Texas Tech University

News and Awards

Natasja van Gestel and John Zak lead Grower Citizen Science project

The Grower Citizen Science project is aimed at helping growers in regenerative agriculture by improving soil health. This project, initiated in 2017 and funded by Cotton Incorporated, had 5 growers who helped collect data from their fields. This year, with additional funding from The Davidson Foundation, the network of grower citizen scientists will be expanding.

Natasja van Gestel and John Zak presented at the Soil Health Symposium, held at the Bayer Museum of Agriculture on February 13-14, 2018, to inform growers of the importance of soil biology to plant production. Increased soil carbon storage, microbial function and other processes all help improve aggregate formation, water storage and infiltration, which in turn positively affects plant growth. Dr. Ray Archuleta of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service kicked off this important symposium (see images below). Are you interested in improving your soil health? Click here for one of his videos.

Soil health


Katharine Hayhoe visits the UK

In November, Katharine Hayhoe gave a series of lectures on climate science and communication in the UK. She spoke at Kings College London, the University of Reading, Oxford University, and with George Marshall from Climate Outreach at St. Mary's University Church in Oxford (left picture below) and with A Rocha International at the John Stott London Lecture at All Souls Church in London (right picture). Though public acceptance of the reality of what the science is telling us — climate is changing, humans are responsible, and the risks are serious — is much higher in the UK than the US, the core challenge is still the same: nearly all of us feel that it doesn't really matter to us, and if and when it ever does, someone else will fix it for us. This message resonated with many.

Watch her London Lecture here, and read her interview with UK-based Carbon Brief here.

Below are visual renderings by two artists of Katharine's visit to the UK.

UK sketches

Youth Mappers Help Puerto Rico

Dr. Patricia Solis

The Youth Mappers program, led by Dr. Patricia Solís recently held a "mapathon" to provide spatial help regarding hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. During the mapathon the students and the community can help disaster relief directly by mapping the locations of buildings and roads viewed from satellite imagery of affected areas before the disaster. When compared to post-event imagery, the data on the maps can help organizations like the US Agency for International Development, the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and many other humanitarian units identify the best locations for shelters, estimate affected numbers of people, and to assess the dollar value of the damage. It also helps them create plans for long term recovery efforts. For those interested in helping, the software is easy to learn!

Our faculty affiliate member Dr. Patricia Solis is the lead on this program and her Co- PI leaders are Dr. Kevin Mulligan, Dr. Guofeng Cao, and Dr. Carlos Portillo-Quintero.If you would like to learn more about YouthMappers, click here.




The Climate Science Center was nominated during International Affairs Week at Texas Tech University for the Global Engagement Award. The Climate Science Center was runner up and received an award for their international engagement efforts.

Congrats to our co-director Katharine Hayhoe who was named on the World's Greatest Leader list by Fortune for 2017. Click here to learn more. 

Our co-director, Katharine Hayhoe was chosen to speak at South By South Lawn: A White House Festival of Ideas, Arts, and Action. Where she had the honor of participating in a conversation with President Obama and Leonardo DiCaprio about the importance of taking action on climate change. If you missed their discussion watch it here.

In September 2016, the National Sierra Club honored Dr. Katharine Hayhoe as one of the winners of The Distinguished Service Award. This award honors people in public service for long-term commitment to conservation. They honored Dr. Hayhoe as she has dedicated her life to educating the public about the environment.

In May 2016, Dr. Katharine Hayhoe received The Friend of the Planet Award presented by the National Center for Science Education. This award goes to people who defend and promote science education through lectures, seminars, hearings and in media appearances while also teaching science and education the public. The NCSE applauded Dr. Hayhoe's work on her dedication to display the effects of climate change in all facets of life. 

Read More Here

Dr. Patricia Solis received the College of Arts & Sciences Alumni Merit Award from Kansas State this October 2015. Dr. Patricia Solis was also named a 2015 recipient of the outstanding support for Geography Education Award! Patricia was honored last summer at the 2015 National Council for Geographic Education for her outstanding efforts in support of geography education. 

Dr. Blake Grisham and his graduate students, Alixandra Godar and Cody Griffin, wrote a chapter titled, "Climate Change" in Ecology and Conservation of Lesser Prairie-Chickens. The chapter highlights how Lesser Prairie-Chickens will be affected by rising temperatures due to climate change which will change their habitat availability, suitability, and nesting and brood-rearing activities.

Keep up with the CSC on Facebook and Twitter

The TTU-CSC Facebook page is updated everyday with helpful posts featuring news articles about climate science and what is happening to our environment. We encourage you to go check out the page and like it! We also post when the CSC will be having events. During Texas Tech University's winter break we will not have our regular events. We will start up our regular events back up in February.  Our Twitter is also updated daily with other news articles in relevance to climate change.