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Sansom honored by Houston Audubon Society

Date of release: 11/23/05

SAN MARCOS—Andrew Sansom, executive director of the River Systems Institute at Texas State University-San Marcos, was honored with the President's Award at the Houston Audubon Society gourmet awards dinner and auction Nov. 17 at the River Oaks Country Club.

This event focuses fundraising efforts toward Houston Audubon Society's mission of conservation of and education about birds and their habitat.

Sansom is one of Texas ' leading conservationists. He is a former executive director of Texas Parks & Wildlife, former board member National Audubon Society, executive director of the Texas Nature Conservancy and founder of the Parks and Wildlife Foundation of Texas. For his commitment to the management and protection of natural resources, Sansom also is a past recipient of the Chevron Conservation Award, The Chuck Yeager Award from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, The Pugsley Medal from the National Park Foundation and the Seton Award from the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. He is a Distinguished Alumnus of Texas Tech University and Austin College .

Under his leadership at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Sansom spearheaded a number of important programs, including:

  • Creating the Parks and Wildlife Foundation of Texas, which funds a number of department programs through private donations.
  • Opening two state-of-the-art hatcheries that also serve as research laboratories, educational centers and aquariums.
  • Creating new urban fish and wildlife programs designed to promote awareness of conservation issues in urban areas where most Texans live
  • Reducing the agency's dependence on general tax revenues and slashing the backlog of deferred maintenance in the Texas State Parks System by 80% by directing the most comprehensive repair program in the department's history
  • Acquiring more than a half million acres of land for new State Parks and Wildlfie Management Areas.

Sansom, a native of Brazoria County , has dedicated his life to environmental conservation. He has served on the board of trustees of the Texas Historical Foundation, Bat Conservation International, KLRU Public Television in Austin and The National Audubon Society. Sansom joined the staff of the National Recreation and Park Association in Washington , D.C. in 1969. He has served as environmental coordinator for the White House Conference on Youth; special assistant to Interior Secretary Rogers C.B. Morton; and director of conservation education at the Federal Energy Administration.