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From the College of Natural Sciences
UT Austin Launches Resource to Connect STEM-Interested Youth, Teachers to Programming

UT Austin Launches Resource to Connect STEM-Interested Youth, Teachers to Programming

STEM Starts is a new website for families, youth and teachers to connect to offerings in pre-kindergarten–12th grade outreach and education from UT Austin.

Seeking to ignite a love of discovery and technology in learners right from the start, a team at The University of Texas at Austin has launched a new resource to help families, schools and youth connect to the university's offerings in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) that are especially for children, teens and their teachers.

McDonald Observatory Holds Dark Skies Festival April 29-30

McDonald Observatory Holds Dark Skies Festival April 29-30

Visitors in the amphitheater during a public star party at the Frank N. Bash Visitors Center. The Milky Way is clearly visible under the dark skies of McDonald Observatory. The streak at top center shows the path of an artificial satellite passing overhead. Credit: Ethan Tweedie Photography

FORT DAVIS, Texas — The University of Texas at Austin's McDonald Observatory will hold its first Dark Skies Festival Friday, April 29, and Saturday, April 30. The festival will include daytime and evening events for the whole family, plus the debut of the new "Preserving Dark Skies" exhibit in the Frank N. Bash Visitors Center. Both the exhibit and the festival are funded by Apache Corporation.

Bringing Music to the Texas Science Community in Intense Times

Bringing Music to the Texas Science Community in Intense Times

Professor of neuroscience Amy Lee and college director for facilities Ann Harasimowitz in the Norman Hackerman Building with its new piano. Credit: Masa Kuwajima

Finding new strategies to battle COVID or cancer, developing tools for the fight against climate change, working to understand a human brain transformed by alcoholism or Alzheimer's disease—this is just a small sample of the type of work scientists at UT Austin do every day. It can be a lot for the individuals involved, with plenty of setbacks and stress along the way. Researchers, like so many people, could use a break right about now.

Nurdle Patrol Expands its Citizen Scientist Effort to Fight Plastic Pollution on Beaches

Nurdle Patrol Expands its Citizen Scientist Effort to Fight Plastic Pollution on Beaches

Recent funding support from the NOAA Marine Debris Program will allow for expansion of Nurdle Patrol into Mexico and increased data and surveys of nurdle pollution. Map show survey locations and number of nurdles collected, as of September 2021. The basemap was created using ArcGIS® software by Esri.

PORT ARANSAS, Texas – Plastic pollution in marine environments has no border. The waters of the United States and Mexico are inextricably linked through currents of the Gulf of Mexico and with them flow marine debris. One source of marine debris of concern are plastic pellets, or nurdles. Now with new support from the NOAA Marine Debris Program and the Matagorda Bay Mitigation Trust, the Nurdle Patrol citizen science program is expanding across the United States and into Mexico.

Presenting the Texas Podcast Network (Audio)

Presenting the Texas Podcast Network (Audio)

Today we're doing something a little different. We're bringing you an excerpt from another great podcast produced here at the University of Texas at Austin, called TX512. It's about all things UT Austin and Texas.

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Bay Education Center is Fully Repaired and Reopened after Hurricane Harvey Damage

Bay Education Center is Fully Repaired and Reopened after Hurricane Harvey Damage

Opening May 8 is the Bay Education Center in Rockport,Texas. Credit: Eddie Seal

This May 8, 2021 the Bay Education Center, which is operated by the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve, a program of the University of Texas Marine Science Institute, will reopen and showcase its new exhibits. Like many museums and nature centers on the Texas coast, the Bay Education Center was struck a double blow with Hurricane Harvey and then the pandemic. 

McDonald Observatory Honors Local Businesses, Organizations for Night-Sky-Friendly Lighting

McDonald Observatory Honors Local Businesses, Organizations for Night-Sky-Friendly Lighting

FORT DAVIS, Texas — Just in time for International Dark Skies Week (April 5-12), McDonald Observatory is announcing a new program to honor West Texas businesses and organizations for Night Skies Friendly Lighting practices. These practices keep light on the ground and out of the sky, helping to preserve the exceptional night skies for which far West Texas is famous.

Record Number of Turtles Rescued at University of Texas Marine Science Institute

Record Number of Turtles Rescued at University of Texas Marine Science Institute

Winter Storm Uri caused damage and hardship across the state of Texas, and at the Port Aransas campus of the University of Texas at Austin, the work to recover from it included rehabilitating a record number of sea turtles threatened by the cold weather.

A Virtual Science Festival as Big as Texas

A Virtual Science Festival as Big as Texas

The University of Texas at Austin is gearing up to welcome science enthusiasts everywhere to the Texas Science Festival. The virtual celebration features rapid-fire and deep-dive presentations by world-changing scientists, live hands-on demonstrations, explosive science, telescope viewings, opportunities to interact with experts from Texas' flagship public research institution and more.

McDonald Observatory Will Reopen to the Public Aug. 28

McDonald Observatory Will Reopen to the Public Aug. 28

Aerial view of McDonald Observatory. Photo credit: Damond Benningfield.

The University of Texas at Austin's McDonald Observatory is planning to reopen to the public, in a limited fashion, on Friday, Aug. 28. Beginning with a star party that night, the observatory's Frank N. Bash Visitors Center will begin holding public programs again.