Kristina Alexander

Endowed Chair for Marine Policy & Law, Harte Research Institute

Kristina Alexander is the Endowed Chair for Marine Policy and Law at the Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies. She has practiced natural resource law for over twenty years including at the Congressional Research Service in Washington, DC and with Sea Grant. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Georgia School of Law. She started a law-for-non-lawyers publication in 2023, Third Coast Lines, which discusses issues affecting the Gulf of Mexico, such as desalination and sea turtle conservation. Her work included advising Members of Congress and their staff on wildlife laws, and she has testified before Congress on the Lacey Act. She enjoys writing about bird conservation, including reports to Congress such as Criminal Liability under Wildlife Laws following the 2010 Oil Spill and What Happens to the Bald Eagle Now That It Is Not Protected Under the Endangered Species Act. She devoted the June 2021 issue of the Sea Grant publication she edited, Water Log, to birds, with her article explaining permitting under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. She is new to Texas and has never seen a Whooping Crane, but enjoys birding and still finds great-tailed grackles interesting, although she misses Carolina wrens. 


Talk: Whooping Crane Legal Issues 

The Whooping Crane is one of the most protected species in the United States with both the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the more significant Endangered Species Act making it a crime to harm these birds. In fact, its conservation pre-dates the Endangered Species Act. But as the Port Aransas community well knows, those laws don’t protect the species against all harms. This will be a conversation about the laws protecting the Whooping Crane and how judges have applied those laws.