GCCC program manager Ramón Treviño (far right) joins ASBPA on a field trip stop that explored the geological processes behind the sand dunes on Mustang Island

In February, two members of GCCC, Susan Hovorka and Emily Moskal, attended a meeting of the Texas Chapter of the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) to meet a diverse group of stakeholders whose work or interest centers around the Texas coastline.

As indicated by ASBPA’s website, the organization’s membership is comprised of a variety of professionals including engineers, scientists, planners, public officials, and other professionals who are interested in the protection, restoration, and management of the shores and beaches of U.S. bays, harbors, oceans, and the Great Lakes.

During the meeting, Hovorka and Moskal listened to Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush talk about actions that the state representatives are taking to preserve Texas’ legacy along the coast.

Also at that meeting, Hovorka and Moskal met the hosts and producers of the American Shoreline Podcast Network. Since then, GCCC researchers have been featured in two podcasts. The first was released that same month, featuring Hovorka and her general overview of carbon sequestration. The second was published last week and featured Katherine Romanak who spoke about the measures GCCC and other research groups take to mitigate carbon sequestration risks.

Also this month on April 15 and 16, GCCC program manager Ramón Treviño attended the annual symposium and field trip of the ASBPA Texas Chapter, hosted at the Harte Research Institute of the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

During the first day, Treviño participated in a field trip led by Dr. Mark Besonen, an associate research scientist at the Harte Research Institute. The trip was co-led by Randy Bissell, the geoscience advisor to Headington Energy Partners LLC in Corpus Christi. Besonen described the trip as offering “a longer-term, geological perspective that considers past shorelines and coastal configurations [and how] they can inform us about [the] present and future coastal change.”

The field trip stops were at the following coastal features: 1) a recent (approximately four-year-old) bay-front slump on a bluff on the western shoreline of Corpus Christi Bay, 2) the modern Nueces River bayhead delta, 3) Oslo Bay, a Pleistocene-age lagoon that developed during the previous (Eemian stage) interglacial, and 4) the beach and dunes of the modern barrier island system at the southern end of Mustang Island.

During the second day, Treviño presented an introductory CCS symposium talk titled, “Carbon Capture and Sequestration (Storage) – CCS: A Climate Change Mitigation Strategy for the Near-Offshore Northwestern Gulf of Mexico.”

Global climate change, specifically sea-level rise, was either an explicit or implicit focus of many symposium talks. During his talk, Treviño emphasized the potential of CCS to reduce the amount of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere from CO2 point sources and thus mitigate sea level rise and its negative impact on the coast. After the presentation, several audience members, who were previously unfamiliar with the technology, expressed interest in CCS.

Because a large part of our work at the GCCC centers around engaging new perspectives and new stakeholders in the region, this symposium and its professional networking created an opportunity for the team to make connections that, either directly or indirectly, relate to our offshore regional partnership studies. We look forward to more interactions with the ASBPA community and how the community’s expertise can inform our work on the Texas near offshore.

  • Andrew Jupiter and Katherine Romanak hold up the signed MOU, making their research collaboration official.

    By reaching for CCS in the near term, Trinidad and Tobago has the greatest chance to meet the country’s climate targets and the potential to make a dent in global emission reductions. With this cooperation and the knowledge and skill transfer between the two universities, it seems more than just possible. It’s well on its way.

    Together as part of an international research collaboration, Dr. Katherine Romanak and Professor Andrew Jupiter, representing the Bureau of Economic Geology at The University of Texas at Austin (UT) and the Petroleum Studies Unit at the University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Augustine, respectively, just made their partnership official with a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

    Continue reading

  • Listen to the full interview here:

    On December 14, 2018 Katherine Romanak was interviewed by the Texas Standard and broadcast on Texas public radio for a story on the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP24) and what governments, businesses, and people can do about the climate.

    For the past two weeks, leaders from some 200 countries met in Poland for the UNFCCC COP24 conference and are “still struggling with what exactly to do about the climate getting warmer. What are governments, businesses, people supposed to do?” asks the Texas Standard.

    To answer this Texas Standard producers assembled an expert panel including: Brady Dennis, a reporter for the Washington Post focusing on the environment and public health issues and who’s currently in Poland for the climate conference; Justin Penn, lead researcher in chemical and oceanography from the University of Washington in Seattle; and Katherine Romanak, research scientist at the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin who spoke at the conference last week.

    Continue reading