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From the College of Natural Sciences
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.

As Remote School for Texas Kids Continues, Try These STEM Learning Resources

As Remote School for Texas Kids Continues, Try These STEM Learning Resources

With Texas' governor among those declaring that K-12 schools will remain closed through the end of the school year, many families and teachers are looking for resources to support learning from home. Several outreach programs in the College of Natural Sciences and at UT Austin support STEM learning from afar. Here are a few to check out.

Public Outreach Programs Suspended in Response to COVID-19

Public Outreach Programs Suspended in Response to COVID-19

​The University of Texas at Austin's public-facing programs on campus and at museums, schools and science centers are currently suspended to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, the agent causing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joydeep Biswas Builds Robots to Navigate the Real World

Joydeep Biswas Builds Robots to Navigate the Real World

The Biswas lab demos robotic cars at campus events like the college donor brunch and Explore UT.

Joydeep Biswas leads the Autonomous Mobile Robotics Laboratory (AMRL) at UT, where he and other researchers work on building mobile service robots that assist humans in everyday environments. The lab investigates programs and algorithms that enable these robots to better navigate changing conditions, incorporate human assistance and recover from failures intelligently.

What Neuroscience Suggests to Better Your Study Habits

What Neuroscience Suggests to Better Your Study Habits

Every student has their own style of studying for exams. Some hold marathon study sessions, others endlessly review their notes. But scientists right here on campus say there are right ways and wrong ways to study, according to neuroscience.

The Nurdle Patrol Wages War on Plastic Pellets, With Boost from Lawsuit Settlement

The Nurdle Patrol Wages War on Plastic Pellets, With Boost from Lawsuit Settlement

Plastic pollution has contaminated every continent on Earth. It kills wildlife from whales to sea turtles. Some of the smallest plastic particles, called nurdles, are among the most insidious. It's difficult to even catalog the scope of the problem. But one group of citizen scientists is going to try. And a recent lawsuit against a plastics manufacturer is about to give them a major boost.

5 Ways to Make Any Day STEM Day at UT Austin

5 Ways to Make Any Day STEM Day at UT Austin

National STEM Day, celebrated on November 8, is a chance for everyone to show some love for science, technology, engineering and math. But why take only one day to celebrate when the world of STEM has fascinating offerings right here at The University of Texas at Austin all year round?

Celebrate Space at UT Austin

Celebrate Space at UT Austin

Star party on the University of Texas at Austin campus. Photo credit: Vivian Abagiu.

This week is World Space Week, an international celebration of science and technology offering space education and outreach from educational institutions across the globe. Here are some upcoming events to help you celebrate:

The New Voice of StarDate

The New Voice of StarDate

StarDate Radio is announcing today that Billy Henry is the program's new voice. Henry, an Austin-based voice talent, musician, composer, and college lecturer, becomes the third narrator of the program in its 41-year history. He assumes the title from Sandy Wood, who retired from the program yesterday. Henry's first program airs today.

On Anniversary of Gulf Oil Spill, Science Has Insights for the Next Crisis

On Anniversary of Gulf Oil Spill, Science Has Insights for the Next Crisis

The 1979 Ixtoc 1 blowout in the Gulf of Mexico led to one of history's worst oil spills, totaling the equivalent of 3 million barrels. Image credit: NOAA

On June 3, 1979, an oil rig called the Ixtoc I exploded off the coast of Campeche, Mexico, triggering what at the time was the worst oil spill in history. Even today, Ixtoc is eclipsed in the Gulf of Mexico only by the Deepwater Horizon disaster of 2010. Ixtoc's damage was observed for decades along the Texas coast, where experts at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute study the impact of the oil spill to this day and explore ways to contain the damage from future disasters.