20 November 2014
Welcome and Opening
Fred Bryant, Ph.D. – Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute
Larry McKinney, Ph.D. – Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies
Andrew Sansom, Ph.D. – Meadows Center for Water and the Environment
|10:00-10:30||Welcome from Fred Bryant, Larry McKinney, and Andrew Sansom|
|10:30-11:30||Laura Huffman – Keynote Address: “Texas, Naturally”|
|11:30-12:00||(Break to get buffet lunch)|
|12:00-1:00||Evelyn Browning-Garris – Keynote Address|
Laura Huffman is state director of The Nature Conservancy in Texas. She heads a statewide team of scientists, conservation experts and support staff whose work supports the Conservancy’s 37 statewide preserves and touches every corner of Texas. She has authored a number of articles and op-ed pieces on a variety of conservation topics, including drought, water scarcity and Gulf of Mexico protection, and emerged as a national thought leader in the wake of the disastrous Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. She advocated tirelessly for passage of the RESTORE Act and succeeded in connecting a diverse coalition of stakeholders around a central idea: that a healthy Gulf of Mexico is vital to America’s success and Texas can be an incubator for best practices in marine science.
Huffman has also worked closely with Texas legislators to draft legislation with far-reaching ramifications for water conservation and spearheaded the expansion of water protection funds for Austin, San Antonio and surrounding counties. These citizen-approved funds have generated more than half a billion dollars to protect water in two of the fastest growing cities in the country, and emerged as a proven best practice for cities needing a practical, customizable way to protect water quality and quantity.
Huffman leads the Conservancy’s North American Urban Conservation Strategy, designed to support cities as they integrate natural infrastructure into planning and development in ways that safeguard people and reduce vulnerability to climate change. In this role, she has met with officials from the U.S. Department of the Interior and twice participated in the Clinton Global Initiative to share the myriad ways cities benefit from urban conservation.
A native of Austin, Huffman has been in public service for more than 20 years; prior to The Nature Conservancy, she served as deputy city manager for the city of San Marcos and assistant city manager for the city of Austin.
Evelyn Browning-Garriss is a historical climatologist who advises everyone from Texas cattle raisers to Midwestern utilities and Canadian banks about what the coming season will bring. She has spent over 30 years as a business consultant, editor and author explaining the impact of changing climate on economic and social trends. Editor of the Browning Newsletter, Evelyn has authored or co-authored five books on the changing climate’s impact on water supplies, agriculture, business and terrorism. She has BA degrees in history and anthropology from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a Masters Degree from the University of New Mexico.
For the past 20 years she has taught professional seminars, lectured and/or conducted international seminars in the United States, Canada, England, Singapore, Korea, Central America and the Pacific Islands. Her audiences have been as diverse as the 5th Army Office of Civil Emergency Preparedness, Texas A&M University, the Ontario Natural Gas Association, the Alberta Irrigation Projects Association, the Cárilec organization of Latin American electrical utilities, the National Institute of Oilseed Products and the American Feed Industry Association. She has consulted with the military, universities, municipal and provincial governments, public utilities and private businesses such as Credit Suisse, Transcanada, Scotia Capital, Nomura and Mirae Assets. In addition to her work as editor of the Browning Newsletter, she does daily consulting and contract research for businesses and investors.
Dr. Fred C. Bryant is the Leroy G. Denman, Jr. Endowed Director of the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. He is a 4th generation Texan, and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Management from Texas Tech University in 1970. Fred obtained his Masters of Science degree in Wildlife Biology in 1974 from Utah State University, and his Ph.D. in Range Science from Texas A&M University in 1977. Fred has been Director of the Institute since 1996. From 1977 to 1996, Fred was Professor of Range Management in the Department of Range and Wildlife Management at Texas Tech University. Fred’s international experiences include research activities in Mexico, Peru, Bolivia and Morocco. In addition, he embarked upon short-term assignments in Venezuela, Indonesia, Australia, Ecuador, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. The principal focus of his international research was on the pastures and rangelands of these countries, with specific emphasis on grazing animals. Fred has co-authored 3 books, Wildlife Habitat Management of Forestlands, Rangelands, and Farmlands (Krieger Publications, 1998), Range Management: Integrating Cattle, Wildlife and Range, published by King Ranch, Inc. 2003 and Texas Bobwhites: A Guide to Their Foods and Habitat Management (UT Press 2010). He is also the author of several book chapters and numerous journal articles, bulletins and symposia reports, popular articles and abstracts. He was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Texas Tech University in 2002 and received the Professional Achievement Award from the College of Natural Resources at Utah State University in 1996.
Dr. Larry McKinney received his doctorate from Texas A&M University in 1976. He is the Executive Director of the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, leading an interdisciplinary team that integrates science, policy and socio-economic expertise to assure an economically and environmentally sustainable Gulf. Dr. McKinney chairs the Ecosystem Assessment and Integration Team of the Gulf Alliance; the Flower Gardens National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Committee; and the Texas Sea Grant Science Advisory Committee. He is a member of NASA’s SSC Applied Sciences Steering Committee; Texas representative to the Gulf of Mexico University Research Collaborative; and, board member and past president of the Texas Academy of Sciences. HRI is currently directing Deepwater Horizon oil spill research for NOAA to assess deepwater benthic impacts, shoreline erosion assessment, and directing data and information integration for the GOM Research Initiative.
Prior to assuming his current position, Dr. McKinney directed environmental and marine fisheries programs at Texas Parks and Wildlife. He has worked on water issues as diverse as the Aral Sea in Central Asia and diversion of the Mississippi River. His primary research and policy interests include: management of coastal fisheries resources; assessing and securing freshwater inflows to estuaries and instream flows for rivers and reservoirs for conservation purposes; wetland conservation and restoration; endangered species conservation; and, other issues related to the ecological health of Texas aquatic ecosystems. He has eighty-plus scientific and technical publications and reports to his credit.
Dr. Andrew Sansom is one of Texas’ leading conservationists. He is a former executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, executive director of the Texas Nature Conservancy, and founder of The Parks and Wildlife Foundation of Texas. For his commitment to the management and protection of natural resources, Dr. Sansom also is a past recipient of the Chevron Conservation Award, The Chuck Yeager Award from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, The Pugsley Medal from the National Park Foundation, and the Seton Award from the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. He is a Distinguished Alumnus of Texas Tech University and Austin College. And he received a PhD in Geography from Texas State University-San Marcos in 2013.
Dr. Sansom, a native of Brazoria County, has dedicated his life to environmental conservation. He has served on the board of trustees of the Texas Historical Foundation, Bat Conservation International, KLRU Public Television in Austin, and The National Audubon Society. Sansom joined the staff of the National Recreation and Park Association in Washington, D.C. in l969. He served as environmental coordinator for the White House Conference on Youth; Special Assistant to Interior Secretary Rogers C.B. Morton; director of conservation education at the Federal Energy Administration; and deputy director of the Energy Institute at the University of Houston.
His published works have appeared in Texas Monthly, The Texas Observer, Houston City Magazine, Politics Today, Texas Highways, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and Texas Town & City. His first book, Texas Lost, was photographed by Wyman Meinzer and published in November 1995. His most recent book is Texas Past, photographed by Wyman Meinzer and published in November 1997.
Andrew Sansom now serves as Executive Director of the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment and Research Professor of Geography at Texas State University-San Marcos.