History of HRI

Founded through one of the most extraordinarily generous gifts ever for the Texas A&M University System, Ed Harte’s $46 million desire to make a difference for the Gulf of Mexico sparked the establishment of an institute at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi – the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies (HRI).

Inspired by Dr. Sylvia Earle’s book Sea Change, and her leadership of a distinguished Advisory Council for HRI, the original team – Dr. Wes Tunnell Jr., Dr. Robert Furgason and Gail Sutton set about making that vision a reality. They began to assemble endowed chairs, staff and students, secured funding, designed and completed construction of the building, and laid groundwork for HRI to become an international player for Gulf of Mexico research.

The timeline below can only highlight the extraordinary growth of HRI since its origin in 2000. Fully implementing the HRI Model is at the center of the institute's past and future success in advancing its mission.