Residents of West Texas are invited to attend a free series of seminars on energy development in the Big Bend. The seminar series is 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.

There are four seminars scheduled in early 2020. Several fall 2020 seminars are also in the works. The seminar series is sponsored in part by Respect Big Bend Coalition, 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.

“The Big Bend region of Texas is experiencing unprecedented pressures on its natural resources, from population growth and habitat fragmentation to a recent surge in energy development,” said Dr. Louis Harveson, who is the Dan Allen Hughes, Jr., BRI Endowed Director and professor of Wildlife Management at Sul Ross State University.

“The Permian Basin is one of the most productive energy arenas in the world, and the footprint of energy-related development is moving into this area. If we don’t plan for it carefully, it could impact the ecological integrity of Big Bend. We are committed to involving the entire West Texas community in the conversations that are underway and we hope everyone who is interested in the future of the Big Bend region will take part in these seminars.”

The seminar series will be held at the Espino Conference Center at Sul Ross State University in Alpine from 6:30 – 7:30 pm.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Topic: Is Energy Development Coming to the Big Bend? Understanding the Latest Energy Projections and a Novel Approach to Reducing the Impacts of Energy Sprawl
Keynote: Marilu Hastings – Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation
Michael Young – Bureau of Economic Geology-UT Austin

Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Topic: The Potential Impacts to the Communities of Energy Development:
What to Expect and How to Prepare
Keynote: David Iannelli – Hudson Pacific
Mike Teague – Adamantine Energy

Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Topic: Development by Design: Where Energy and Conservation Meet
Keynote: Joe Kiesecker – The Nature Conservancy of Texas
Melinda Taylor – UT-Austin

Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Topic: The Case for the Trans-Pecos: Texas’ Last Frontier
Keynote: Roel Lopez – Texas A&M Natural Resources Institute
Louis Harveson – Borderlands Research Institute at Sul Ross State University

For more information about the seminar series visit

For more information about Respect Big Bend Coalition visit