Dr. James G. Teer was a founding member of The Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society and served as its first president in 1965. His love of the outdoors developed through traditions such as hunting and fishing, but his career followed a path that took him around the world to work for wildlife conservation and management. In 1989 Dr. Teer served as President of The Wildlife Society and in 1994 he received their highest award, the Aldo Leopold Memorial Award. Through his academic training he learned science-based wildlife research and management techniques, but it was his real-life, on-the-ground experiences that taught him how to solve tough conservation issues. Dr. Teer always emphasized that solutions to such issues involved not only academic skills, but also people and leadership skills.
Many of us chose a career in natural resources because of our love of wildlife and the outdoors, as well as our desire to conserve wildlife and their habitats. The reality is that after a few years many conservation professionals move into leadership roles where they spend less time in the field, and more time working with people to solve challenging conservation issues. Regrettably most conservation professionals receive little to no academic training in addressing the political, social, and economic dimensions of natural resource management challenges. The James G. Teer Conservation Leadership Institute (JGTCLI) was designed to fill that gap and provide valuable leadership and management skills to natural resource professionals.