Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE INSTITUTE AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS IN AUSTIN 
SUMMER RESEARCH EXPERIENCE FOR UNDERGRADUATES (REU)
IN CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS IN SEMI-ARID REGIONS

The University of Texas at Austin Environmental Science Institute (ESI) Research Experience for Undergraduates in integrated environmental science gives undergraduate students the opportunity to conduct research into Climate Change Impacts in Semi-Arid Regions. This program is funded by the National Science Foundation.

 

WHY CONDUCT RESEARCH ON THE CLIMATE CHANGE IMPACTS IN SEMI-ARID REGIONS?

The environmental challenges posed by global change are among the greatest our society faces, and science provides the means to understand the nature and extent of these challenges, including climate change, loss of biodiversity, and threats to water resources and infrastructure systems.  The complex nature of these problems demands that scientists be prepared to analyze these issues from multiple perspectives, integrating knowledge of science, policy, and practice. Addressing these requires an interdisciplinary approach that intertwines geology, hydrology, ecology, and civil and environmental engineering with fields addressing human impacts such as environmental policy, law, and sustainability. An interdisciplinary approach to understanding these global change issues is, thus, an imperative for any successful solution.

Disciplines in Climate Change Research.
Disciplines in climate change research.

 

WHY STUDY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN?

The University of Texas at Austin is home to top faculty and researchers in the area of global change research, and the Environmental Science Institute brings together UT researchers from a variety of disciplines to build connections between scientific and policy fields related to the environment in the area of Global Change, thereby giving REU participants a broad perspective on the state of climate change science and impacts.  This also means that undergraduates in the REU conduct environmental research that cuts across disciplinary boundaries and participants are encouraged to tackle these multidimensional environmental issues with this unique, interdisciplinary perspective.  ESI’s REU in Climate Change Impacts in Semi-Arid Regions offers: (1) an engaging research experience, (2) the excitement of scientific inquiry, (3) professional development opportunities, (4) research communication workshops and symposia, and (5) an expanded perspective on graduate school and a career in science.

The city of Austin is a fun and exciting place to visit and to live.  Take a dip in Barton Springs, tour the Texas State Capitol, check out the bats at the Congress Avenue Bridge, spend an evening on Sixth Street or South Congress Avenue, sample some barbecue or Tex-Mex, or get outside at Zilker Park or on the hike and bike trails.  And certainly catch a show in “The Live Music Capital of the World.”

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Please check out our frequently asked questions.  For questions not listed, please contact our office at reu@esi.utexas.edu or (512) 471-4974.

 

NSF

 

PHOTOS

wortham in lab

REU student preparing a dissolved calcite sample in the Isotope Geochemistry Clean Lab.

 

 

frieda in the field with litter and duff

REU student in the field collecting forest litter and duff.

 

 

waller in lab

REU student operating the sediment feeder for the experimental flume.

 

 

damaris in lab

REU student extracting lipids from Arctic sediment core samples for IP25 analysis.

 

 

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Students performing a benthic macroinvertebrate survey in Bull Creek, Austin, Texas.  Here, a Surber sampler is used to assess a community of indicator organisms in order to assess stream health.

 

 

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Students investigating Cretaceous limestone faulting of the Edwards Aquifer in Inner Space Cavern, Georgetown, Texas.  Faults play a significant role in the hydrogeology of this regionally-important water resource.