Huston-Tillotson University Environmental Studies Program


Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is working with Huston-Tillotson University, with the significant partnership of Texas A&M University’s Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences Extension Unit, to create an urban wildlife research program for its primarily African-American and Hispanic students to increase awareness of environmental issues relevant to communities of color and to increase funding of activities addressing those priorities. The project will also focus on increasing the diversity of the pool of emerging wildlife professionals and provide students with relevant, marketable skills and relationships that will strengthen their career potential. The partnership was initiated in August 2017 with an offer to begin the process of funding an urban carnivore project through the HT Environmental Studies program. The first research study funded through the partnership began in March 2018 and will continue through 2021.


This project aims to add significance and sustainability that makes Texas Parks and Wildlife more relevant to the diverse people and communities they serve. Huston-Tillotson University (HT) is a private, Historically Black University (HBCU) in the vibrant urban center of Austin, Texas that serves a student population of about 1,000 predominantly African American and Hispanic students, most of whom qualify as high financial need and many of whom are the first in their families to attend college.

The Environmental Studies program is a promising area of career growth with a glaring diversity gap and important implications locally and globally for communities, governments, and individuals. HT recently began the Environmental Studies course of study, guiding students through coursework in ecology, environmental law, conservation biology, descriptive writing, environmental history, environmental literature, environmental sociology, chemistry, climate science, and economics.

Community Impact:

The goals of this program are to:

  • Increase TPWD’s awareness of environmental issues relevant to a more diverse cross-section of Texas residents.
  • Promote increased diversity of emerging wildlife professionals to more closely match the demographics of Texas.
  • Provide HT students with relevant, marketable skills and relationships that will strengthen their career potential.
  • Encourage future funding of conservation priorities that are important to more diverse audiences through TPWD and other conservation organizations.

HT also connects to the local community through their award-winning student group Green is the New Black. The group engages their peers and is involved in education and outreach initiatives that link HT’s sustainability efforts to environmental groups and schools throughout Austin.

Learn more about this project

Visit the project website

Half-Pint Prairie one year after being planted


Half-Pint Prairie

Austin, Texas


Near Space Labs

Austin, Dallas, and Houston, Texas


Houston Toad Recovery Program

Houston, Texas



Houston and DFW, Texas


Wakeem | Teschner Nature Preserve

El Paso, Texas


Neches River National Wildlife Refuge

Jacksonville, Texas


Bee a Solution

Smith and Wood Counties, Texas


Sandia Springs Wetlands Project

Balmorhea, Texas


Phillips 66 Grassland Restoration Partnership

Oaks & Prairies, Texas


Apache Corporation’s Dark Skies Efforts

Permian Basin, Texas


Baylor University

Waco, TX


WPX Energy’s Dark Skies Efforts

Permian Basin, TX


Bandera Corridor Conservation Bank

Bandera Canyonlands, Texas


Audubon Conservation Ranching

Mason, Presidio, Waller, and Gillespie counties, Texas


Texas A&M Forest Service Longleaf Ridge

Jasper County, Texas


Texas A&M Brazos Valley WaterSmart

College Station and Bryan, Texas


YMCA Camp Moody

Buda, Texas


Friends of RGV Reef

Gulf Coast, Texas


Central Texas Pollinator Project

Central Texas, Texas


Westbury Community Garden

Houston, Texas


Klyde Warren Park

Dallas, TX

Cibolo Nature Center Farm


Cibolo Nature Center & Farm

Boerne, Texas


7 Oaks Ward Walker Ranch

Ozona, Texas


Dell Campus Pollinator Habitat

Round Rock, Texas