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REU Program Details


The University of Texas Environmental Science Institute REU
 will not be operating in 2015, and will not be accepting applications.  Please check back in 2016.

Summer 2014 calendar for reference:

REU 2014 Summer Events Calendar





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 food supplies.  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. An interdisciplinary approach to understanding these Global Change issues is, thus, an imperative for any successful solution.



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 global change science.  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 previous REU programs in The Science of Global Change and Sustainability have offered: (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."



Students in the program each have worked in a faculty-mentored research group. 


After the program completion, many previous participants have elected to continue their research beyond the summer, publishing and presenting papers at professional conferences.



Program participants are expected to make a full-time commitment to the program, with on average 40 hours per week spent in the field and lab.  Participants are expected to attend all program seminars and events, to complete any assignments in anticipation of and as follow-up to each of these events.


Participants must also be prepared to engage in field work may include (but is certainly not limited to) hiking, caving, camping, and boating.  This field work can occur in extremely hot weather and/or inclement conditions, and can last as long as 1-2 days.


All participants must provide proof of health insurance coverage for the entire duration of the program.  ESI has an additional agreement with University Health Services whereby if you need to visit them, you will be seen in Urgent Care and must be responsible for paying any related fees and follow-up costs yourself.



If you have more questions about ESI's past REU Programs, please take a look at our Frequently Asked Questions page or contact our office at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or (512) 471-4211.





Environmental Science Institute

The University of Texas at Austin

1 University Station C9000

Austin, TX 78712

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

(512) 471-4211










wortham in lab

REU student preparing a dissolved calcite sample in the Isotope Geochemisty 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.


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.


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.



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