Chip Groat, the Energy Institute at UT Austin

Associate Director, The Energy Institute at the University of Texas, Austin

Chip Groat rejoined The University of Texas at Austin as Director of the Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy and Director and Graduate Advisor of the Energy and Earth Resources Graduate Program in June 2005. He holds the John A. and Katherine G. Jackson Chair in Energy and Mineral Resources in the Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences, and is Professor, LBJ School of Public Affairs. He assumed these positions after serving 6 ½ years as Director of the U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior, having been appointed by President Clinton and retained by President Bush. He served as interim dean of the Jackson School of Geosciences at UT from July 2008 to August 2009. His previous experience at UT was as Associate Director and Acting Director of the Bureau of Economic Geology and Associate Professor of Geological Sciences. He was appointed an Associate Director of the Energy Institute in the spring of 2010.
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Prior to his position with the U.S. Geological Survey, he was Associate Vice President for Research and Sponsored Projects at The University of Texas at El Paso following a term as Director of the Center for Environmental Resource Management and Professor of Geological Sciences there. He also directed the interdisciplinary Environmental Science and Engineering Ph.D. program at UTEP. His previous experience includes Chairman of the Department of Geological Sciences at The University of Texas at El Paso; State Geologist and Director of the Louisiana Geological Survey; Assistant to the Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources administering the Coastal Zone Management and Coastal Protection programs; Professor of Geology and Geophysics and Director of the Center for Coastal, Energy and Environmental Resources at Louisiana State University; and Executive Director of the American Geological Institute.

He has been a member of the National Research Council Board on Earth Sciences and Resources and the Outer Continental Shelf Policy Board. He is a past President of the Association of American State Geologists and of the Energy Minerals Division and Division of Environmental Geosciences of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. He has been a member of and chaired several National Research Council study panels.

His degrees in geology are from the University of Rochester (A.B.), University of Massachusetts (M.S.), and The University of Texas at Austin (Ph.D.).

Previous research experience has included landscape evolution in desert and coastal areas, mineral and energy resources, and groundwater. His current interests focus on advancing the role of science and engineering in shaping energy and environmental policy and in informing decisions, and on ways to increase the integration of the science disciplines as a means of improving the understanding of complex resource and environmental systems.

My challenge to Austin and to Texas is to observe the first anniversary of the Macondo tragedy not by bashing crude oil we all gulp ad nauseam every day, but by striving to gulp a little less oil, and do more with the oil we gulp. We need to wake up to the fact that we all are co-conspirators here and we all share blame for this horrific accident, not just the big bad oil companies. After all, it is we, who indulge in the crude oil drinking binges every day, not just the oil industry employees.

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