Harte Research Institute Collaborates with Two Leading Institutes to Host Texas Summit on Climate and the Environment

November 19, 2014

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The Harte Research Institute (HRI) at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi will co-host “Water, Wildlife and Wide Open Spaces: A Texas Summit on Climate and the Environment” in collaboration with the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute and The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment on Thursday, Nov. 20 through Friday, Nov. 21 in San Marcos, Texas.

“We are proud to have worked with two other leading research institutes to bring together experts from all over Texas,” said Dr. Larry McKinney, Executive Director at the HRI. “Establishing partnerships and alliances with agencies interested in the conservation of the Gulf of Mexico is one of the core goals that Harte Research Institute scientists, including myself, implement on a day to day basis.”   

Four of the HRI’s Endowed Chairs and Professors will share pertinent information on the state of the environment in the Texas Gulf Coast. Dr. Paul Montagna, Endowed Chair for Ecosystems Studies and Modeling, will give a presentation titled, “Freshwater Inflows to Estuaries: Water Run to Waste?” His research focuses on three main areas including environmental flows needed to maintain the health and integrity of the aquatic ecosystem, assessing the deep-sea impact of the Deepwater Horizon accident, and ecosystem modeling.

Dr. James Gibeaut, Endowed Chair for Coastal and Marine Geospatial Sciences, will give his presentation titled, “Living with Rising Sea Level on the Texas Coast.” He is currently working on the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative Information and Data Cooperative, which is a major data management program that will compile information collected from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative.

Dr. Richard McLaughlin, Endowed Chair for Coastal and Marine Policy and Law, will present the latest information on the legal and policy implications of sea-level rise and freshwater deficits along the Texas Coast. His areas of research include the international law of the sea, ocean energy policies, ocean and coastal governance and marine ecosystem-based management.

 In addition, Dr. Greg Stunz, Endowed Chair for Fisheries and Ocean Health, will share the latest insights on how much water is needed in our estuaries. Stunz researches a variety of topics but is currently focused on the role of predators at the top of the food chain in the Gulf of Mexico.

The summit brings together three leading research institutes to discuss the state of the environment in Texas areas including headwaters and rivers, terrestrial and the Texas Gulf Coast. The summit will feature two keynote speakers including Laura Huffman, the State Director of The Nature Conservancy in Texas, and Evelyn Browning-Garriss, who is a historical climatologist. For more information, go to www.waterwildlifeconference.org.