When Ed Harte founded the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies in 2000, he directed us to “make a difference.” One of the ways we do that is by seeking support to fund the needs of our students and research programs. HRI is housed on a growing campus with a student population increasingly in need of financial support. Our endowments, scholarships and internships enable us to educate the next generation of researchers whose work will ensure an economically and ecologically sustainable Gulf of Mexico.
As Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi seeks to become an Emerging Research University, the support of our donors in attracting world-class students, researchers and international collaborators is more important than ever before. We thank them for their generosity.
Margaret "Maggie" Bains Scholarship
In May 2013, Margaret “Maggie” Bains, a former lab volunteer at HRI, was recognized for her years of dedication to marine science with the establishment of an endowed scholarship in her name. Funding supports HRI graduate students pursuing a degree in marine biology. The scholarship was established by the Chapel in the Hills Interdenominational Church in Wimberley, Texas, HRI, and Maggie’s former HRI co-workers.
R.N. “Dick” Conolly Endowed Graduate Scholarship in Fisheries Conservation and Sportfish Research
The R.N. “Dick” Conolly Endowed Graduate Scholarship in Fisheries Conservation and Sportfish Research was established by the Rotary Club of Corpus Christi in honor of R.N. “Dick” Conolly. Dick was an avid sportfisherman and leader in creating the Rotary Club’s Harvey Weil Sportsmanship Conservationist Award Program in honor of his friend and sportfishing companion Harvey Weil. The Conolly Endowed Graduate Scholarship assists full-time students pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree during a program of study within the research focus areas of fisheries conservation, particularly those in the Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation.
Crutchfield Fellowship Endowment
The Crutchfield Fellowships were established by John H. and Danna Crutchfield in honor of John’s late father, John W. Crutchfield, a Corpus Christi businessman and civic leader who was instrumental in the University of Corpus Christi’s transformation into today’s Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. The endowment assists HRI master’s and doctoral students by providing funding for educational expenses ranging from tuition and books, to travel associated with meetings and workshops, as well as research supplies and equipment.
Erin Caroline Donalson Memorial Endowed Scholarship
Erin Caroline Donalson was a native of Silsbee, Texas and proud student in Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s wildlife and fisheries program. Outside of her studies, she enjoyed saltwater fishing and paddle boarding on the Texas coast. Following her passing in May 2018, Erin’s parents, Drew and Alyson Donalson, created the Erin Caroline Donalson Memorial Endowed Scholarship in celebration of their daughter’s passion for her school and the outdoors. The scholarship assists graduate students whose studies and/or research align with mission of Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation.
The Furgason Fellowships
The Furgason Fellowships were established by Ed Harte and Joe Hornblower in honor of Dr. Robert Furgason, President Emeritus of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and founding Executive Director of HRI. The endowment funds teaching and research fellowships at HRI exclusively from Mexican or Cuban universities, as well as the funding of conferences, workshops, and symposia on subjects related to the Gulf of Mexico.
When Ed Harte, Corpus Christi newspaper publisher and noted conservationist, gave his $46 million gift in 2000 to found the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies, he emphasized the role that student support would play in his vision. The Harte Fellows were created in his name, ensuring every Endowed Chair would have at least one fully-funded graduate student in their program. The endowment funds educational expenses for six to eight HRI master’s and doctoral students each year, including tuition, books, travel and research supplies.
Dan and Carolyn Pedrotti Endowment for the Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation
The Dan and Carolyn Pedrotti Endowment for the Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation (CSSC) was established to enhance the mission of the CSSC—a mission near and dear to the hearts of Dan and Carolyn, both advocates for the practice of sportfishermen giving back to the waters that provide their recreational enjoyment. The scholarship assists top-tier graduate students with tuition and research support as they pursue an education pertaining to sportfish conservation.
Dr. John "Wes" Tunnell, Jr. Fellowship
In April 2016, a fellowship was established to continue the teaching legacy of long-time educator, author and marine scientist Dr. John “Wes” Tunnell, Jr., HRI Associate Director and Endowed Chair for Biodiversity and Conservation Science. The fellowship supports graduate students from Mexico or the United States who are committed to research in Mexico while pursuing their graduate education at HRI.
Coastal Conservation Association – Texas Graduate Scholarship Fund
The Coastal Conservation Association of Texas established this scholarship to assist graduate students at HRI pursuing a degree with specific focus on marine resource management. Recipients are expected to contribute, through their research, to the understanding of marine fisheries science and management in the Gulf of Mexico with emphasis on recreational fishing.
Shimano-CCA National Marine Science Scholarship
Shimano and the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) have partnered to fund two scholarships for graduate students dedicated to advancing their education in marine fisheries conservation. Students must demonstrate a passion for recreational fishing and are expected to contribute, through their research, to the understanding of Gulf of Mexico marine fisheries—in alignment with the missions of Shimano, CCA, and the Center for Sportfish Science and Conservation at HRI.
Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and Coastal Conservation Association Summer Internship Program
The Coastal Conservation Association, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (TAMU-CC) and HRI have partnered since 2002 for student internships with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Coastal Fisheries Management Resource and Harvesting Program. The program provides TAMU-CC students with valuable hands-on experience of working in the field alongside state agency personnel. Support for the program is also provided by the Mr. & Mrs. Big Trout Scholarship Tournament.
Texas State Aquarium Endowed Scholarship in Biodiversity and Conservation Science
The Texas State Aquarium established this scholarship to support graduate students following in the footsteps of the late Dr. John “Wes” Tunnell, Jr. by conducting biodiversity and/or conservation science research in the Gulf of Mexico or Caribbean Sea. Dr. Tunnell was a longtime friend and advisor to the Aquarium, having aided in the Aquarium’s early planning phases in 1978 and subsequent expansions throughout the next four decades. Through his teachings and mentorship, he inspired many Aquarium staff members and volunteers to pursue careers in marine science.