James G. Teer became the Foundation’s third director in January 1980 and remained in the position for 20 years. Teer brought a singular dedication to the field of wildlife management that focused on the Foundation’s dual mission of research and conservation education.

Prior to being named director of the Foundation, Teer was professor of wildlife and fisheries sciences at Texas A&M University (TAMU) for seventeen years, serving as head of that department during his last nine years there. Prior to his tenure at TAMU, he had been active in wildlife circles in Texas and throughout the U.S. since 1951. He was employed for seven years by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and one year by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Teer was active in conservation affairs at both national and international levels. He served on boards and committees of numerous governmental and non-governmental organizations related to wildlife conservation. He was active in The Wildlife Society, serving as its president in 1989-1990 and receiving its prestigious Aldo Leopold Award in 1996.

During the Teer years the Foundation’s research and education programs were expanded. Numbers of Welder fellowships were held steady near a level of 20 annually. During his directorship, the education program greatly explanded with the hiring of program leaders who were trained in the field of conservation education. The education program began to gain recognition across the U.S. as one of the best in the nation.

WWF trustees began to change during Teer’s directorship. John J. Welder IV passed away and was replaced by his son, John J. Welder, V. Subsequently, M. Harvey Weil passed away and was replaced by his son H. C. Weil. Two advisory trustees were appointed, Robert H. Welder II and Hughes C. Thomas. These changes brought about changes in philosophy of conducting the Foundation’s affairs. The original trustees were always prideful of the fact that all funds expended by the Foundation during their terms were generated by the Foundation and that we never sought outside assistance. The new trustees began to encourage the directors to seek outside funding for special projects. Teer obtained one of the largest outside grants to that date for the Foundation when he received a grant from the Sid Richardson Foundation to build a new 36-bed bunkhouse for overnight guests. This addition to the headquarters complex was completed in 1996 and has become a valuable addition to our program.

During Teer’s term as director Terry L. Blankenship was hired as Foundation biologist and Selma N. Glasscock was hired as conservation educator. Teer retired in 1999 and upon his retirement, was appointed Director Emeritus and Advisory Trustee of the Foundation.