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How Underground Sensors In Texas Will Help NASA Predict Drought and Floods

Credit Photo courtesy of Richard Casteel Todd Caldwell works on a soil moisture monitoring station in Central Texas. Stanley Rabke’s family has lived and worked on their Hill Country ranch since 1889. Generations of Rabkes have struggled with the extremes of Texas weather, but one storm sticks out in Stanley’s memory: it came after the [...]

Listening For The Call Of The Quail

Helped by $6 million from the State of Texas, prairies west of Houston are being restored with native grasses to increase the population of Bob White Quail. There’s something missing these days around ranches and farms just west of Houston: the unmistakable call of the Bob White Quail. “Everybody knows that sound, “said Robert Perez, [...]

Can the Private Space Industry Stabilize a Boom-and-Bust Economy?

From KXWT News:  By early next year, alongside the sound of jets landing at the Midland International Airport, you might also hear sonic booms from space flights re-entering the earth’s atmosphere. This month, the private space company XCOR broke ground at the airport, where it plans to launch commercial space flights next year. Some hope this new [...]

Solar Power Shedding ‘Ugly’ Image in Houston

Global demand for solar panels could soon create shortages according to Bloomberg News. In Texas, costs for solar are dropping and the amount of power Texans now get from the sun is up over 30-percent in the past year. But while some housing developments are banning the roof-top solar panels, saying they’re unsightly, some homeowners in [...]

For Legacy Oil Family Facing Drought, It’s Conservation or Bust

From Marfa Public Radio: The latest drought monitor from the USDA shows about 60% of Texas still suffering from a lack of rain and strained water resources. Lately there’s been some concern brewing in West Texas about towns, cities or landowners selling their water to oil and gas companies, and the possibility of oil and gas development in the Big Bend. [...]

Honey, I Shrunk The Windmills! To The Size Of An Ant

From KERA News Breakthroughs: Commercial wind turbines stand more than a hundred feet tall, with blades nearly as long. The wind turbines developed by engineers at the University of Texas at Arlington are a bit smaller… just half than the size of an ant. In a cold lab room at UT Arlington electrical engineering professor J.C. Chiao shows off a [...]

Tesla’s Interest In Dallas County Inland Port Brings Attention To Quiet Area

From KERA News:  Shelley Kofler KERA News Goods from around the world arrive at Union Pacifics Intermodal Terminal in the Inland Port. Could South Dallas County become home to one of the world’s largest factories? Developers and local officials recently learned electric-car manufacturer Tesla is checking out an area known as the Inland Port as [...]

Sheep Keeping Grass Under Control At OCI Solar “Farm” In San Antonio

From Texas Public Radio:  OCI Solar Power thought of an idea that leaders there say is sheer genius. They’ve put sheep to work on the grounds of a solar farm on the far northeast side to keep the grass cut. As solar panels soak up plenty of hot Texas sunshine, there’s plenty landscaping work to [...]

Despite Obstacles, Solar Gains Ground in Texas

From Marfa Public Radio:  This week we have examined the opportunity and challenge for solar power in Texas. There are no state mandates or incentives for solar. And the head of the Public Utilities Commission says Congress should end solar’s 30 per cent federal tax credit.  Despite that landscape solar is breaking through in parts of Texas, providing models that [...]

Small-Scale Solar Energy Projects take Advantage of Abundant Sunlight in West Texas

From Marfa Public Radio:  Continuing their weeklong series on the future of solar power in West Texas, Marfa Public Radio takes a look at small-scale solar projects around the Big Bend region: The Big Bend region is ranching country. Miles of barbed-wire fences, cows clustered in the distance, and windmills on the horizon. Those windmills, of [...]

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