In Brief: New Meadows Center staff enhance partnership development

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
Office of Media Relations
March 8, 2018

SAN MARCOS – Nick Dornak and Ryan Spencer have joined The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University to strengthen existing programs and support partnership development.

With more than 12 years of experience in natural resource management, Dornak will serve as program coordinator to build and expand The Meadows Center’s watershed services program. Dornak was most recently a coordinator for the Plum Creek Watershed Partnership in Lockhart, which was the first watershed protection plan in Texas to be approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“I’m looking forward to collaborating with The Meadows Center’s staff as well as taking advantage of the experience and tools that I have gained from my previous positions,” Dornak said. “The most critical thing I’ve learned through watershed planning is understanding the importance of working with stakeholders to make decisions.”

Dornak holds a bachelor’s degree in agriculture development and animal sciences from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in rangeland ecology and watershed management from the University of Wyoming.

“I have always appreciated and respected the work that was being done here at The Meadows Center, so I’m excited to help the watershed services program achieve sustainability,” Dornak said. “I think the organization is uniquely positioned to do so much good for this area and the state of Texas.”

In his new role as partnership coordinator, Spencer will lead efforts to build strategic partnerships and assist with development strategies that support The Meadows Center’s programs. As an alumni of Texas State, Spencer previously worked at The Meadows Center as a park interpreter and coordinator while earning his bachelor’s degree.

“The Meadows Center has retained an incredible talent pool. They’ve also attracted a lot of people from across the state of Texas and I think it’s because this organization has this deep desire to change the world and make it a better place,” Spencer said. “When I was trying to decide where to go and what to do, The Meadows Center was always at the top of the list.”

Spencer brings more than nine years of experience in outdoor education management and development. Prior to his position at The Meadows Center, Spencer served as the director of the Children in Nature Collaborative in Austin, where he managed a multi-sector collaborative focused on mobilizing projects and partnerships that connect children to nature.

“I think there’s still a disconnect between environmental science and connecting kids to the natural world,” Spencer said. “My goal here is to connect these two spheres and start the process of informing our scientific community about the need to create future scientists.”

Ryan holds a bachelor’s degree in water studies and a master’s degree in applied geography from Texas State.

The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment

The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University was named following a generous gift from The Meadows Foundation in August 2012. The Meadows Center inspires research, innovation and leadership that ensures clean, abundant water for the environment and all humanity, and is led by Executive Director Andrew Sansom, Ph.D.

About Texas State University

Founded in 1899, Texas State University is among the largest universities in Texas with an enrollment of 38,694 students on campuses in San Marcos and Round Rock. Texas State’s 184,000-plus alumni are a powerful force in serving the economic workforce needs of Texas and throughout the world. Designated an Emerging Research University by the State of Texas, Texas State is classified under “Doctoral Universities: Higher Research Activity,” the second-highest designation for research institutions under the Carnegie classification system.