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During his professional career, Dr. Schmidly prepared or helped prepare 10 special reports (see Professional Works/Exhibits) about his research on federal lands in western (Big Bend National Park and Amistad National Recreational Area) and eastern (Big Thicket National Preserve) Texas; his research and that of his graduate students working with marine mammals; and his contributions to task forces and planning efforts for future conservation needs in the state.  Two of the reports are included here and a third is described.  

In 2000, while serving as President of Texas Tech University, Dr. Schmidly was asked to lead a task force of scientists and planners to produce a study of conservation and outdoor recreation issues in Texas that would establish the foundation for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) future planning efforts.  In 2001, a report was produced by Dr. Schmidly and other scientists at Texas Tech making recommendations for the state’s future needs for parks, natural areas, and cultural and historical sites. This study influenced subsequent acquisitions by TPWD, the National Park Service, and conservation NGOs.  In 2023, the report was prominently mentioned in the justification for establishing a 1 Billion fund to advance outdoor recreation and conservation in the state.  


Also in 2000, Governor George W. Bush established a Governor’s Task Force on Conservation, with Dr. Schmidly included as one of 13 members.  That body issued a report later in the year, “Taking Care of Texas,” with additional recommendations about conservation issues and needs in the state that included private lands, public lands, and water issues.  Those recommendations remain valid today.


Both reports are included here to demonstrate Dr. Schmidly’s involvement and contributions to conservation in Texas.



Marine Mammals of the southeastern United States and the Gulf of Mexico

In 1981, while a member of the faculty in the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M University, Dr. Schmidly undertook what at that time was the largest documentation of stranding data and sightings for marine mammals in the southeastern U.S. and the Gulf of Mexico.  This informational synthesis was published as a report, “Marine Mammals of the southeastern United States and the Gulf of Mexico.”  While not included on this website, the entire report (165 pp with maps) is available from the United States Geological Service (USGS) Publications Warehouse (  The series title is FWS/OBS; the series number is 80/41; and the publisher is the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  The report also is available for purchase in book format on Amazon.

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