Tarleton, Fossil Rim sign formal agreement to foster learning, research

Tarleton Fossil Rim MOU

Tarleton State University

Thursday, April 18, 2013

STEPHENVILLE, Texas—Officials from both Tarleton State University and Fossil Rim Wildlife Center in nearby Glen Rose gathered Wednesday to formally create a partnership that will implement a cooperative educational program and mutually benefit both entities in their research endeavors.

Tarleton President F. Dominic Dottavio and Dr. Patrick R. Condy, executive director of Fossil Rim, signed a cooperative agreement that will provide both unique learning experiences for the university’s students while enhancing academic and research opportunities for both the faculty and wildlife center’s staff.

“We very much look forward to being a part of this partnership and having the ability to help Tarleton, providing the university with a venue for faculty research and student research and training,” said Dr. Condy. “We are very happy to be a part of, and be able to facilitate those opportunities at Fossil Rim.”

This week’s formal agreement follows a recent United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) grant, totaling $691,000 that was awarded to Tarleton’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences in December 2012.

Fossil Rim Wildlife Center was awarded $77,400 to expand its current partnership with Tarleton by developing outreach activities to promote public understanding of global food security issues and how these issues affect natural resource conservation. These activities will include hiring several interns at the Fossil Rim’s Glen Rose facility to assist with outreach efforts.

“Being able to create a relationship with such an outstanding organization has meanings for me on multiple fronts,” said Dottavio, who previously served as a chief scientist for the National Park Service focusing on conservation biology. “It’s a great day for us at Tarleton.

“The changes that are taking place in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, by design, having environmental sciences in there, really expands the historic scope of what it is we’ve done in that college,” Dottavio added. “We are so pleased with some of these new faculty members, who I think, are changing how it is we approach the ag and environmental sciences and provide us great momentum for stronger partnerships with Fossil Rim.”

Dottavio credited Fossil Rim’s resources and capacity in carrying out its mission in serving humanity. “And for Tarleton, the opportunity for us to link formally, even though we’ve had some measure of association for many decades, this formal partnership is a great statement, both about where we’re headed as an institution and the great things Fossil Rim has been doing and will be doing in the future.”

Funding for the program, titled “Tarleton State University Program in International Natural Resource Management: Addressing Global Food Security and Hunger through Integrated Research, Education and Outreach in Resource Conservation and Sustainability,” will help address NIFA’s priority area of global food security and hunger and be led by program director Dr. T. Wayne Schwertner, assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science and Wildlife Management.

“I think a lot of people don’t realize the type of facility we have in our own backyard with Fossil Rim. The center is a global leader in wildlife conservation. This relationship will provide amazing opportunities for our students in endangered species management, wildlife medicine, and other facets of wildlife conservation,” said Schwertner. “Our joint research and education programs will only grow as we develop the College of Agricultural and Environmental Science’s new wildlife and natural resource sciences department.”

“This formal relationship with Fossil Rim symbolizes an already great working relationship while expanding future opportunities for students and faculty,” said Dr. Don Cawthon, dean of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “Having access to such a great facility for student and faculty engagement and research underscores our continuing efforts to develop public-private partnerships to enhance the mission of our college.”

For more information about Tarleton’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences or the Department of Animal Sciences and Wildlife Management, please visit www.tarleton.edu/animalsciences.


Tarleton State University
A member of The Texas A&M University System

Contact: Kurt Mogonye

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Tarleton, Fossil Rim sign formal agreement to foster learning, research - Media Relations - Tarleton State University