• courtesy of Borderlands Research Institute •

Thanks to a $1 million gift, the Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) has endowed a conservation biology chair at Sul Ross State University.  Dr. Patricia Moody Harveson has been appointed to the newly established position as the James A. “Buddy” Davidson Charitable Foundation Endowed Chair in Conservation Biology.

“We’re pleased to provide this gift that will support wildlife research at the Borderlands Research Institute,” said Elaine Greenhaw, Secretary/Director of the James A. “Buddy” Davidson Charitable Foundation.  “Throughout his life, Buddy Davidson supported wildlife, education, and the environment, and this is a fitting tribute to the memory of his generous spirit.”

The endowed chair will serve as program leader, spokesperson, and chief strategist for the Conservation Biology Program at BRI.  The Program complements BRI research on big game, gamebirds, and habitat.

“The Borderlands Research Institute at Sul Ross State University has made great strides in ensuring that land conservation continues as a priority for research, education, and stewardship,” said Sul Ross President Dr. Bill Kibler.  “The generosity from the James A. “Buddy” Charitable Foundation takes Sul Ross State University one more step forward in our research to work with landowners for solutions that assist them and their land.  Dr. Moody Harveson is an excellent choice to serve as the endowed chair, and her wealth of experience will undoubtedly enhance our knowledge of conservation biology across the state and beyond.”

In recent years, BRI’s research emphasis has broadened to encompass information regarding songbirds, hummingbirds, and carnivores as landowners seek more knowledge of the best land management practices.  The Conservation Biology Program plays a critical role in developing such knowledge through their extensive work in the Chihuahuan Desert Borderlands ecosystem.

Moody Harveson is a BRI research scientist and professor in the Department of Natural Resource Management at Sul Ross.  She has worked at the University for more than a decade pursuing research on carnivore ecology, systems analysis and modeling, environmental policy, and landscape ecology.  She has published more than 20 manuscripts ranging from carnivore studies to landscape connectivity, predator-prey interactions, population models, and habitat suitability.

After earning her Bachelor of Science in Biology at Tarleton State University and a Master of Science in Range and Wildlife Management from Texas A&M University, Moody Harveson earned her PhD in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University where she was a doctoral fellow in the Hispanic Leadership Program in Agriculture and Natural Resources.  Among her honors and awards is the Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society’s 2016 Educator of the Year.