Emissions

Students Fighting Climate Change at the Tower

Students Fighting Climate Change gathers at the Tower. Photo by Kathryn Gatliff

The opportunities for UT Austin to be a leader in the global Energy Transition were highlighted at symposia by the Social Innovation Initiative as well as during UT Energy Week 2021 hosted by the Energy Institute. The President's Sustainability Steering Committee (PSSC) believes that a conversation about reducing our own campus emissions is an opportunity to lead by example. While the current campus district energy system is a model of efficiency and low emissions for a natural gas power plant, as shown in the 2019 Campus Greenhouse Gas Inventory, the conversations about applying emerging technologies, financial tools and academic integrations to our own campus are just beginning.

Greenhouse Gas Inventory

The Office of Sustainability conducted the first UT Austin Greenhouse Gas Inventory in 2009 using methods described in The Climate Registry (TCR), General Reporting Protocol for Scope 1 and 2, and follows best practices for Scope 3. The Office of Sustainability uses the SIMAP platform and collaborated with various on-capus and off-campus entities in data and methodology review. The most recent Greenhouse Gas Inventory was performed in 2019 and is available online.

Student Opportunities

Several student organizations are focused on campus emissions and related issues including:

Academics and Research

A Bridging Barriers Grand Challenge, Planet Texas 2050 is conducting new research, launching educational programs, and partnering with organizations and community groups throughout the state to address the most urgent issues affecting our region. Planet Texas 2050 researchers are committed to developing programs and policy recommendations that will improve Texas’ adaptability and build its resilience. To do that, their work will focus on understanding the interconnectedness of four critical resource systems: water, energy, urbanization, and ecosystem services.

Faculty teaching and researching in the field of climate change and greenhouse gas emissions include:

  • David Adelman, Professor and Harry Reasoner Regents Chair in Law, School of Law
  • Bethany Albertson, Associate Professor, Department of Government, College of Liberal Arts
  • Jay Banner, Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences
  • Donald Blankenship, Senior Research Scientist, Institute for Geophysics, Jackson School of Geosciences
  • R M Brown, Professor Emeritus, Department of Molecular Biosciences, College of Natural Sciences
  • Joshua Busby, Associate Professor, Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs
  • M Bayani Cardenas, Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences
  • Ginny Cantania, Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences
  • Sergio Castellanos, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering
  • Elizabeth Catlos, Associate Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences
  • Kerry Cook, Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences
  • Kenneth Dunton, Professor, Department of Marine Science, College of Natural Sciences
  • David Eaton, Professor, Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs
  • Andrew Esbaugh, Associate Professor, Department of Marine Science, College of Natural Sciences
  • Kasey Faust, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering
  • Christine Hawkes, Adjunct Professor, Department of Integrative Biology, College of Natural Sciences
  • Susan Hovorka, Senior Research Scientist, Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences
  • Charles Jackson, Research Scientist, Institute for Geophysics, Jackson School of Geosciences
  • Timothy Keitt, Professor, Department of Integrative Biology, College of Natural Sciences
  • Gregory Knapp, Associate Professor, Department of Geography and the Environment, College of Liberal Arts
  • Kara Kockelman, Professor, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering
  • Benjamin Leibowicz, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering
  • Fernanda Leite, Associate Professor, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering
  • Ashley Matheny, Assistant Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences
  • Ronald Matthews, Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering
  • Mikhail Matz, Professor, Department of Integrative Biology, College of Natural Sciences
  • James McClelland, Professor, Department of Marine Science, College of Natural Sciences
  • Jennifer Miller, Associate Professor, Department of Geography and the Environment, College of Liberal Arts
  • Michael Mosser, Assistant Professor of Instruction, Department of Government, College of Liberal Arts
  • Zoltan Nagy, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering
  • Dev Niyogi, Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences
  • Atila Novoselac, Professor, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering
  • Sheila Olmstead, Professor, Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs
  • Camille Parmesan, Adjunct Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences
  • Judson Partin, Research Scientist, Institute for Geophysics, Jackson School of Geosciences
  • Geeta Persad, Assistant Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences
  • Terrence Quinn, Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences
  • Varun Rai, Associate Dean for Research, Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs
  • Carlos Ramos, Associate Professor, Department of Geography and the Environment, College of Liberal Arts
  • Katherine Romanak, Research Scientist, Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences
  • Bridget Scanlon, Senior Research Scientist, Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences
  • Timothy Shanahan, Associate Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences
  • Byron Tapley, Professor and Clare Cockrell Williams Centennial Chair in Engineering, Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, Cockrell School of Engineering
  • Melinda Taylor, Executive Director, Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law, and Business
  • Charles Werth, Associate Chair for Environmental Engineering & Professor, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering
  • Clark Wilson, Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences
  • Kristopher Wilson, Journalism Affiliate, School of Journalism and Media, Moody College of Communication
  • Kenneth Wisian, Program Director, Bureau of Economic Geology, Jackson School of Geosciences
  • Kenneth Young, Professor, Department of Geography and the Environment, College of Liberal Arts