top of page

Founding Director, Jim Teer, Ph.D. (Texas)

Retired Chairman of Texas A&M's Department of Wildlife & Fisheries; Retired Executive Director of Welder Wildlife Foundation; Past Chair of the North American IUCN Sustainable Use Specialist Group of the Species Survival Commission; served on the Steering Committee of the Texas Think Tank Committee; Past President of The Wildlife Society (11,000 members); was bestowed the Aldo Leopold Memorial Award which is the highest honor of The Wildlife Society, and the SCI Conservationist of the Year Award, which is its highest conservation award. Was inducted into Texas Department of Wildlife and Parks Hall of Fame in 2008. Has authored over 100 scientific papers. Did the famous USF&WS leopard study in Africa that led to its downlisting as well as the the most comprehensive range-wide study of jaguar completed to date. Professor Emeritus at Texas A&M University, etc.

In Memory of Dr. James G. Teer March 13, 1926 - March 19, 2012

Dr. James G. Teer, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M University (TAMU), died on March 19th, 2012 in the loving arms of his family at his home near College Station, Texas. Jim was a devoted husband and father, inspirational mentor, colleague, friend, and a recognized and accomplished wildlife conservationist.

A Celebration of Life for Jim will be held at A&M United Methodist Church, College Station, Texas on Saturday, March 24th, 2:00PM. The family will also receive visitors at Memorial Funeral Chapel in College Station on Friday, March 23rd from 6:00 to 8:00PM. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Joan Marie Powell of Laurel, Mississippi, a daughter Jill Marie, a son James Warren, grandchildren Lucas, Justin, Ann, and one of three brothers, Donald. Jim was preceeded in death by his parents, Thomas Lee Teer and Mary Ella Dohoney, as well as two brothers, Winston and Thomas. 

At the age of 17, he enlisted in the United States Navy in 1943 and completed basic training at the San Diego Naval Base. His time serving in World War II was spent in the Pacific Theater. After the war, through the GI Bill, he obtained his B.S. from TAMU in 1950. He received his M.S. from Iowa State University in 1951, and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1963. From 1951–1953, he worked as a Research Biologist for the Texas Game and Fish Commission and from 1953–1954, he was an Assistant Professor at Mississippi State University. While in Mississippi, he met and married Joan (Powell). He then returned to work for the Texas Game and Fish Commission from 1955–1960. From 1961–1962, Jim was employed as a Research Biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, Maryland. In 1962, he became an Assistant Professor at TAMU. From 1966–1978, Jim held the Caesar Kleberg Chair of Wildlife Ecology and was Program Leader for the Caesar Kleberg Program in Wildlife Ecology at TAMU. From March 1970–November 1978, Jim served as Professor and Head of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, TAMU. From January–August 1969, he served as a Visiting Professor in Wildlife Ecology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa. In January 1980, Jim became the third director of the Rob and Bessie Welder Wildlife Foundation near Sinton, Texas and remained in the position for 20 years until retirement. Jim brought to the Foundation a singular dedication to the field of wildlife management that focused on the Foundation's mission of research and education in the field.


As an educator, Jim's research interests were in studies of the ecology of plant-animal communities, population dynamics of vertebrates, and the ecological basis of land-use planning and resource conservation and management. During his professional  carrer, Jim published over 130 scientific papers, 13 book chapters, 2 monographs and finally a book of his personal and professional memoirs entitled: It's a Long Way from Llano: The Journey of a Wildlife Biologist. 
As a major advisor to graduate students, his students have done research in countries the world over. Jim taught undergraduate and graduate courses in wildlife conservation and management, as well as global conservation issues amongst other significant conservation issues. Jim consulted with industry in matters involving effects of the development of industrial systems on wildlife and also with ranchers and large landholders to evaluate the status and management needs of wildlife, rangeland, and other natural resources, and with governments of countries in the tropical world for development of wildlife and associated natural resources. This work, for many state and federal agencies in the United States, also extended his work to Africa, India, Russia, France, and several countries in Central and South America. Jim was recognized and sought after, globally, as an authority in wildlife conservation. 

first President for two terms. In 1994, he received it'sJim won awards too numerous to mention. Most notably, Jim was a founding member of the Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society and served as the The National Wildlife Society's most prestigious award, the Aldo Leopold Memorial Award. He was awarded the Safari Club International Conservation Trophy in 1995 and in 1996, he was given the Conservation Award from the Daughters of the American Revolution. In 2001, Jim was inducted into the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation's Hall of Fame, and in 2006, he received the Harvey Weil Professional Conservationist award. 

Jim also has served on many boards such as the Environmental Research Steering Committee for Texas Utilities. From 1966–2001, Jim served as Chairman of the North American Sustainable Use Specialist Group and The World Conservation Union. Jim was member of the Board of Trustees of the North American Wildlife Foundation and with the Texas Advisory Committee, Environmental Defense Fund. Jim served on the Board of Directors of the National Audubon Society from 1982–1988. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Serengeti Research Institute in Kenya, and as a Board member of Nemours Plantation, South Carolina, assisting in its foundation.

Jim touched the lives and hearts of hundreds of students, colleagues, and friends so as a recognition of his role in leadership and educating the next generation of wildlife ecologists, the James G. Teer Conservation Leadership Institute has been established at the Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society. In lieu of flowers, those who would like to honor Jim's life may do so by making a contribution to the newly founded James G. Teer Conservation Leadership Institute.. Checks should be made out to the Texas Chapter for the James G. Teer Conservation Leadership Institute, and mailed to P.O. Box 1400, Sinton, TX 78387.

As a loving husband, father, and grandfather, we cherished him. We will always keep him in our hearts until the day when we will meet again. Our wonderful time together with him has been indelibly left in our memories and we will keep him close always. Not only can we still see his face, but we can find places within our hearts and within this world that we have traveled to near and far, and still we will find him there; always smiling, encouraging, teaching, and laughing. Always loving and caring, was Jim Teer. And still, he teaches us, loves us, believes in us, and cares for us as well as God's creatures great and small.

bottom of page