The Ecological Society of America (ESA) will present its fourth annual Regional Policy Award to Karen Hixon of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (TPWC) at the Society’s 96th Annual Meeting on Sunday August 7 in Austin, Texas. The ESA award recognizes a regional or local policymaker who has an outstanding record of informing political decision-making with ecological science.
Hixon was appointed to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission by Governor Rick Perry in 2007 to a six-year term. The TPWC promotes outdoor recreational opportunities through managing and protecting wildlife and wildlife habitat as well as acquiring and managing parklands and historic areas. Among its accomplishments, the TPWC has:
- Issued Community Outdoors Outreach Program (CO-OP) grants to help children connect with the outdoors.
- Worked with agency biologists and cooperating landowners to preserve state populations of prong-horned antelope.
- Worked to curb the expansion of invasive species, such as giant salvinia ferns, which choke off boating and fishing access to lakes, clog power plant water intakes and displace beneficial native plants.
“Since its establishment nearly 100 years ago, it has been the Ecological Society of America’s mission to use ecological knowledge for the benefit of humanity,” said ESA President Terry Chapin. “Hixon, who has worked for years to preserve our natural resources for the benefit of local communities, has demonstrated an unswerving commitment to conservation. We hope her work continues to inspire commitment towards environmental stewardship throughout all segments of society.”
In addition to her work on TPWC, Hixon serves on the advisory board for the San Antonio Trust for Public Land and the Mitchell Lake Audubon Center. Previously, she was a Texas advisory member for Environmental Defense and past docent chairman of the San Antonio Zoological Society. Hixon was also a past board member of the Texas Nature Conservancy and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation. She has earned accolades previously as a 2008 winner of the Trust for Public Land’s “Texas Land and People Award,” which honors individuals and organizations whose work helps to create a stronger culture of land conservation in Texas communities.
The theme of this year’s ESA Annual Meeting is “Earth Stewardship: Preserving and enhancing the earth’s life-support systems.” Roughly 3,500 scientists and educators are expected to attend the meeting. For more information on the Regional Policy Award and the 2011 ESA Annual Meeting, visit: http://www.esa.org/austin/.
The Ecological Society of America is the world’s largest community of professional ecologists and a trusted source of ecological knowledge. ESA is committed to advancing the understanding of life on Earth. The 10,000 member Society publishes five journals, convenes an annual scientific conference, and broadly shares ecological information through policy and media outreach and education initiatives. Visit the ESA website at http://www.esa.org
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