Button to scroll to the top of the page.

News

From the College of Natural Sciences

#CNSfinals

Dear Students, You've made it to the last day of class this semester! For many classes that means filling out CIS sheets and maybe even enjoying some free food, but for a lot of courses in CNS that means squeezing in one last exam. Here are some words of wisdom to carry you through today and finals:Don't underestimate the power of sleep. Yes, ...

Distinction in Research

Dear Students, As a kid, I remember going to the McDonald Observatory with my dad, an astronomer, and staring with amazement into the very dark night sky. That curiosity never vanished, and I found my world in research. Zora Neale Hurston famously said, "Research is formalized curiosity." That quote resonates with me — and, I suspect, it rings...

Entrepreneurship

Dear Students,"Every time you state what you want or believe, you're the first to hear it. It's a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don't put a ceiling on yourself."—Oprah WinfreyEntrepreneurs are essential to progress—the ability to see potential and make it a reality drives everything from creation of job opportunit...

Distinction in Service & Leadership

​Dear Students, Two weeks ago I let you know about four new College Distinctions that will recognize student excellence and be awarded at graduation. This week I want to talk about why we in Natural Sciences recognize Service & Leadership. One of the core principles of UT is Leadership: "The will to excel with integrity and the spirit...

A Special Message for College of Natural Sciences Undergraduates

This message was sent to current CNS undergraduate students in the weekly email from the college, prior to an evening with the dean especially for students.

Student Distinctions in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Dear Students,Science and research are inextricably linked for a good reason: this is how we further knowledge. We're really good at research here at UT, but research is far from the only area of excellence, especially amongst you, our undergraduate students who amaze me at every turn. With that in mind, the College of Natural Sciences (CNS) is cre...

Step Into the Arena

Dear Students, There is a famous quote from Teddy Roosevelt. In his "Citizenship In a Republic" speech given in Paris in 1910, the former president paints a picture of a strong fighter in the ring, stumbling. Roosevelt says it's not the nitpicking critic, sitting outside the ring and pointing, who counts. Rather, the credit belongs to the pers...

Help Spread the Word: Boil Water Notice

Dear Students, You received a message this morning from Campus Safety alerting you to the fact that the City of Austin has issued a citywide notice that all residents need to boil their water. Updates on the situation for our campus community will be posted to this website https://emergency.utexas.edu/In the meantime, please avoid consuming water f...

Free Tacos and a Star Party

Dear Students,You read that right: this week is Natural Sciences Week – the time when we celebrate how great science is – and tonight we kick it off at 6 pm in and around the Texas Union Ballroom. Come on out to enjoy free tacos and pizza, live animals like mini-horses, and lots of student organizations. Be sure to represent with your Texas Science...

Speaking Truth to Power

Dear Students,Often, I hear from students (and staff and faculty) who feel there has been an injustice through words or deeds, but don't feel they have the right to speak directly to that individual because they're a professor, or a supervisor, or a Dean—someone in a position of power. Quakers coined the phrase "speak truth to power" as a middle gr...

Spend a Semester by the Sea

Dear Students, Have you ever been staring at your textbook and thought, "I wish I were on a beach"? Well, have I got good news for you: you can take a course and lie on the beach (or be close by), even while reading your textbook. UT has a Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, Texas, and there's a wonderful opportunity to spend a Semester ...

Science is Life

Dear Students,I recently learned about an amazing scientist named Dr. Maynard Daly: the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry in the United States, in 1947. Dr. Daly grew up in a house surrounded by the love of science and discovered a love of chemistry in high school. After completing her doctorate at Columbia University, she w...

Re-Search

Dear Students,Earlier this year I had the great fortune to attend a panel of female scientists at Explore UT called "Smart Kids: A Panel Discussion of Career Paths and Personal Journeys in Science." Meredith Walker, co-founder of Amy Poehler's "Smart Girls," moderated a discussion with our own Chemistry professor Dr. Kate Biberdorf, Astronomy gradu...

Get Hooked for a Lifetime

Dear Students,In her early 20s, Dr. Wanda Díaz-Merced was studying physics at the University of Puerto Rico when a prolonged illness caused permanent blindness, a seemingly career-ending turn of events. However, Dr. Díaz-Merced was hooked on physics and astronomy, so instead of giving up her passion, she began to think about "seeing" science in ano...

Dig a Little Deeper

Dear Students,Last week I urged you to think of what you wanted to accomplish this year and do something that works toward your goals every day. This week I want you to think about life after college and work toward that (even those of you for whom this is only your second week in college). Often we have ideas based on successful people we have kno...