Environmental research, largely conducted through the research institutes and centers at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, addresses important challenges of human impact, urbanization, and sustainable development in South Texas and throughout the Gulf of Mexico region, while providing research opportunities and practical experience for students to enrich their education.

The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies is a new $46 million endowed marine science research unit at Texas A&M University-Corpus related to the College of Science and Engineering. Currently the Harte Institute is in the planning and organizational phase, and a new building is scheduled for completion in 2005. With six Endowed Research Chairs, the Institute is destined to be one of the premier marine science research institutes on the Gulf of Mexico. The emerging mission of the Harte Institute is one dedicated to discovery, understanding, and conservation of the Gulf of Mexico. The Institute was endowed by Edward H. Harte, former owner of Harte Hanks Publishing and longtime resident of Corpus Christi.

The Center for Coastal Studies, established in 1984, is an interdisciplinary marine science research unit of the College of Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. The main purpose of the Center is to conduct basic and applied research, ecological monitoring, public education outreach, and graduate level education/research programs, focusing on the Texas coast but also extending throughout the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. The Center maintains cooperative agreements with several state and federal natural resource agencies on campus, providing graduate student work and research opportunities.

The Conrad Blucher Institute for Surveying and Science, dedicated in 1987, encourages scientific research and education, with a special emphasis on surveying. The Institute is a research unit of the College of Science and Engineering. To provide for the unique needs of Texas surveyors, the Institute is developing strong continuing education and research programs in surveying. As funds and resources permit, the Institute will also promote research and education in all of the supporting sciences. Science education is a vital base for surveyors and scientists. The Institute supports activities to help create professional and student interest in surveying and science. Current focuses include geographic information science, geomatics, and mapping; nearshore research; environmental engineering; and biacoustics and nature studies.

The Center for Water Supply Studies was established in 1991. It is housed within the College of Science and Engineering. The Center provides science students with the opportunity to pursue research in the broad areas of water resources. The Center also provides regional governmental entities with an academic organization through which studies of issues relating to water supply may be carried out.

The National Spill Control School, established in 1977 and also housed within the College of Science and Engineering, promotes education on environmental issues. The primary focus of its programs is in presenting continuing education short courses on-campus or on-site for personnel involved in spill prevention and the control of oil, hazardous materials, and hazardous waste. Other areas of interest include allied safety concerns and improving knowledge in these fields through research and targeted education programs.