We are a group of people interested in building a sustainable and resilient future for the Texas coast. We envision a community that works together to support the ecosystems in our own backyard by supporting the landowners who have been caring for these natural lands for generations. We believe that our community can adapt to a changing climate by understanding and supporting the ecosystems that
support us all.
support us all.
Scientific and Technical Director - Azure Bevington
Azure Bevington is a coastal ecologist with expertise in coastal wetland and estuarine ecosystem processes including ecogeomorphology and biogeochemistry at a variety of scales. She previously worked as a research program manager with a focus on coastal wetland restoration and processes at Louisiana State University, where she also completed her Ph.D. in oceanography and coastal sciences. She also holds a M.S. in marine science from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science at The College of William and Mary and a B.S. in marine science from Coastal Carolina University. As the Science and Technical Director for TCX, she is responsible for the determination of the ecosystem process rate estimates based on up to date literature values, as well as ecosystem type inventories for landowner participants and program development.
Operations Manager - Kirsten Vernin
Kirsten Vernin is a master's student at Rice University working towards a degree in environmental analysis with a focus in environmental sustainability. She has experience with wildlife, insect, and vegetation surveys in both Texas and New York, as well as in nonprofit management. She holds a B.S. in zoology from Texas A&M University. Her responsibilities include building and managing the TCX website and database, assisting with initial site evaluations and mapping, creating outreach and educational materials and graphics, and the general administration of the TCX program.
Data and Mapping Specialist - Jace Hodder
Jace Hodder is an ArcGIS Analyst with expertise in coastal processes and spatial analytics. He holds a M.S in Marine Resource Management from Texas A&M University, as well as a B.S in Environmental Geology from Beloit College. His research has mainly pertained to how ArcGIS and spatial processes can help with determination of shorelines and their rates of change over time. As an ArcGIS Analyst for TCX, his responsibilities include developing a method for wetland area and vegetation determination, finding viable datasets for the wetland determination method as well as creating maps for site evaluations.
Board Of Directors
Jim Blackburn is a professor in the practice of environmental law in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Rice University, teaching courses in sustainable development and environmental law. He is an environmental planner and practiced environmental law with the Blackburn & Carter law firm in Houston. At Rice, he serves as the co-director of the Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disaster (SSPEED) Center, a faculty scholar at the Baker Institute, and director of the undergraduate minor in energy and water sustainability. He has received various public service awards, including the Barbara C. Jordan Community Advocate Award from Texas Southern University in 2007, the National Conservation Achievement Award from the National Wildlife Federation in 2001, and the Bob Eckhardt Lifetime Achievement Award for coastal preservation efforts from the Texas General Land Office in 1998. In 2003, he was awarded an honorary membership by the American Institute of Architects for legal work associated with urban quality of life issues in Houston. Blackburn received a B.A. in history and a J.D. from The University of Texas at Austin, as well as a M.S. in environmental science from
Elizabeth Winston Jones
Elizabeth Winston Jones grew up in Houston, spending most of her time outdoors, exploring and being captivated by nature while playing, fishing and hunting in and along Buffalo Bayou, the Texas coast, and South Texas. Introduced by her hippie Aunt to organics in the 1960s and permaculture in the 1970s, together these varied bits instilled in Elizabeth a deep connection with and passion for nature, an awareness of its purposefulness, and an abiding appreciation for the multi-faceted role it plays in humankind’s well-being. Throughout her adult life, she has served as an advocate and activist board member for local and international nonprofits involved with leveraging nature for the benefit of the community. Elizabeth received a B.A. in History and a J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.
Colley Hodges is an architect, LEED AP, and one of the nation’s first WELL Accredited Professionals. As Kirksey Architecture’s Director of Sustainability, Colley leads the firm’s green building research, education, and advocacy efforts and supports Kirksey’s projects in meeting their sustainability goals. His volunteer work includes service on the Materials and Resources Technical Advisory Group of the U.S. Green Building Council, the User Advisory Core Committee of the Health Product Declaration Collaborative, AIA Houston’s Gulf Coast Green conference planning committee, and the board of the Citizens’ Environmental Coalition. Colley frequently speaks to audiences across the country on topics related to sustainable design, and his writing has appeared in Cite Magazine, the Houston Chronicle, and other print and online publications.
Summer 2019 Interns
Erik Hawkins is a biologist and native Houstonian. He holds a B.S in Biology and a minor in Chemistry from the University of Houston with a focus in Ecology and Environmental Biology. He previously worked as a water chemist at both the City of Houston and the Downtown Aquarium, ensuring water quality and regulatory compliance requirements were met. This summer, he is helping to build the TCX program through basic research and assisting with public outreach and education.
Hope Lawrence is a rising Junior at Rice University, pursuing her undergraduate degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Having completed coursework in sustainable design, urban livability, and environmental law, Hope is joining the team this summer to explore the role of the agricultural sector and carbon sequestration in American climate policy.
Isabela Overturf is an undergraduate at Claremont McKenna College pursuing a degree in Environment, Economics, and Politics, with a particular interest in sustainability. She has research experience in aquatic ecology and earth science. This summer, she is assisting with basic research, public outreach and education, and graphic design.
Alex Appel is a rising Junior at the University of Denver, pursuing a major in Computer Science and a minor in Data Analytics. Having completed all required coursework for his major, Alex is helping the team this summer with analyzing the basics of how Blockchain Technology functions as well as assisting the team with graphic design.