Texas Tech University

News and Awards

Katharine Hayhoe named Chief Scientist at The Nature Conservancy

Katharine Hayhoe was recently appointed Chief Scientist at The Nature Conservancy. The Nature Conservancy is renowned for its science-based work on conservation and committed to ensuring a higher quality of life for all life on this planet, and tackling the challenges of climate change. We heartily congratulate Katharine on this most important position!! 


Smithsonian exhibit features west Texas: a collaboration between TTU CC scientists and cotton growers

A Smithsonian exhibit has put its focus on growers in west Texas in a video. This video shows that west Texas growers are leading the way to regenerative agriculture in the United States. The growers are working with TTU scientists to address a pivotal question: how to protect crops from climate extremes. The solution: build healthier soils! It starts by treating the soil as an ecosystem, and not just a medium for plants to hold on to. Building soil organic matter is key: it helps retain moisture, adds nutrients and helps build soil structure (soil aggregation!), which helps against erosion.

Smithsonian filming

Lubbock elementary school kids win national prize

A group of 6th graders, led by Felipe de Farias, has won the prestigious eCYBERMISSION award. These fantastic youngsters called their group 'Carbon Keepers'. The reason is simple: they are extremely concerned about climate change and they are showing how agriculture can be part of the solution! How? By removing carbon from the air and storing it in soil, the carbon would provide multitudes of benefits to plant growth: carbon in the form of organic matter acts like a 'sponge' to hold on to moisture better, it helps build better soil structure (helps to fight erosion), and it contains nutrients essential to plants. It would be a win-win: for growers and climate! How to increase carbon in the soil? What would be some ways to increase soil carbon? It would have to be by plants: some options (but there are plenty more!) are: by providing microbes beneficial to plants (called 'mycorrhizae'), keeping plant residue in the fields, and keeping a healthy microbial community in the soil. To learn more about their project, visit their website.

Other research has shown that crop rotation and no-till practices are beneficial also, and that fertilizing too much only favors the 'weedy' bacteria, but not necessarily the microbes that help the plants out (i.e., the mycorrhizae). Please visit the Grower Citizen Science Facebook page for more info.

The Carbon Keepers were guided by TTU CC scientists, but make no mistake: they worked very independently, such as coming up with their own hypotheses and did all of the hard work: collecting samples, setting up a rigorous experimental design, and many more things. They were incredible! For more information, please visit the TTU news site.

Carbon Keepers

Katharine Hayhoe at the Nobel Peace Price Forum in Norway

Katharine spoke at a high profile event on December 11, 2018: the Nobel Peace Price Forum. The forum was entitled: "How to Solve the Climate Crisis in Time". This event was held at the University of Oslo in Norway. Katharine is one of the world's leaders in climate science and was joined by other world experts in the field of climate science, policy and solution. The forum was broadcast by Nobel Media and is accessible on YouTube. For more info, click here.

Hayhoe recently facilitated a panel discussion on climate change solutions in the 2018-19 Presidential Lecture & Performance Series. Panelists included Joey Hall, Executive Vice President, Permian Operations, for Pioneer Natural Resources; free market advocate and policy expert and former congressman Bob Inglis, executive director for the Energy and Enterprise Initiative at George Mason University and clean energy expert Michael Webber, Deputy Director of the Energy Institute at The University of Texas at Austin.

Natasja van Gestel and John Zak expanded the 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 and the Davidson Foundation, has 12 growers that are participating. The growers and more than 30 fields are within a 3 hour radius of Lubbock. The growers help collect soils and data from their fields. This project is of utmost importance because it increases our understanding of how to continue cotton production in a challenging climate, such as climate extremes. Soil biology is key to higher 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.


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



The Climate Science Center was nominated during International Affairs Week at Texas Tech University for the Global Engagement Award. The TTU CC 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. Click here to read more.

Keep up with the Climate Center on Facebook and Twitter

The Climate Center 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 Climate Center has upcoming events. Our Twitter is also updated daily with other news articles in relevance to climate change.