The TWA Sam Beasom Conservation Leader Award is given to a member of the professional conservation community who has made an outstanding contribution to the conservation of Texas wildlife and shares the philosophies of Texas Wildlife Association. Past recipients include Blair Calvert Fitzsimons, Don Steinbach, Dale Rollins, Steve Hall, Al Brothers, Fred Bryant, Bob Cook, Steve Nelle, Billy Higginbotham, Louis Harveson, Ruben Cantu, Neal Wilkins, Carter Smith, Ken Cearley, Linda Campbell, and David Synatzke.
This year’s recipient of the TWA Sam Beasom Conservation Leader Award is NRI's director Dr. Roel Lopez. As Director, Dr. Lopez provides leadership in the field of wildlife ecology and natural resource management. Dr. Lopez works with internal and external stakeholders in developing institute priorities for research and extension programs that benefit Texas’ natural resources and wildlife. In addition, Dr. Lopez works to develop and lead interdisciplinary teams that address these natural resource challenges.
“I believe that participation equals conservation. One of the things I admire most is TWA’s hands-on approach to providing solutions that benefit Texas’ natural resources and wildlife. TWA’s member and leader participation is pushing wildlife efforts in a positive direction. This is why I am so honored to have even been considered for the Sam Beason Conservation Leader Award. Receiving the honor is one of the highlights of my professional career.”
Based out of NRI’s San Antonio office, Dr. Lopez’s research focuses on endangered and fragmented wildlife populations, the sustainability of military lands, and rural land trends and demographics. Before joining the institute in 2009, Dr. Lopez was a professor in the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M University where he continues to maintain a split academic appointment with the department.
Dr. Lopez received his Bachelor of Science in forestry from Stephen F. Austin State University, and his master’s degree and doctorate in wildlife and fisheries sciences from Texas A&M University. Dr. Lopez’s work in Texas and as Director of the Natural Resources Institute at Texas A&M has placed him among the most important TWA supporters within the University System.
Congratulations and thank you, Dr. Lopez, for your dedication to the conservation of Texas wildlife and continued support of TWA.
Texas Wildlife Association, Kristin Parma