JANUARY 12, 2022 — UTSA environmental science major Alex Roush originally set her sights on becoming a Roadrunner because of the university’s environmental science program in the College of Sciences, but is now broadening this to include astrophysics. She envisions a path of researching solar system planetary atmospheres to gain a greater understanding of terrestrial climate change.
Roush will apply what she’s learned in the classroom at UTSA to speak at IR2022, an international astronomy conference being held virtually in February and hosted by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency.
Her presentation will highlight the carbon emissions saved by holding the program remotely rather than in-person.
Roush’s presentation involves carbon dioxide calculations and how engaging in online services, as opposed to traveling and meeting in person, can reduce CO2 emissions. She’ll also compare the reduction in emissions to tangible results, such as the amount of oil barrels saved, or how many trees would be needed to offset the emission if IR2022 were held in person.
Roush hopes to change how her audience thinks by taking the qualitative idea of how it’s better not to travel and presenting a more engaging and quantitative estimate of its true impact on the environment.
Roush is increasing the initial scope of her presentation and tailoring it to a more international approach. She’s taking the list of places from around the world where participants would be coming from, and estimating the total CO2 footprint they would have made had they traveled in person. She’s comparing those figures against the estimated footprint of extra computer power and Zoom servers to show a substantial amount of savings.
At UTSA, Roush has had several opportunities to grow and learn from her faculty mentors. Those experiences helped prepare her for IR2022. She recalls Chris Packham, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, encouraging her to reach her full potential. Last summer, Packham, along with Lindsay Fuller, assistant professor of research in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, and Carmen Fies, associate professor of STEM education at UTSA, served as faculty mentors to Roush when she helped teach the climate change portion of the San Antonio Teacher Training Astronomy Academy.
“Alex worked with us on ensuring the materials were clear and helped to get the points across about climate change and atmospheres,” Packham said. “We worked closely as a group, and she did an exemplary job.”
Roush has begun mentoring the next generation of students as well. Last October, she began teaching at Girlstart, an afterschool STEM program hosted by Windcrest Elementary. She also recently participated in the NASA L’SPACE Mission Concept Academy, a semester-long workforce training program. Currently, she enjoys helping others feel connected on campus and works as a science mentor at the UTSA College of Sciences’ Student Success Center.
Roush discovered that her student experience is most rewarding when she engages in her interests.
“UTSA has such a great environment for students. There are organizations for so many different interests, and many of them are warm and welcoming to new students,” Roush said. “There are also so many resources and opportunities for students to improve themselves.”
UTSA students, faculty, staff and community members are encouraged to raise their voices and participate in the upcoming joint primary runoff election. Election day is Tuesday, May 24. Any registered Bexar County voter may vote at the H-E-B Student Union Bexar Room (HSU 1.102).Bexar Room (HSU 1.102), H-E-B Student Union, Main Campus
Please join us Wednesday, May 25, 2022 for a discussion with Colonel (ret) Michael Davis, MD, FACS, FRCS (Hon), former Director of the U.S. Combat Casualty Care Research Program. Dr. Davis will discuss how to best identify strengths at UTSA that can be effectively leveraged for funding proposals to the Department of Defense.UTSA Business Building University Room (2.06.04), Main Campus
UTSA is excited to introduce new flexible learning spaces available to the Roadrunner community. During this orientation, interested faculty will be guided through examples of innovative learning activities supported by these spaces and provided with an overview of relevant technical features.Virtual Event
Do you find yourself more worried than usual about our students? Would you like to feel more confident in your ability to provide support or assistance to them? We are pleased to announce this new brownbag professional development opportunity for you, Compassion Fatigue Training, that will be offered June 1, 2022.Faculty Center Large Conference Room (JPL 4.04.12C), Main Campus
The Faculty Coffee Chat is designed to provide faculty members the space to discuss current issues they are facing in an inclusive and supportive environment.Virtual Event
Join your fellow alumni at The Dooryard, for networking, drinks, professional portraits, and karaoke. Be sure to dress business on the top to make the most of this unique opportunity.The Dooryard, 4503 De Zavala Rd Suite 108, San Antonio, TX 78249
These sessions are focused on incoming Freshman who are attending the UTSA Summer Orientation and are intending to major in areas within the College of Liberal and Fine Arts! We'll have important information and giveaways for you - come meet us.Willow room (SU 2.02.1), Main Campus
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