Margaret Cook, PhD

Deputy Director
Climate Equity and Resilience

Dr. Margaret Cook is the Deputy Director – Climate Equity and Resilience. In this role, she develops and manages HARC’s Climate Equity Initiative and supports community engagement and community benefits priorities within HARC projects.

Her research interests include interconnections between water, energy, and climate science and policy. She is also passionate about community resilience and making science accessible to the public. She has led multiple energy, water, and climate equity projects, including the THRIVE community environmental justice initiative in Port Arthur; a program in Harris and Travis Counties aimed at upgrading homes for climate readiness through weatherization; and the Powered for Good initiative aimed at lowering energy burden through equitable access to solar.

Prior to working at HARC, Dr. Cook’s research focused on the potential for mitigation of water stress in Texas through collaboration on water conservation or reuse technology improvements, and the potential effects of drought and heat wave on thermoelectric power plants in Texas and the Midwest. She has also worked on improving water recycling in the oil and gas industry with the aim of reducing total fresh water use in water-scarce West Texas; and she has used her expertise working at the Texas Legislature, the U.S. Department of Energy, Apache Corporation, and Austin Energy. She also served as Scientist in Residence, teaching science and environmental studies classes at under-resourced schools in Austin.

Dr. Cook earned her Doctorate in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin Cockrell School of Engineering with a certificate in Engineering Education in 2018. She earned dual Masters degrees in Public Affairs and Environmental and Water Resources Engineering, and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from UT-Austin.

Authored Publications and Related Projects

Cook, M. A., Tremaine, D., Wyatt, B. M., Banner, J. L., Charles, J., Berg, M. Bruno, T., Glazer, Y. R., Callison, C., Mace, R. E., Miller, V., Bare, R., Sanchez Flores, R., Seefeldt, J., Fuller, A., and Niyogi, D. (2023). Addressing challenges to ensuring justice and sustainability in policy and infrastructure for Texas water resources in the 21st century. (in review)

Cook, M., Davidson, F.T., Fell, H., Glynn, J., Lott, M.C., & Rhodes, J. (2022). Electrification on the Path to Net Zero: A Comparison of Studies Examining Opportunities and Barriers in the United States. Retrieved from the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University SIPA website.

Glazer, Y. R., Tremaine, D. M., Banner, J. L., Cook, M., Mace, R. E., Nielsen-Gammon, J., … & Webber, M. E. (2021). Winter Storm Uri: A Test of Texas’ Water Infrastructure and Water Resource Resilience to Extreme Winter Weather Events. Journal of Extreme Events, 8(4), 2150022.

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