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BY LISA DENSMORE
With only eight months between the conclusion of the 2013 OWAA conference in Lake Placid, N.Y., and the start of the 2014 conference in McAllen, Texas, the Conference Planning Committee is already well into developing a can’t-miss program for OWAA members, beginning with the confirmation of the conference’s keynote speaker, Andrew Sansom, Ph.d.
Sansom is one of Texas’ foremost conservationists. A native of the Lone Star State, he is the executive director of The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment and the Environment and Research Professor of Geography at Texas State University-San Marcos. According to the center’s website, under Sansom’s leadership, The Meadows Center, a research institute, develops and promotes “programs and techniques for ensuring sustainable water resources for human needs, ecosystem health and economic development.”
Sansom has dedicated his career to the field of environmental conservation. Prior to joining The Meadows Center, he served as executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, executive director of the Texas Nature Conservancy and is founder of The Parks and Wildlife Foundation of Texas. His career has also taken him to Washington, D.C., where he was on the staff of the National Recreation and Park Association; served as the environmental coordinator for the White House Conference on Youth; was the special assistant to Secretary of the Interior Rogers Morton; and worked as director of conservation education at the Federal Energy Administration.
He is a recipient of the Chevron Conservation Award, the Chuck Yeager Award from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Pugsley Medal from the National Parks Foundation and the Seton Award from the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.
Sansom’s articles have appeared in Texas Monthly, The Texas Observer, Houston City Magazine, Politics Today, Texas Highways, Texas Parks and Wildlife and Texas Town and City. He is also the author of two books, “Texas Lost” and “Texas Past.”
Sansom has such a breadth of expertise in the conservation field both in Texas and nationally, particularly with water issues which concern everyone. If anyone needs a reason to come to the conference, hearing him speak is a huge one.
For the latest updates on the upcoming OWAA conference in McAllen Texas, May 23-25, 2014, go to www.owaa.org/2014conference.
-A three-time Emmy-winning television producer and host and an award-winning freelance writer/photographer, Lisa Densmore is OWAA’s Second Vice President in charge of programming at the 2014 OWAA conference in McAllen, Texas. www.LisaDensmore.com.