Big Bend Seminar Series to Explore Where Energy and Conservation Meet on Sept. 16

Borderlands Research Institute

ALPINE TX – Residents of West Texas are invited to attend a free seminar on Sept. 16 that will explore Development by Design, where energy and conservation meet. Seminar attendees will hear from subject matter experts Joseph Kiesecker with The Nature Conservancy and Melinda Taylor from the University of Texas. The seminar, which was originally scheduled in March, was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. The Sept. 16 event will be presented via webinar.

“To keep everyone safe, we’ve pivoted to provide these seminars in an engaging online format and we hope we’ll have good participation,” said Billy Tarrant, who is Associate Director of Stewardship Services for the Borderlands Research Institute. “The Respect Big Bend partners have been working hard to better understand what energy projections will look like for the Greater Big Bend region, and what type of solutions we can deploy to conserve what we all love about this area. The Development by Design process is at the core of our strategies to engage a broad group of stakeholders. The upcoming seminar will provide insight in how we are applying that model to the energy issues surrounding West Texas.”

Melinda Taylor, University of Texas
Joseph Kiesecker, The Nature Conservancy

Joseph Kiesecker is Lead Scientist for The Nature Conservancy’s global land and water conservation program. He is a leader in developing guidance to balance energy and infrastructure demands with environmental conservation. He has also been at the forefront of moving development and mitigation planning to a landscape scale. He pioneered the Conservancy’s Development by Design approach, an initiative that seeks to improve development planning through the incorporation of predictive modeling to provide solutions that benefit conservation goals and development objectives, and directs its implementation in over a dozen countries around the world.

Melinda Taylor is a senior lecturer at the University of Texas School of Law, where she teaches courses on environmental and energy law, including the environmental impacts of energy development. She founded the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law, and Business and was the first executive director of the center. Prior to U.T. Law, Taylor directed the Ecosystem Restoration Program for the Environmental Defense Fund.

The Sept. 16 seminar is part of a series designed to engage a broad constituency of Big Bend community members to better inform them on recent energy projections, potential impacts on communities and conservation values, and to develop creative strategies to conserve the unique resources and communities of the region. The seminars are sponsored in part by the Respect Big Bend coalition, The Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, Permian Basin Area Foundation, The Meadows Foundation, Still Water Foundation, and the Borderlands Research Institute at Sul Ross State University.

Register for the Sept. 16 seminar: https://respectbigbend.org/events/development-by-design

More information about the seminar series: https://bri.sulross.edu/stewardship-services/respect-big-bend/

More information about Respect Big Bend Coalition: https://respectbigbend.org/

For more than a decade, the Borderlands Research Institute has encouraged effective land stewardship of the Chihuahuan Desert. Housed at Sul Ross State University, the Borderlands Research Institute builds on a long-lasting partnership with private landowners, the university’s Range and Wildlife Program, and cooperating state, federal, and non-governmental organizations. Through research, education, and outreach, the Borderlands Research Institute is helping to conserve the last frontier of Texas and the Southwest.