Tag Archives: Engineering

Collections Highlight: The Tobin International Geological Map Collection

Detail of map from the Tobin Collection.
Detail of map from the Tobin Collection.

The Tobin International Geological Map Collection provides map materials in support of teaching and research within the Jackson School of Geosciences, its programs and related disciplines. As graphic summaries of earth and planetary data, maps are an integral part of geologic and geographic study as well as an important information source in various aspects of research in such fields as energy,  engineering, land use planning, oceanography, physical and space sciences, environmental studies and the life sciences. To serve these disciplines, geologic, tectonic, stratigraphic, physiographic, geodetic, seismographic, outline, topical (such as soil and water survey), geophysical, structural, cross section, and index maps are required.

Located in the Walter Geology Library, the collection contains more than 50,000 maps and map texts that are arranged geographically. It functions as a working research collection that is more concerned with the utility of its maps for research rather than with their rarity as objects.

Tobin Surveys, Inc. of San Antonio endowed the Tobin collection in 1980 when it established the Tobin International Geological Library Fund to enable cartographic acquisitions. The collection aims for worldwide coverage of maps on geology and related subjects, but it is particularly dense in maps of Texas and select U.S. and foreign areas of geologic interest. The resources provide thorough coverage for North America (especially Texas and the Southwest), Mexico, Britain, Italy, Australia, Brazil and Turkey, with moderate coverage for the rest of the world.

The geologic map collection portrays surface and subsurface features, ages, and rock types at a variety of scales. Such maps are used for research in hydrocarbon and mineral exploration, hydrology, geomorphology and paleontology, archeology, and some engineering and architectural applications. The collection also includes some topographic or surface feature maps. Geologic and topographic maps largely are produced by and for governments around the world; however, some commercial maps are included in the collection.

The Tobin collection, in partnership with the Perry-Castañeda collection, serves as a federal depository for the maps of the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Through that arrangement, the collection maintains an almost complete set of the map series published by the USGS, including maps of various scales that provide users the ability to examine a continent, country, or more local geographic regions.

A large collection of geological maps of Greece and Italy, which are of special interest to archaeology and classics researchers, also are held in the collection. Overall, the resources of the Tobin Map Collection serve not only researchers within the geology, architecture, classics, archaeology, engineering, and geography departments, but also the general public.


Includes excerpts from The Collections, now available digitally and in print.

Engineering Nature

What do the traditional academic fields of architecture, fashion, sports, engineering, biology, chemistry and military science all have in common?

The answer: they all share research interests in design and implementation of high tech textiles. This growing area includes biomimicry, embedded medical sensors, wearable electronics, camouflage, prosthetics and much, much more that will impact all our lives.

Because engineering plays an important underlying role in various aspects of technology, the Engineering Library has stepped up its collecting interests to include materials that specifically relate to this new era of high tech fashion and textile design.

To learn more about this fascinating field, use the Libraries’ scOUT tool to search for books and Academic Search Complete for new articles, as well as any of our specialized databases on how fashion and textile design is changing.

One of our favorite recent articles concerned developing a way to mimic the camouflage abilities of squid skin in fabric. So think of this the next time you eat calamari—there is more than good taste to this animal.

Below are some examples from our collections that show how this new area will impact all of our lives and demonstrate how the Libraries are keeping abreast of the brave new world of textiles.

Arduino Wearables [electronic resource] by Olsson, Tony.

Flexible composite materials : in architecture, construction and interiors, René Motro (ed.).

Textile futures : fashion, design and technology by Quinn, Bradley.

Bio-inspired engineering by Jenkins, C. H.

Bioinspiration and biomimicry in chemistry. [electronic resource] : reverse-engineering nature by Swiegers, Gerhard.

(Contributed by Susan Ardis, Head Librarian, McKinney Engineering Library)

Surviving the Crunch

The days get shorter in more ways than you can imagine this time of the year, especially around the university campus as the final push of the semester evinces itself in the form of projects, papers and tests.

The Libraries does its part to help minimize the stress with a program meant to promote those resources and services that make the tasks at hand a tad less imposing.

This year’s Crunch Time outreach initiative highlighted library services and resources for students at The University of Texas at Austin between the hours of 11am-3pm on November 9, 10 &11. The program purpose is to promote the availability of in-person, drop-by assistance, subject librarian consultations, and the UT Libraries Ask a Librarian IM and email services.

During Crunch Time students are provided with Ask a Librarian contact cards attached to mini-Nestle Crunch bars, a series of time saving handouts and increased staffing at service points.  A brief survey to determine awareness of service options is made available from UT Libraries computer workstations across the campus, and students who participate are entered in a prize drawing.

First introduced by the Reference and Information Services department at UT’s Perry-Castaneda Library in 2008, Crunch Time has become an annual event and three additional UT Libraries locations participated this year, increasing its reach.

Statistics indicate that students took advantage of the program and more of them were connected with the information they wanted, at point of need, as a result. Of the three locations reporting, there were 536 queries, with a large number of those (199) occurring on Wednesday, November 10, at the Perry-Castañeda (105) and Fine Arts (94) Libraries. There were also 193 participants in the services web survey.

Jenifer Flaxbart is Head of Reference & Information Services for the University of Texas Libraries.

See more images from Crunch Time programs here.

New Biography on Retired Dean and McKinney Supporter Gloyna

gloyna_book_coverThis biography, Reflections of a Soldier and Scholar, by Davis Ford is packed with Earnest Gloyna’s fascinating recollections of farming, public education and family life in the Texas Panhandle during the Depression as well as his experiences in WWII, in graduate school at Johns Hopkins, and, of course, his professional life as a consultant/businessman, professor and dean. Of particular interest is his early life in the Texas Panhandle picking cotton, cutting milo, going to rural schools, learning to type and meeting his future wife, Agnes. Two of these would be helpful in his later life—typing and Agnes.

The story of how he chose graduate school over working for the U.S. Public Health Service after the war is classic Earnest. He decided to go to graduate school instead of joining the Public Heath Service because they would only pay him as a Captain. This decision changed everything—Earnest went to graduate school and became Dr. Gloyna.

Earnest has had an amazing career as an educator and researcher, as a consultant working on environmental problems all over the world, and as a dean. Under his leadership the College of Engineering grew enormously and improved its graduate programs by hiring highly qualified faculty from all over the United States. This faculty would help make the Cockrell School a research powerhouse.  Another of his great accomplishments was when he helped the Engineering Library grow from a barely competent collection to one of the best in the US. Continue reading

FAL Exhibit Explores an Explorer

The Fine Arts Library is hosting an exhibition tracking the life and work of Colonel Leo Bond Roberts, an Army civil engineer who traveled extensively in his capacity for the military, taking photographs and collecting ephemera and artifacts from his travels throughout Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

An opening reception takes place from 5-7 p.m., Friday, May 7, in the Roberts Reading Room of the Fine Arts Library. The exhibit will be on view through July.

The exhibit includes materials from all phases of Roberts’ life: childhood, college years, officer during World War I, topographer and explorer during the 1920s and 30s, civil engineer, military engineer and planner during World War II and chief engineer of the Jones Beach Marine Theater on Long Island, NY.

Photographs, publications, military awards, African masks, and lantern slides of travels in the Gobi Desert and in Ethiopia will be on display with many other items from Roberts’s travels.

Items in the exhibition were generously donated to the Fine Arts Library by Roberts’s daughter-in-law, Jan J. Roberts.

If you would like to attend the opening reception, please RSVP to Eve McQuade at emcquade@austin.utexas.edu or call 512-495-4363.