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We're a group of researchers from across UT Austin. Making Texas resilient in the face of rapid population growth and climate extremes is our grand challenge.

Planet Texas 2050 and The Drag collaborate on new environmental podcast

Two people sit in a recording booth talking into microphones.
Aurora Berry (left) and Will Brooks (right) sit in a recording booth in the Jesse H. Jones Communication Center. Photo by Thomas Meredith.

Everyone on the planet is affected by climate change in some way. Now, a student duo will set out across Texas to tell their stories.

University of Texas at Austin journalism students Aurora Berry and Will Brooks are working…


By: Deidre Zoll

A van driving along a road in Houston, Texas is submerged in water during a flood event.
Torrential rainstorm in 2016 brings record flooding to Houston. Photo credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration.

I originally wrote this blog aiming to publish it in mid-March of 2020. I was traveling back to Austin at the time and suggested that we hold off until we saw how COVID unfolded. It is a year later, and I’m still not sure if now is…


By Mary Huber

Chihuahuan desert and Chisos mountains in the Big Bend National Park, West Texas, with Kit Peak in the background. Photo credit: Harry Green

As part of the Institute for Historical Studies’ “Climate in Context” events, Planet Texas 2050 has teamed up with the digital magazine “Not Even Past” to release a series of articles highlighting how history and archaeology are key to our understanding and mitigation of the devastating effects…


By Adam Rabinowitz

Archaeologists look at a glowing screen showing LiDAR images from Mayan ruins in the Guatemalan jungle.
Specialists in Mesoamerican archaeology for LiDAR imagery at the Texas Advanced Computing Center VisLab on the UT campus during a February 2020 Maya LiDAR workshop. Source: Adam Rabinowitz

As part of the Institute for Historical Studies’ “Climate in Context” events, Planet Texas 2050 has teamed up with the digital magazine “Not Even Past” to release a series of articles highlighting how history and archaeology are key to our understanding and mitigation of the devastating effects…


By Mary Huber

Parched land with a dead tree

As part of the Institute for Historical Studies’ “Climate in Context” events, Planet Texas 2050 has teamed up with the digital magazine “Not Even Past” to release a series of articles highlighting how history and archaeology are key to our understanding and mitigation of the devastating effects…


By Adam Rabinowitz

UT archaeologists excavate a field in Romania that was once the site of the ancient Histria civilization.
2019 excavation of Histria, a once bustling residential and industrial area in a major seaport city, then a cemetery in a shrinking provincial backwater, and now an open field seven kilometers from the sea. Photo credit: Professor Valentin Bottez, University of Bucharest

In October, Planet Texas 2050 unveiled six new flagship projects, which will guide our work in the coming years as we tackle the dual problems of demographic and climate change. Each quarter, we will highlight one of the six projects, continuing with one titled “Stories of Ancient…


By Patrick Bixler and Paola Passalacqua

Flooded residential neighborhood in Houston after Hurricane Harvey.
Houston after Hurricane Harvey.

This month, Planet Texas 2050 unveiled six new flagship projects, which will guide our work in the coming years as we tackle the dual problems of demographic and climate change. Each quarter, we will highlight one of the six projects, starting with one titled…


Outgoing Planet Texas 2050 Chair Heather Houser (left) and new Planet Texas 2050 Chair Fernanda Leite (right).
Outgoing Planet Texas 2050 Chair Heather Houser (left) and new Planet Texas 2050 Chair Fernanda Leite (right).

A message from Heather Houser, outgoing Chair of Planet Texas 2050:

It is with some sadness but also pride that I bid farewell to the leadership team of Planet Texas 2050, a UT initiative that I helped found three and a half years ago with the aim of making Texas…


By Mary Huber

South Austin Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant
Canary researchers took wastewater samples from South Austin Regional Wastewater Treatment. Photo courtesy of Austin Water.

Our dirty, smelly wastewater could hold something very valuable: the key to tracking COVID-19 hot spots in Austin before diagnostic testing is able to identify outbreaks.

The novel coronavirus is a fecally shed virus, which means its signature shows up in our waste. …

Planet Texas 2050

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