Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute Earns First Incentive Award

KINGSVILLE - May 19, 2011

Contact: Julie Navejar
julie.navejar@tamuk.edu or

The Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute (CKWRI) located within the Dick and Mary Lewis Kleberg College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, has received the first ever University Funding for Excellence Incentive Award from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. 

            “One of our goals is to be recognized nationally for the work we do,” said Dr. Steven Tallant, university president. “Although the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute has already hit that level of notoriety, this award confirms what we know -- that our programs can compete with the best.” 

            This award compared programs at universities that were previously excelling at the national level and includes a $500,000 monetary award. “This award is an external validation of the outstanding research conducted by our faculty and students,” said Dr. Allen Rasmussen, dean of the Dick and Mary Lewis Kleberg College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences. “We always focus on making sure we are doing research relevant to South Texas, but this award illustrates that this work also is important at a national and international level as well.  

“One of the criteria for this award is that it must be a nationally recognized program, and the coordinating board brings in nationally recognized scientists to do the evaluation. We hope that, in addition to the national recognition, this award will help attract new students to Texas A&M-Kingsville” he added. 

            “It really validates that we are a nationally recognized program,” said Dr. Fred Bryant, Leroy G. Denman Jr. Endowed Director of the CKWRI. “We knew we had achieved great visibility and that our work was relevant and appreciated, but it helps if a state agency says it and then asks the legislature to give us a $500,000 award.” 

            The CKWRI works through the Department of Animal, Rangeland and Wildlife Sciences at A&M-Kingsville. It supports faculty research and graduate students seeking a Master of Science or a doctoral degree in wildlife science. 

            The evaluation process for the award was rigorous. It not only included an initial application that included the 18 characteristics of the doctoral program, but also incorporated a site visit by out-of-state consultants. While on campus, the group met with faculty, staff and students and toured research locations. 

About the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute

            The institute was established in 1981, thanks to a grant from the Caesar Kleberg Foundation for Wildlife Conservation. It has since grown into one of the leading wildlife research programs in the United States.  

            Its mission is to provide science-based information for enhancing the conservation and management of wildlife in South Texas and related environment. The faculty and students of the institute have long-standing, trusted relationships with private landowners on whose land they conduct research. They work with hunters, wildlife managers, conservationists and policy makers alike to provide scientific research that is used to manage and conserve game and non-game species. 

            The institute includes17 research scientists covering a wide range of specialties. The diverse faculty facilitates the often complex wildlife-related research studies, and keep the institute on the cutting edge in advancing conservation and management of wildlife. Modern high-tech facilities, specifically designed wildlife study pens and rangeland tracts provide an ideal environment for conducting quality research. 

            Although the CKWRI functions as a unit within the College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Human Sciences, it operates as a nonprofit organization and depends financially upon private contributions and faculty grants.
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