CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas —
For the first time in recent memory, Texas Parks and Wildlife selected a new leader from South Texas.
Dr. David Yoskowitz is currently Senior Executive Director of the Harte Research Institute at Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi. As Texas Parks and Wildlife's new executive director, he will take his knowledge of the Gulf Coast to his new role to supplement the department’s efforts to preserve the state.
“I was elated," Yoskowitz said. "I mean, it was, I think an opportunity to put what I’ve learned over the last couple of decades into practice.”
Yoskowitz will relocate to Austin on November 14. In the meantime, he is working with current Texas Parks and Wildlife executive director Carter Smith to transition into the role.
“I’m an avid learner," Yoskowitz said. "That’s a benefit, it could also be a curse, you know, cause sometimes I need to stay focused. But I’m just excited to be able to really learn about all those other functions of the department.”
“It’s a big, big job," said Arch “Beaver” Aplin, III, Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission chairman. "And so, David is the right guy for it and I would think everyone in Corpus and at the Harte [Research] Institute would be quite proud for him to get the nod to take over the helm at [Texas] Parks and Wildlife.”
Yoskowitz made it his priority to show how HRI research is directly affecting society and facilitate relationships across Texas, the U.S. and internationally. HRI also does workshops at the Oso Bay Wetland Preserve. Preserve Manager Sara Jose said she’s excited to see Yoskowitz take what he has done with the city to the state level.
“Knowing what’s happening here both at municipal nature centers," Jose said. "Hopefully, a little aware of our state parks, again very aware of what the current research is. We’re really excited to see what development that brings for our whole state.”
Senior Scientist Katya Wowk has been at HRI for seven years and knew Dr. Yoskowitz since he was the chief economist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. She has seen firsthand what his leadership and expertise will allow him to do.
“We don’t think of losing him, right," Wowk said. "We’re putting him on loan on behalf of the state of Texas and we know that he’s going to continue to foster those relationships. Grow those relationships in Texas, but also in the Coastal Bend, right, so we fully expect to continue working with him and the agency.”
Yoskowitz will also work directly with the Texas governor's office, state legislators and other state agencies in his new role. He said those are all relationships he has already built throughout his career.
“It’ll be great to carry forward, you know, the Coastal Bend and South Texas and what I’ve been doing here for the last 16 years at the Harte Research Insitute up to Austin and into the department,” Yoskowitz said.
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