutrient cycles that result from changes in climate and land use/land cov... More
Courses

Weather and Climate (GRG 301K)

Our study of weather and climate is intended for Geography majors and all others interested in a broad brush examination of the atmospheric and climatic sciences. This study will be introductory in nature with only a ver... More
Faculty & Staff

Yang, Zong-Liang

Dr. Yang teaches undergraduate courses in climate change and graduate courses in global physical climatology and hydroclimatology. He has also taught introductory geological courses (Earth, Wind & Fire and Living with a ... More
Faculty & Staff

Young, Duncan

Dr. Young's research interests include radar sounding of ice sheets and icy bodies, basal properties of ice sheets, and the influence of geology on ice sheet structure. More