Free Environmental Science and Sustainability Events in Austin

The University of Texas continues its series of free events relating to the environment. Here is the schedule for the remainder of this week:

Tuesday, February 20
DeFord Lecture Series
Brady Foreman, Western Washington University
Brady Foreman will be giving a lecture on stratigraphy and sedimentology of siliciclastic systems, stable isotope geochemistry at this week’s DeFord Lecture Series. Cookies and coffee will be provided around 3:30 PM.
Jackson Geological Sciences Building (JGB) Room 2.324 @ 4:00 – 5:00 pm

Thursday, February 22
DeFord Speaker Series
Katherine Stack Morgan will be discussing “Exploring the evolution of an ancient lake basin on Mars with the Curiosity rover “–all about sedimentary geology, stratigraphy, martian sedimentary deposits, Orbital image-based geologic mapping, and Mars-Earth analogs.
Jackson Geological Sciences Building (JGB) Room 2.324 @ 4:00 – 5:00pm
UT Energy Symposium 
Rohit Chandra, Kennedy School at Harvard
This week at the UT Energy Symposium, Rohit Chandra will give a talk titled “Coal in India: History and Persistence.”
Rohit Chandra is a doctoral student at the Harvard Kennedy School, studying energy policy and economic history. His dissertation is a political and economic history of the Indian coal industry from 1960-2015. In the past, he has worked with the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi, Center for Advanced Study of India in Philadelphia, and Brookings India. Abstract: Like many other countries, India’s industrial base and electricity system has been built largely on the back of coal-based power generation. Since nationalization in the early 1970s, Coal India (CIL) has weathered many political and economic obstacles in trying to deliver on the nation’s coal demands. In all the recent euphoria about renewable energy, the deep historical connections between the Indian state and the coal industry seem to be unacknowledged. Both financially, and politically, the Indian state is deeply invested in coal and coal-based power generation. This is likely to make the transition to renewable energy gradual, not precipitous, as many have been predicting. In this talk, Rohit will give a brief historical sketch of the Indian coal industry, and then discuss some of the reasons why coal and its downstream use in power and other industries is likely to persist in India for the foreseeable future.
The UT Energy Symposium meets every Thursday during the long semesters. Come early to attend a networking session before the talk: refreshments will be served at 4:45 p.m. in the POB Connector Lobby outside the auditorium.
Peter O’Donnell Jr. Building (POB) Room 2.302 @ 5:00 – 6:15 pm

Friday, February 23
UTIG Seminar Series
Doug Brinkerhoff, University of Montana

“Ice and mud: how sediment dynamics drive periodicity in tidewater glaciers”

Abstract: Many tidewater glaciers in Alaska, such as Hubbard, Taku, and Yahtse, are growing despite a warming atmosphere and ocean. At the same time, close neighbors such as Columbia glacier are undergoing dramatic retreats, which cannot be accounted for by climate change. What drives this apparent disparity in glacier behavior? A hypothesized process known as the tidewater glacier cycle provides an explanation: movement of sediment by subglacial streams produces a shoal at the glacier front, decreasing the amount of iceberg calving and allowing the glacier to advance over several hundred years. Eventually the glacier becomes overextended, floats, and quickly retreats to its initial shape. In this talk, I will show (with the help of computer model) that simple interactions of ice, water, and erosion can produce tidewater glacier cycles like the ones that are observed in coastal Alaska, and that these cycles occur even in a static climate and persist with warming. I argue that these cycles drive natural shifts in marine habitat and the fjord landscape at large and must be accounted for in interpretations of glaciers as climate proxies.
Pickle Research Center (ROC) Room 1.603 @ 10:30 – 11:30 am