Solving Urban Water Issues

The Texas Water Development Board estimates that Texas' existing water supplies will decrease by more than 10% over the next 50 years, while demand will increase by 17%. The greatest increase in demand is in the municipal sector as a result of a growing urban population, which is expected to overtake the agricultural sector by 2070. Learn how UNT researchers are teaming up to find conservation solutions — from water quality and environmental impacts to ensuring equitable access — for growing municipal settings.

Collaboration Spotlight
Studying Continuum of Care for Homeless People During COVID-19 Outbreak

A researcher in the UNT College of Health and Public Service is studying how the continuum of care for homeless people, which includes the social, medical, public health and education sectors, has changed during COVID-19. Hee Soun Jang, an associate professor and graduate coordinator for the Department of Public Administration, and Jesus Valero, an assistant professor at the University of Utah, have been researching services for homeless people that are run at a local level and often involve multiple agencies known as Continuum of Care (CoC).

Research News
Three Engineers Awarded NSF CAREER Grants

Three UNT researchers in the College of Engineering were awarded more than $1.4 million through the National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development Program. Diana Berman, Hua Sun and Hui Zhao have each received awards to fund their innovative research into solving some very difficult problems facing industry today. Berman, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, is developing a new robust approach to manufacturing mechanically stable nanoporous ceramics. Sun, assistant professor of electrical engineering, is exploring the fundamental limits of cryptography through network information theory. Zhao, assistant professor of computer science and engineering, is designing networks-on-chips for GPU-accelerated systems. Ten researchers at UNT are currently funded by NSF CAREER grants, the most prestigious recognition offered by the NSF for young researchers.

Recognizing Top 40 Math and Science Scholars

Amy Guan, senior at UNT's Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science, was named among the top 40 scholars in the 2021 Regeneron Science Talent Search. A program of the Society for Science, the Regeneron Science Talent Search is the nation's oldest and most prestigious science and math competition and recognizes high school seniors who have the potential to become world-changing scientists and leaders. Guan, who is from Plano, was selected from a pool of 1,760 high school students. As a top 40 scholar, she will receive a $25,000 prize and move on to compete in the next round of the competition, which will be held virtually March 10-17.

Discovering a New Way to Look at Turbulence in the Galaxy

UNT researchers have discovered young stars are dancing to a secret cosmic tune. This dance offers scientists a new way to examine turbulence, the weather in the galaxy, to understand the birth and evolution of stars. Yuan Li, assistant professor of physics, and doctoral student Trung Ha are researching the movement of gasses in the Orion Nebula by examining the memory of turbulent motion in young stars. After discovering turbulence within stars, Li and Ha are now able to get precise, observable data using a star's exact position and movement, eliminating many of the uncertainties of prior research.

Increasing Crop Resiliency

Kent Chapman, Regents Professor and director of UNT's BioDiscovery Institute, and Ashley Cannon, a former UNT postdoctoral scholar and researcher with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, are studying proteins involved in intracellular communication in plants — findings that could have major implications for the future of agriculture. Their research, recently published in the prestigious journal Trends in Plant Science, explores signaling within organisms that leads to resilience under stress. Their findings could lead to crops that can handle stress such as drought, cold or heat, even in early stages of development, reducing crop failures.

Recognizing Exceptional Service

Joseph Oppong, academic associate vice provost and academic associate dean of UNT's Toulouse Graduate School, recently was awarded the 2021 American Association of Geographers Ronald F. Abler Distinguished Service Honors for his commitment to the discipline of geography and geographers in the U.S. and abroad. Oppong, a professor of geography and the environment, was recognized for focused attention on the geography of Africa and helping to bring medical geography to the forefront of the discipline in recent years.

Supporting Aquatic Toxicology Research

Rachel Leads has been fascinated by marine science since a family trip to the Pacific Northwest when she was twelve years old introduced her to coastline tide pools. Leads is pursuing her Ph.D. in biology at UNT, and this year, she was selected to receive the 2020 Bill Glaze Graduate Fellowship in Environmental Sciences, the first fellow of the program working in aquatic toxicology research. Rachel knows the discoveries she is making in Aaron Roberts' aquatic toxicology laboratory in UNT's Advanced Environmental Research Institute are crucial in understanding the effects of oil spills on fishery resources and can significantly improve oil spill response and recovery in the future.

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