"Planet Texas 2050: A UT Austin Grand Challenge"
Professor, Jackson School of Geosciences
Associate Director, Bureau of Economic Geology
The University of Texas at Austin has launched its first grand challenge: Planet Texas 2050. What’s a grand challenge? It’s a moonshot goal — a bold, ambitious, interdisciplinary research initiative that attempts to tackle some of society’s most pressing social, humanitarian, and environmental crises. The Planet Texas 2050 team is made up of researchers from 14 different CSUs across campus, including architecture, engineering, population health, geosciences, archaeology, and more. Theirs is an 8-year sprint to find ways to make Texas more resilient in the face of rapid population growth — some cities may see their populations double by the year 2050 — and extreme weather events, such as prolonged droughts and floods. At the same time, they realize that underserved communities are the most at risk when the environment and urban centers are pushed to their limits, and the team will be working to find policy solutions that can help all groups within our communities.
Hear grand challenge team members Jay Banner and Michael Young talk about different aspects of this monumental project. They’ll discuss natural resource availability, indoor and outdoor air pollution, and the critical role the arts play in helping us understand how we think about the environment.