Texas Drought Project

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The Texas Drought Project was born out of efforts by the Texas Harambe Foundation’s Texas Climate Emergency Campaign to facilitate passage of the Waxman-Markey bill on climate change in 2008-2009. Its co-founders, Jere Locke and Alyssa Burgin, came to the conclusion that many Texans were not yet willing to attach the words “climate change” to what was happening in Texas, but they understood intrinsically that, as one citrus farmer remarked, “things were changing” in Texas climate, weather and most certainly, rainfall patterns. Thus was formed the Texas Drought Project in June of 2009. It is registered as a 501c3 non-profit organization with the I.R.S.[1]

The Texas Drought Project Executive Board

  • President– Jere Locke
  • Vice-President– Gale Spear, a longtime educator and activist from Austin, Texas.
  • Secretary/Treasurer– Michael Kelley, noted CPA and businessman, San Antonio, Texas.[2]

The Texas Drought Project Advisory Board

The Texas Drought Project Scientific and Technical Advisory Board

  • Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org. The Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was the 2013 winner of the Gandhi Prize and the Thomas Merton Prize, and holds honorary degrees from 18 colleges and universities; Foreign Policy named him to their inaugural list of the world’s 100 most important global thinkers, and the Boston Globe said he was “probably America’s most important environmentalist.”
  • Maude Barlow, chair of Food and Water Watch. Co-founder of the Blue Planet Project and chair of the Council of the Canadians. In 2008/2009, she served as Senior Advisor on Water to the 63rd President of the United Nations General Assembly. She has authored and co-authored 16 books.
  • Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Climate Science Center. Co-author of the 2014 Third National Climate Assessment. Associate professor of political science at Texas Tech University, where she is director of the Climate Science Center. She has authored more than 60 peer-reviewed publications, with an h-index of 28, and wrote the book A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions.
  • Dr. William deBuys, author of A Great Aridness, the seminal study on drought and climate change in the southwest, and Visiting Professor at Southern Methodist Univerisity. A Graduate of the University of Texas, he was the director of the North Carolina Nature Conservancy and the Conservation Fund in the Southwest. He was named a Lyndhurst Fellow for 1986-1988, a Carl and Florence King Fellow at SMU in 1999-2000, and a Guggenheim Fellow in 2008-2009.
  • James Blackburn, environmental attorney, author, and co-director of Rice University’s Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation Center. Defended Aransas Bay ecological interests in the Aransas Project, worked to protect Matagorda Bay, presently advocating for a dual approach to preserve Texas’ upper coast against predicted hurricane damage.
  • Dr. Gerald North, distinguished professor of Atmospheric Sciences and Oceanography, Texas A&M. Holder of the Harold J. Haynes Endowed Chair in Geosciences, currently studying Energy Balance Climate Models (EBCMs). Both linear, nonlinear, and stochastic versions of these models have been shown to be good analogs to the real climate of the surface temperature.
  • Dr. Char Miller, Director of the Environmental Analysis Department of Pomona College, and former urban studies professor at Trinity University of San Antonio. He is the author of Deep in the Heart of Texas: Land and Life in South Texas, and is a noted authority on water issues in the crux of development. He is a senior fellow of the Pinchot Institute for Conservation.
  • Dr. David Stahle, Distinguished professor of Geosciences, University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Dr. Stahle’s research interests include all aspects of dendrochronology, particularly climate change and the proxy evidence for past variation in the El Nino/Southern Oscillation and other large scale atmospheric circulations. His research is funded by NOAA , NSF , NPS and the USGS and he has published in a variety of journals including, Science, Nature, Journal of Climate and Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. Dr. Stahle is the southwest research associate of Dr. Richard Seager of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University.
  • Raymond Slade, hydrologist,adjunct professor of Hydrology at Austin Community College District. Former USGS, serves as a consultant to the Hill Country Alliance and other organizations. An expert in Texas hydrology, particularly with surface and groundwater response to climate change.
  • Dr. Robert Harriss, director emeritus, Houston Advanced Research Center. He was formerly the Director of the Institute for the Study of Society and the Environment at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO. He also served ten years as a senior scientist in the ocean and atmospheric sciences at the NASA Langley Research Center and three years as Science Director for the Mission to Planet Earth Program at NASA.
  • Sharon Wilson, Texas Director, Earthworks’ Texas Oil and Gas Accountability Project. An adviser to Josh Fox and ‘Gasland,’ and the top researcher and advocate for victims of the shale in Texas.
  • Dr. James Norwine, Regents Professor Emeritus of Geosciences, Texas A&M Kingsville. Author of Worldview Flux: Perplexed Values among Postmodern People, and The Changing Climate of South Texas. He lectures around the region on issues related to climate change and water scarcity.
  • Dr. Lauren Ross, Environmental engineer, owner of Glenrose Engineering. Expert on the use of water for power plant operations. Her other areas of expertise include water quality protection, groundwater transport, and environmental monitoring.
  • Jeff Weems, attorney, former candidate for the Texas Railroad Commission. Advocate for truth in fracking as related to water issues. Co-chair of the Oil and Gas Section of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation’s 60th Annual Institute.
  • Annalisa Peace, Director of the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance. Guiding member of other water conservation organizations, such as Aquifer Guardians in Urban Areas.
  • Clyde L. (“Larry”) Wilson, Forty-plus-year Oil and Gas IT Executive. Expert on fracking and other oil-and-gas issues, activist on environmental degradation of wetlands and oceans.[4]