Lisa Gonzalez is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC). She is responsible for the strategic direction of HARC and its research programs which are designed to facilitate sustainable management of air, energy, water and natural resources. She served as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of HARC from 2012-2016, overseeing the implementation of HARC’s 5-year strategic plan, development of HARC’s communication strategy, and a reorganization of administrative operations. In addition to leading HARC, Ms. Gonzalez is active in research focused on the analysis and dissemination of data concerning the health and productivity of Texas Gulf Coast bays, estuaries, and watersheds. Her expertise includes analysis of coastal monitoring data sets and the development of indicators and outreach products describing coastal fish and wildlife populations, invasive species, coastal habitats, water quality, freshwater inflows, and seafood safety.
Ms. Gonzalez joined HARC in 2002 and regularly manages and contributes to research projects, including the Galveston Bay Report Card and an assessment of wetland permitting and mitigation activities in the Houston-Galveston region. She co-edited the second and third editions of the State of the Bay: A Characterization of the Galveston Bay Ecosystem published in 2002 and 2011, respectively. She also created The Quiet Invasion field guide series, a publication describing invasive plants and animals of the Galveston Bay region. Other past work includes the development of invasive species risk assessments, stakeholder-driven initiatives concerning ecosystem services and freshwater inflows, as well as the development of online data tools and applications.
Ms. Gonzalez holds a Master of Science in Environmental Management from the University of Houston – Clear Lake and a Bachelors Science in Marine Fisheries from Texas A&M University at Galveston. Before joining HARC, she worked at the Institute of Marine Life Sciences at Texas A&M University at Galveston and then worked at UHCL’s Environmental Institute of Houston. Ms. Gonzalez stays active in the larger scientific community through participation in the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation and the American Fisheries Society. She is Vice Chair of the Gulf and South Atlantic Regional Panel on Aquatic Nuisance Species, serves on the Monitoring and Research Subcommittee and the Invasive Species Working Group of the Galveston Bay Estuary Program, and the Technical Advisory Committee for the Texas General Land Office. Ms. Gonzalez also serves in an advisory capacity to other nonprofit organizations including, the Advisory Council of the Galveston Bay Foundation, the Houston Wilderness Regional Conservation Plan Science Task Force, and the Advisory Board of the Bayou Preservation Association.